Dirnaheishe

Ciamar a chanas mi.... / How do I say...
fathaggis
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Dirnaheishe

Unread post by fathaggis » Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:48 pm

My father in law's croft was called Dirnaheishe and we are about to name our new house the same. I'm trying to find out if there is any particular meaning behind the word, or if it is simply a place name.
Can anyone help?
Much appreciated



Níall Beag
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Re: Dirnaheishe

Unread post by Níall Beag » Sat Dec 21, 2013 2:43 pm

What region was it in?

fathaggis
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Re: Dirnaheishe

Unread post by fathaggis » Sat Dec 21, 2013 2:57 pm

It was near Rannoch Station in Perthshire

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Re: Dirnaheishe

Unread post by Seonaidh » Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:09 am

Pure speculation here - this is in no way reliable.

I seem to recall that old Perthshire Gaelic was vaguely aware or "urachadh" or "urú" as it's known in Irish, a sort of sound change found - usually fossilised rather than active - in certain Gaelic dialects. The changes associated with this include, for instance, T to D, usually writted "dt" in Irish, e.g. "i dTrá Lí" for "in Tralee" (and pronounced more-or-less "e dralee"). So it could be that the "Dir..." actually comes from an old locative ("in") form and actually represents "Tir".

As for the rest, that looks (I could be Well Wrong here...) like separate words all run together (this is often the way when you get Gaelic transcribed into a vaguely English form): I fancy it might originally have been something like "Tir na h-èise", which would mean, literally, "Land of need". Whether that's because it was a much-needed croft for some pair seoul displaced from elsewhere in the Highlands, or whether it was a pretty barren bit of land where you couldn't grown much (and were, thus, almost always "needy") I don't know. Certainly, Rannoch is more famous for being a vast Bog than for being a fertile agricultural area. But some parts, e.g. on the road down to Aberfeldy, don't look too bad.

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Re: Dirnaheishe

Unread post by fathaggis » Sun Dec 22, 2013 10:16 am

That's really interesting and makes some sense - thank you

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Re: Dirnaheishe

Unread post by akerbeltz » Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:07 pm

Hm eclipsis is a little too fanciful an explanation, especially in a Perthshire Gaelic dialect. If this croft was almost on the shore of Loch Eigheach, it's actually marked on the OS maps as Doire na h-Innes (ruin) which is only moderatly garbled Gaelic spelling for Doire na h-Innse Copse of the Haugh. That would be my bet and it broadly fits the word you posted in terms of the way it would be said.

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Re: Dirnaheishe

Unread post by fathaggis » Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:11 pm

Thanks for that - should have thought to look at the OS map in the first place!
The ruined croft that's marked is indeed the correct one it turns out, but my father in law is adamant that that's not how it was known locally - he remembers it being spelt as Dirnaheishe on their letterbox. He does say that Copse of the Haugh would make sense though
Not sure whether this is a dialect thing - his father, who we think named it, was originally from the Western Isles, so may have written it differently than Perthshire Gaelic, I suppose?
Thank you for all your help - I'm not a Gaelic speaker but am finding this fascinating trying to figure it out!

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Re: Dirnaheishe

Unread post by Seonaidh » Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:12 am

his father, who we think named it, was originally from the Western Isles
Now, I think it's the case that certain Hebridean dialects are quite partial to nasalising - a bit like French. So, if, for instance, the name was "Doire na h-Innse", somebody from Lewis might actually have pronounced it more like "Dir na h-eiñs"

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Re: Dirnaheishe

Unread post by akerbeltz » Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:26 pm

he remembers it being spelt as Dirnaheishe on their letterbox
That's quite possible but you were asking for the Gaelic and in Gaelic, that is a totally and utterly impossible sequence of letters. It's like ... hearing the name for the place where those hominids in Germany were found and spelling that Neighandertall. That's how it might have sounded to someone who didn't know how to speak and write German but that still means it's not the way it's properly written in German. Which is Neanderthal.

You can either stick to the anglicised spelling Dirnaheishe (in which case I'm not sure why you posted in the first place :priob: ) or revert to the correct Gaelic spelling, Doire na h-Innse. Yes, the way something is written in Gaelic and the way it sounds to English speakers makes little sense but you'll have to take our word for Doire na h-Innse in pronunciation being very close to Dirnaheishe.

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Re: Dirnaheishe

Unread post by fathaggis » Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:56 pm

Thanks for the responses. Being a non-Gaelic speaker, I'm not the right one to know what's anglicised and what isn't - I did post in the first place to use the knowledge and experience of the people on the forum, and it's been interesting to see the varied theories on this. I was just reporting on what had been my father in law's memory of it and wondered on the derivation of the word.
Following the answers given here, we've since found some lovely photos of it online, which has been great.

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Re: Dirnaheishe

Unread post by akerbeltz » Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:50 pm

You're very welcome, glad it's worked out for you 8-)

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