'ceart gu leòr' vs 'gu dòigheil'

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'ceart gu leòr' vs 'gu dòigheil'

Unread postby Ionatan » Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:50 am

I'm afraid this is another a vs b question. This time I'd like to understand the usage of 'ceart gu leòr' vs 'gu dòigheil'. As a kick-off, are both these statements acceptable:

Tha mi ceart gu leòr
Tha mi gu dòigheil

I believe they both effectively mean I'm alright. However, I wonder if there are nuances such as "I'm alright" <thumbs up with a smile> vs "I'm alright" <shrugs with a down turned mouth> - something like that? I don't get that sense from looking dòigheil up in the dictionary, but using it in 'gu dòigheil' might change things perhaps?



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'ceart gu leòr' vs 'gu dòigheil'

Unread postby Níall Beag » Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:41 am

To a point, a lot of the responses to "how are you" in any language are just a matter of personal style. I was taught "gu math", and when I say "ceart gu leòr" it's a conscious choice because I want to indicate I'm not feeling as good as usual, but some people say "ceart gu leòr" as a matter of habit.

Think about it in English -- some people's habitual response is "good", some's is "not/no/nae bad", some's is "alright", some's is "can't complain", some's is "chugging along"... whatever it is, the individual meaning is tied very tight to how often they say that phrase.

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'ceart gu leòr' vs 'gu dòigheil'

Unread postby akerbeltz » Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:13 am

On a 10 point scale (10 being bliss), I'd put gu dòigheil at the 7+ end, cgl I'd rate maybe a 4. Bearing in mind context, intonation and all that, plus addressee, I wouldn't use cgl with someone I didn't know that well. I think the "worst" I'd use with someone I didn't know that well would be chan eil dona (the less well you know someone, the less such questions aim to elicit a truthful answer and the more they are rather formulaic greetings).

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'ceart gu leòr' vs 'gu dòigheil'

Unread postby Ionatan » Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:39 pm

Mòran taing for the replies - informative as usual.

Like @Niall, the first one I learnt was gu math. I completely agree that the answer to ciamar a tha thu is going to be pretty formulaic in many settings.

The @Akerbelz Scale Of Bliss was very interesting as I would have guessed cgl and gd would be the other way around... but I put that down to the English meaning of galore, which (in my head) makes any statemate containing gu leòr sound like a faux Edin Blighton description of abundance (e.g. "lashings of ginger beer and custard beyond dreams of avarice"). I've always got to dial gu leòr back a bit when I hear it.

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'ceart gu leòr' vs 'gu dòigheil'

Unread postby akerbeltz » Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:06 pm

Interesting, I'd never considered the impact of galore on learner usage of gu leòr.

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'ceart gu leòr' vs 'gu dòigheil'

Unread postby Ionatan » Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:41 am

Interesting, I'd never considered the impact of galore on learner usage of gu leòr.


A quick dive into the ever useful Am Faclair Beag translates gu leòr as "enough, sufficient, galore". But, I think galore actually has a much stronger meaning in English than the first two options. The Cambridge English Dictionary gives it meanings of 'abundance, lavish, generosity, luxuriant etc' vs the much greater modesty of 'enough' and 'sufficient'.

Or, to visualize it another way:
- A man needs roughly 2,500 calories per day to maintain a healthy weight (Tha biadh gu leòr agam)
- A glutton eats 4,000 calories per day (I've got cheese-burgers and Irn Bru galore)

I believe that galore does come from gu leòr, but I'm getting the impression that the word got a bit over-excited in the transition :D. So, would it be better to treat gu leòr as just really meaning 'enough or sufficient' (and quitely forget about the whole 'abundance/lavish' connotations of galore?

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'ceart gu leòr' vs 'gu dòigheil'

Unread postby faoileag » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:42 pm

Ceart gu leòr has also become the equivalent of the English "OK" or "alright", in all their meanings/nuances, often shortened to cgl in messages, Facebook posts etc.
Chì mi aig 9m thu, cgl?
Cgl!

In our Gaelic-influenced Highland English people used to add "right enough" to a sentence to express agreement. (Some still do, though it's less common now.)

That Calum is a pain! - Oh, he's no easy, right enough.
It's freezing! - Aye, it's a cold one, right enough.

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'ceart gu leòr' vs 'gu dòigheil'

Unread postby akerbeltz » Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:29 pm

I think in the right context, gu leòr can mean an abundance, say in bha sinn aig banais Chaluim an-dè agus dh'òl mi gu leòr dhen Each Bhàn ann.

But I should perhaps offset it in the dictionary.

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'ceart gu leòr' vs 'gu dòigheil'

Unread postby Ionatan » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:06 am

In our Gaelic-influenced Highland English people used to add "right enough" to a sentence to express agreement. (Some still do, though it's less common now.)


"Right enough" is still alive and well in Aberdeenshire (ironic for an area that is so staunchly Doric-focussed that discussions about Gaelic can get a little bit heated wrt language funding and recognition).

Each Bhàn
... well, that wouldn't be my first choice - I like it peaty :lol:

I suppose we also get into the situation of good ol' British understatement as in:
<Hurricane-force winds and the rain is falling sideways in torrent> "It's a wee bit damp today"
<Nursing ragingly bad hangover> "Did you have enough to drink at the wedding?" "Bha! Ceart gu leòr" (perhaps?)

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'ceart gu leòr' vs 'gu dòigheil'

Unread postby akerbeltz » Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:11 pm

<Nursing ragingly bad hangover> "Did you have enough to drink at the wedding?" "Bha! Ceart gu leòr" (perhaps?)


Ceart gu leòr wouldn't fit into this scenario, there's nothing really to which ceart would be an answer but just bha gu lèor or bha gu leòr mhòr even. But yes, overall, that's what I meant with context.

... well, that wouldn't be my first choice - I like it peaty

agreed but that is (or was) perhaps THE brand amongst Gaels for a long time. It crops up in many stories and songs, more so than other brands.