WITH Scottish members and annual
gatherings in Braemar, take a moment to learn about Gaelic,
the language of the Scots.
Gaelic teacher and Clan Farquharson member Arthur
Findlay (pictured) provides a guide for beginners to the historic
Gaelic uses letters of the alphabet: only 18 of the 26
we use in English. No J, K, Q, V, W, X,Y or Z. But what
about Farquharson, MacKenzie and Macintyre among others?
They are of course in their English dress, and some of
them are the results of happy-go-lucky spelling in English
peculiar to Scotland. The origins of these names are MacFhearchair
(son of Fearchar or Farquhar), MacCoinnech (son of Coinneach
or Kenneth) and Mac an t-saoir (son of the carpenter).
Fearchar, the origin of Farquhar, becomes in the ‘of’ or
genitive form of Fheachair. Yes it is pronounceable. It
sounds Err-ach-uth, (ch as in loch, th as in the) the FH
being silent. Mac may mean a burger to most people, but
to us in the clan it means ‘a son’. So Farquharson
becomes MacFhearchair. Mac is pronounced Machk.
Our worthy chief, Farquharson
of Invercauld, becomes Mac
Mhic Fhionnlaigh, pronounced Machk Veechk Yoon-lay (being
a descendent of Finlay Mor or Fionnlagh Mór, which
does NOT sound like maw). The name Finlay comes from Fionn
Laoch ‘fair hero’ and was in old Gaelic Fionnd
laoch, hence the d in Findlay, which is the older form
of the name.
Fair Land is Fionnfhonn (Fyoo-nun), which I guess could
be the origin of Finzean. The Cairn of Rememberance is
Càrn na Cuimhne. The only difficult word there
is the last one, pronounced Koo-inuh. Many of the letters
with H in the middle and ends of words are silent, as English
has lots of silent letters like ‘right’ and ‘wrong’.
How are you coping so far? In fact how are you? In Gaelic
Ciamar a tha thu? (Kimmer a how?) The reply would be
fine, thanks: Tha gu math, tapadh leat (Hagger
ma, tahhpper let).
HH means heavy breathing.
phrases: Good Morning: Maduimn mhath (Matting va); Good
evening: Feasgar math (Fessker Ma);; Good night: Oidhche
mhath (Oich-eh va). Ma as in mat. Va as in vat NOT mah
and vah, please!
- Gordon Farquharson, President – Gòrdon
Valerie Farquharson, Secretary – Valarie Rùnaire
(Roonara). Fallain (Falaheen) is ‘in good health’ (which
is what Valerie means) but I have never heard it used as
Andrew the Farmer, Treasurer – Anndra Tuathanach
MacSporain (Owndra Tooa-hanach Machk Sporan).
Geoffrey Farquharson – Goiridh (Gory) MacFhearchair.
Arthur Findlay – Artair MacFhionnlaigh (Arster
The Lion’s Face – Aodann an Leòghainn
(aotan – for ao say oo with a smile – un lyohghan).
Good health and up with Gaelic – Slàinte mhath
agus suas leis a’Ghàidhlig (slahn-tcher
va aghus sooas lesh uh Ghahlik).
|History of the Clan Farquharson