What does this mean?

Càil sam bith eile / Anything else
DaftWullie
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What does this mean?

Unread post by DaftWullie » Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:13 pm

Hi all. Apologies if this isn't the right place but it's because of this forum's Google standing that I arrived here. Can anyone help me with a meaning for 'sleamh bheannachaidh' that's on the 1831 wax seal of Ballater's Masonic Lodge? Google isn't any help - one of the few times I've had 'no results' from a Google search and no suggested alternatives. Admins, if I'm too far 'off topic' here then feel free to delete the post and I'll quietly go away!
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Re: What does this mean?

Unread post by An Gobaire » Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:19 pm

Is "Sleamh" an erroneous spelling of SLIABH?

If so, the Sliabh Bheannachaidh would be the "holy mountain/hill". (Literally: of blessing)

Beannachadh is used often to mean "holy" in Gaelic, particularly in Uist.

e.g Tobar Beannaichte - Holy well (but literally "Blessed well")
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Re: What does this mean?

Unread post by Mairead » Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:13 am

"Sleamhnachadh" means "sliding" according to AFB, and "sleamhnag" is slide. "Sleamhainn" is "slippery or smooth". "Sleamh" doesn't seem to appear on its own, though.
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Re: What does this mean?

Unread post by An Gobaire » Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:15 pm

You're leading him off onto the wrong track there, Mairead. It seems it is just an incorrect spelling of Sliabh. The phrase Sliabh Bheannachaidh (Blessed/Holy Mountain) makes far more sense than "slippery blessing".
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Re: What does this mean?

Unread post by akerbeltz » Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:07 pm

Given that Freemasons go on about 'blessings from mount zion' ad nauseum, I agree with the others here that it's just really bad Gaelic spelling. There's another typo in there too, the have Càrn na' cuimhne with a stray apostrophe. So they most likely did mean Sliabh a' Bheannachaidh.

How embarassing is that, commision a golden memorial coin and stint on the tr*nsl*t**n! :roll:

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Re: What does this mean?

Unread post by DaftWullie » Wed Feb 25, 2015 1:22 pm

Thanks for all your help folks, very much appreciated.

I'll choose to interpret 'sleamh' as the local scribe's 1831 written rendering of 'sliabh' (thanks to the contributors on this thread) and do a bit more research to see if that fits with the local landed gentry - the Farquharsons - in some way. 'CARN NA CUIMHNE' is the rallying place of Clan Farquharson, where the Farquharson men would carry a stone and place it on the cairn before going to battle, then return to the cairn to remove it afterwards. The stones that were left represent the men who didn't return to remove their stone. It seems fitting that the cairn of remembrance might have a link to a hill of blessings / holy hill. Or it might have some reference to St Nathalan.

akerbelts, what you're interpreting as a "stray apostrophe" is just an extension of the rays from the eye device. I don't know why you're making up the "blessings from mount zion" thing: I've been a Mason for 32 years and have never heard any such reference. The coin design is, as I said in my original post, taken as a direct reproduction from the 1831 wax seal which was used until about 1908, so there's no embarrassment. According to a number of local history sources, more than 90% of the population of the Braes o' Mar / Upper Deeside spoke Gaelic through until the turn of the last century and did so, as in most places, in a local dialect shared in many ways with Strathspey and bits of Perthshire.

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Re: What does this mean?

Unread post by akerbeltz » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:04 pm

akerbelts, what you're interpreting as a "stray apostrophe" is just an extension of the rays from the eye device.
I know a typo when I see one. The apostrophe is not in line with the ray from above. I had considered that and zoomed in to be sure.
I don't know why you're making up the "blessings from mount zion" thing: I've been a Mason for 32 years and have never heard any such reference.
I'm not making anything up. I put 'blessings mount zion' into Google in order to determine if there is some sort of link between blessings, a mountain and the masons. There are over 5 million google hits. Granted, some are just references to churches called Mt Zion but there is an overlap. Perhaps it's not a topic exclusive to the masons since it seems to be a reference to a bible verse. But it seems to be a topic popular with masons, at least in some places, at any rate.
1831 wax seal which was used until about 1908, so there's no embarrassment.
At *some* point someone stinted on getting a good tr*nsl*t**n, be that in 1831 or 1908 :)
in a local dialect shared in many ways with Strathspey and bits of Perthshire.
The phonetic value of mh and bh in this position is the same, it comes out as /v/. There is no dialect issue between sliabh vs sliamh. It is a typo.

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Re: What does this mean?

Unread post by Níall Beag » Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:28 pm

A Mhìcheil, Dwelly's wasn't available in 1831 and spelling was pretty variable. Heck, the 1831 game act of the UK parliament spells "waggon" with two Gs. Is that a typo?

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Re: What does this mean?

Unread post by Seonaidh » Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:03 am

Show how much English I know - I thought "waggon" was a modern, acceptable spelling and, indeed, to be preferred to "wagon".

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Re: What does this mean?

Unread post by Mairead » Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:06 am

According to my dictionary, "waggon" is a British alternative spelling to "wagon" that is falling out of use. http://grammarist.com/spelling/wagon-waggon/
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Re: What does this mean?

Unread post by Níall Beag » Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:56 pm

"waggon" is much more sensible than "wagon", as it follows the sadly little known rule of vowel quality change before single consonants. I only ever remember seeing the single G version, though.

Anyhow, maybe a better example would have been "shewed/shewn" vs "showed/shown", or Tolkien's preferred spelling of "connexion", but I specifically googled 1831 and took what I could get.

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Re: What does this mean?

Unread post by akerbeltz » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:49 pm

A Mhìcheil, Dwelly's wasn't available in 1831
So what? He didn't invent Gaelic spelling. Sliamh always was a mistake. Even in Old Irish it was always sliabh.
and spelling was pretty variable. Heck, the 1831 game act of the UK parliament spells "waggon" with two Gs. Is that a typo?
You're thinking English. Which is beside the point. Granted, Gaelic has some variation but some words are just wrong.

I'm out of this debate. I honestly have better things to do.

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