Scottish Gaelic alphabet
- a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, l, m, n, o, p, r, s, t, u
The five vowels also appear with grave accents, the absence or presence of which can change the meaning of a word drastically as in bàta (a boat) versus bata (a stick):
- à, è, ì, ò, ù
The acute accent is also used on some vowels:
- á, é, ó
- bh, ch, dh, fh, gh, ll, nn, ph, rr, sh, th
Since the 1980s the acute accent has not been used in Scottish high school examination papers, and many publishers have adopted the Scottish Qualifications Authority's orthographic conventions for their books. The acute accent is still used in most Scottish universities (and several Scottish academics remain vociferously opposed to the SEB's conventions) and by a minority of Scottish publishers, as well as in Canada.
It is also increasingly common to see other Latin letters in loanwords, including v and z, etc.
The alphabet is known as the aibidil in Scottish Gaelic, and formerly the Beith Luis Nuin from the first three letters of the Ogham alphabet: b, l, n.
Traditional names of the letters
The letters were traditionally named after trees and other plants. Some of the names differ from their modern equivalents (e.g. dair > darach, suil > seileach).
|ailm elm||beith white birch||coll hazel||dair oak||eadha aspen||feàrn alder|
|gort ivy||uath hawthorn||iogh yew||luis rowan||muin vine||nuin ash|
|onn furze / oir spindle||peith downy birch||ruis elder||suil willow||teine furze||ura heather|