Talk:Forth and Bargy dialect

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hi lads. amain is actually a norman word derived from the old norse 'almanna' which means 'of easy use', so im guessing that goin on amain means getting along easily or without any hassle. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Neilowex (talkcontribs) 17:39, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

First entry[edit]

I am a newby. I don't understad the star symbol and its meaning. I think is a good thing. Herodotus21

Comment moved from article[edit]

There are small errors here which a native of south Wexford can correct.
Drazed means 'scuffed'. The drawing of thread from wool was known as 'drazing'. A wound incurred after a fall is known as a 'draze'.
Keek is actually 'geak' or 'geek' - to take a geak at something, meaning to look at it; or geeking in the window. Obvious cognate of 'gawk' and 'gawking'.
Amain may be a rendering of Ammin' meaning 'ambling along'. Rare.
Fash stems from 'farsh'. Compare with the Yiddish for old and confused person 'farshimmeldt'.
--- No no no. Farshimmeldt = far+shimmeldt 'mouldy', schimmel is mould, as it is in Dutch. 23:44, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

The other words mentioned must be extinct.

From Poole's glossary:

Curkite could stem from a old Wexford Norse word for a badly behaved young dog - a 'cur'. Although it is more likely this is simply an variant version of a common expression in Wexford 'crookity' meaning twisted, not straight or square.

Other terms still commonly used:

Houghboy pronounced 'hoe boy' meaning a delinquent.
Rake is very commonly used to imply a large quantity, e.g. a rake of drink, there was a rake a people at the wedding, etc.
Cnat meaning a sly (usually young) person. A devious youth or petty criminal - Cnat is used more in Wexford town suggesting Norse rather Yola heritage. Similarly 'bolsker' (extinct) is almost certainly Norse. The 'Boker' in Wexford town is one of the earlist sites of norse settlement and 'bolsker' is possibly a rendering of someone (a viking settler) from the Boker' but that is pure speculation. A more likely possibility is that 'bolsker' or 'bolskar' is a fogotten placename. For instance, 'Esker' and 'Tuskar' both are place names of coastal areas, the latter for the Tuskar Lighthouse.

User:Jonisrael 15:39, 20 December 2006

As a native of south Wexford, (and a hebrew speaker), I would like to point out that in my experienece of the Carne, Kilmore and Hook areas (which encompass the Baronies of Forth and Bargy) several of the words in Diarmuid O'Murithe's list are completely unknown to me. But let's not trip over my inductive reasoning.

In the case of Jacob Poole, the collector of allegedly Yola phrases, it must be emphasised that he was not a lexicographer - despite his enthusiasm - nor was he a comparative philologist. Consequently, the relative 'ages' of the lexical items he recorded are close to conjecture.

Secondly, no one has ever verified the accuracy of Poole's rendering of Yola. Less than a handful of Yola documents exist and most of these are from the 18th century raising the possibility that the originals (if they ever existed) were massaged into something quasi-intelligible in the English of the time. One plausible explanation for the absence of written materials (one must note that the Templars founded a large abbey in the area - so an awareness of learning was extant) is that after the 'second wave' of Norman invaders came, Dublin became the center of commerce and trade, leaving the settlements of the first wave to flounder. It is likely that the merchants decamped leaving farmers and fishermen behind. The destruction of the Templars further diminished the status of the area and gradually it became a relatively insular community. At the time of the first consolidation of Forth and Bargy, the Jews in Norther France were being persecuted and sought refuge in either the papal statres or areas away from direct French Court influence. A search through patronomyics of many of the surnames in south Wexford using French genealogy resources, shows that many are not French names - or certainly not French Christian surnames. It is plausible that a proportion of the original settlers were French Jews, who wrote in the Hebrew alphabet and spoke Judeo-French (Zarphatic). Once those with writing skills left, only oral traces would have remained. I will return to the linguistic evidence later.

Yola - Scots common words[edit]

A couple of words listed here as Yola are, from my personal experience, also common in Scots [see Scots Language], specifically in Fife where I lived but I'm sure more widely, namely neape = turnip (spelt neep, as in the popular dish "tatties an' neeps") and fash = confusion (in the sense of mental confusion or worry, as in the frequent exortation "Dinnae fash yesel."). I'm not sure what this implies but someone more expert may be able to make something of it. (talk) 12:32, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

I don't know about "fash", but in the case of "neape/neep" it's a case of an archaic word that has died out in the standard language being preserved in dialects. —Angr If you've written a quality article... 18:26, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Another word which I used to often hear my aunt from Wexford Town use was "fornenst": "It's out there fornenst you" meaning "It's out there in front of you". I remember a man I know from Belfast saying he had heard it there and claimed it was Scots but owing to the relative conservatism of some features of Hiberno-English, such features are probably just survivals from Middle English. My aunt would always say "lacen" for "laces" and "ashen" for "ashes", clearly on the same pattern as ox-oxen, child-children in English. An Muimhneach Machnamhach (talk) 17:11, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
I've often heard lacen (also as a verb) and ashen too but I couldn't find them in my sources. User:geraldkelly 9 April 2008 —Preceding comment was added at 21:59, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Questions on sources[edit]

I’m moving this to the Discussion Page in order to deal more satisfactorily with the issues of sources. I have queried the sources used for some recent changes. I deal with these below. If sources cannot be provided for these additions I suggest they be removed.

On sources in general, I have confined myself to quoting from ó Muirithe and Dolan (1996) because they conducted a scholarly and professional survey of all the source material and included in their book what they thought was worth including. Leaving out much what they considered unreliable - which includes much of Barnes's material.


I have checked Poole’s Glossary as published in ó Muirithe and Dolan (1996). I can find no mention for the following words: weisforth, londe, daie, yersel, vriend

Please provide a source for these words.


The reference to “Poole 1867” means, I presume, the book written by William Barnes in 1867 and entitled Glossary of the Dialect of Forth and Bargy, which reprints Poole’s Glossary. On page 133 (which is a quote from a speech given to the British Association by the Very Reverend C W Russell, DD, President of St Patrick’s College Maynooth) there is a discussion of pronouns and a general comparison with modern English. However, I cannot find any reference to the information, specifically the forms of cases for personal pronouns, as laid out in the table.

This book can be downloaded from Google Books. Geraldkelly (talk) 09:57, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Re: Pronouns

If you take the care to read through all of the sources, including the Yola Zong and read the translation, all of the pronouns become obvious. I don't really feel like citing every single pronoun (there are multiple spellings) in every single story but I suggest you look through the book before deleting them again. Αεκος (talk) 20:48, 5 June 2009 (UTC)


The reference to page 133 of this book is incorrect. Please re-read what I wrote above under Pronouns (where I went to the trouble of finding the correct reference). To be included in the article information must be from a reputable source. If this is some original research by yourself then please provide us with access to this. Amateur speculation about Yola grammar isn't particularly useful and gives the misleading impression that this subject has been thoroughly researched which to my knowledge it hasn't.

As with the other list of words which I also dealt with previously, you have put these back in the article and you have still not provided sources.

One of the problems with this subject is that there has been very little research and so there are very few sources of information. In fact as regards Yola grammar I would go so far as to say that there are no reliable sources of information. The article should reflect this lack of information rather than including stuff which is just guessed at.

Geraldkelly (talk) 13:55, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

"stuff which is just guessed at"

Guessed at? It's all in the primary sources in the glossary. Do we need to cite the page of every single pronoun usage, then also cite the page of the English translation? Go to the Google Books page, type "wough," page 79. Typing "thou," "mee," "thee," etc. will turn up similar results. Yes, there are variant spellings, and if I've missed them you're welcome to look in the glossary and add them. But there are hardly guesses, they're all in the glossary somewhere. Αεκος (talk) 03:26, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

This is my last word on this subject because if you don't listen to me this time there isn't any point saying it again. The source you give for all of your contributions to this article is "Poole's Glossary". However, none of it is in "Poole's Glossary". I've already explained this at the very beginning under the heading Pronouns.

For everything you put in this article you must be able to put your finger on the spot and say "this comes from here" or "this claim is justified by this evidence". So far you haven't done that.

As an aside, Barnes, Russell, etc. are not primary sources. As far as I know Barnes never even came to Ireland. But that is irrelevant for now. Geraldkelly (talk) 10:44, 9 June 2009 (UTC)


I'm unsure why genetics (as a marker of prehistoric/historic population movements) is considered by other contributors to be on little relevance to language transmission and development in the pre-industrial world. There is strong evidence that, prior to the 19th century transportation revolution, arable farming populations were very static. There is little evidence that any significant numbers of english speaking peasants moved to Ireland during historic times due to the logistic difficulties. Arable farmers can only move during the seasonal window between late Autumn after harvest time to early Spring before planting! It is highly likely that most of the "peasant" farming population in Ireland are descended from the original neolithic farmer seettlers. These tended to move in small bands and the genetic evidence of Brtain and Ireland suggests that they intermarried with females from the hunter-gather bands they encountered. Linguistic studies show that language usage among the base farming population tends to change very slowly - many examples can be cited from Central America, Latin America and South Asia where the language of a conquering Aristocracy (e.g. the Spanish) has had only limited lingusitic impact on the native populations until the rise of the modern state apparatus and mass education in the 20th century. Obviously, the attribution of Yola as the language of the neolithic farming population of eastern Ireland is controversial given that the origin of English as the language of neolithic farmers in England has not been widely accepted yet despite its possible inference from one of the earliest written descriptions of Britain (i.e. Julius Caesar) but is quite plausible and supportable from Gaelic Literature e.g, the Book of Invasions.

Genetics has no relationship to language because they're transmitted differently. Children learn the language of their peers (generally, slightly older children in their peer group), which is not necessarily the language of their biological ancestors. To take an extreme example, a modern-day Native American, African American, Asian American and White American may all be native speakers of the same language, but share little or nothing genetically (beyond what all human beings share, of course). And more specifically to this article: this article is about a language, not a people. Whatever genetic evidence there may be about the speakers of Yola, it isn't relevant to an article about the language, though it might be relevant to the article Irish people (assuming that the view expressed is widely held enough not to fall foul of WP:FRINGE). —Angr (talk) 19:03, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Many thanks for your reply. I should have added previously that the article (exclusive of my own limited contribution) is very informative. My own view is that Yola is a very important relict neolithic language which may demonstrate the resilence of language to change in the pre-modern world (just as Gaelic proved very resilient to change in many parts of Ireland until the 20th century CE). The language transmission process you describe is quite valid and actually supports my proposition - its application to the spreading of a common dominant language among different ethnic groups is really only relevant with the introduction of mass education from the 19th century onwards. Aristocratic invaders throughout history until the 19th Century usually took little trouble with trying to change the language of those they conquered - in fact they were usually very anxious to distinguish themselves from the conquered (i.e. the Spanish in Latin America, the British in India). Since you introduced the article by outling the commonly accepted history of Yola, I thought that readers might be interested in recent developments - I'm happy to move this to a separate section if you wish. By the way I am Irish amd find it quite interesting to find a possible historic example of a Gaelic speaking aristocracy dominating a significant English speaking population for 2000 years! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:36, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, but you can put it out of your head that anyone has been speaking any form of English in Ireland for 2000 years. Quite apart from the fact that there isn't a scrap of evidence to support such a claim, Yola is far too similar to contemporary Middle English to have been separated from it for that long. 2000 years ago it wouldn't have been possible to distinguish the ancestor of English from the ancestors of the other West Germanic languages, and if one West Germanic dialect had been transplanted to Ireland at that point, it would have developed quite differently from its cousins back in Germany and would not have been mutually intelligible with the contemporary language of England, which Yola clearly was. It is by no stretch of the imagination a "relict neolithic language". Keep in mind Renfrew and Oppenheimer are not linguists: they may be a respected archaeologist and geneticist respectively, but they're both well known for making rather ignorant claims about historical linguistics. As for Harper, he's simply a crackpot whose book cannot be considered a reliable source for anything. —Angr (talk) 20:17, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

There is considerable evidence in Irish history to the presence of other tribal groups contemporary with the Gaels/Milesians from the earliest written sources. For instance the Irish annals refer to the tribes of "aithechthúatha" whom the Romans may also have being referring to under the title "Attacotti" whom they distinguished from the "Scotti" (usually interpreted as the Gaels). The proposition that Yola is related to middle-English is also quite questionable. The current accepted English Language paradigm itself takes quite a few leaps of logic based on almost negligible evidence (in fact it ignores some of the earliest written evidence!) and is almost completely contra to known historic paterns of population migration and language adoption. Though Harper may be a "crackpot" he does point out many of the deficiences of the current paradigm - he has a least challenged the defenders of the current English (and indeed other Indo-European) language paradigms to produce more evidence to substantiate their assumptions. I feel that it is tantamount to censorship to delete an alternaive historic interpretation of the available evidence and that can point to the work of other historians of relevant fields. Though Harper may be putting forth quite a different interpretation of the available genetic, linguistic and achaeological evidence he is hardly in the Eric VanDanikan / Zacharia Sitchin league of "historians" - no aliens or supertechnology involved! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:14, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

The point is there is no evidence the "Attacotti"/"Aithechthúatha" or any other people present in Ireland 2000 years ago were speakers of a Germanic language. Yola's close relation to Middle English can be well established on the linguistic evidence (not to mention common sense - you only have to read the example text given in this article to see that it's even more closely related to English than Scots is). You simply cannot use archaeological or genetic evidence to make claims about language adoption - they have absolutely nothing to do with each other. If the linguistic evidence doesn't jibe with the archaeological and genetic evidence, that doesn't mean the linguistic evidence is wrong, or has been misinterpreted. It means someone is comparing apples and oranges. Even if the genetic and archaeological evidence proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the ancestors of the Yola speakers had been in Ireland for 2000 years, that doesn't mean the language was. All the linguistic evidence is against it; there is no linguistic evidence at all to support it. The linguistic evidence is that Yola derives from the English that arrived in Ireland in the 12th century, and if that runs contrary to "known historic patterns of population migration and language adoption", then that means the theories of population migration and its effect on language adoption are wrong. You can't contort the data to fit a preconceived hypothesis; that's just bad science. And crying "censorship" whenever mainstream publications like Wikipedia ignore pseudoscientific claims like this one is one of the hallmarks of crackpottery. —Angr (talk) 21:44, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Many thanks for your reply. Unfortunaely I disagree that the historical evidence is so clearcut. I think that the invocation of "censorship" is fair where no room is left open for disenting but reasoned views - after all, all great truths begin as heresies! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:39, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

I quote: "it evolved separately among the English (known as the Old English) who followed the Norman barons Strongbow and Robert Fitzstephen to eastern Ireland in 1169." Sorry, the Normans spoke French, and even the English (who have never been known as 'the Old English' didn't speak modern English - Yoda (lol, oh tut tut, I can't spell now) can hardly have evolved from it. The Irish in the east spoke English in the 19th century - that's not exactly surprising. This garbage wasn't written on April 1st was it? The quoted statement, like most of this piece is, to put it kindly Wikipedia b-s. Johnpretty010 (talk) 00:41, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

You have misunderstood this passage, which to be fair is a little ambiguous.
". . . the Normans spoke French . . . ." Yes, but their ethnically English vassels, serfs or whatever spoke (Middle) English amongst themselves (and doubtless many of the Norman overlords were in practice already becoming bilingual in order to deal with them, regardless of what they spoke to their peers - Anglo-Norman ceased to be vernacular only a couple or so centuries later).
". . . the English . . . have never been known as 'the Old English' . . ." This article implies (and the linked article explains) that this is how the descendants of these particular English-speaking immigrants to Wexford came (from the 16th century on) to be described by their immediate Irish- and Hiberno-Irish-speaking neighbors, not that the English Peoples of the 12th century were as a whole contemporaneously called 'the Old English'.
". . . the English [of the 12th century] . . . didn't speak modern English . . . ." Of course not, and the article clearly states that Yola descended from the Middle English of the 12th century, in near isolation from the latter's evolution in Great Britain into Modern English, hence their differences.
"The Irish in the east spoke English in the 19th century . . . ." The article makes it plain that Yola was far more more archaic than the later-introduced and evolved Hiberno-English spoken in Ireland in the 19th century, which was influenced by continued direct exchange with, and of, contemporary Modern English speakers in Great Britain, so Yola could not have been derived from Hiberno-/Modern English.
The article refers to several sources which argue the proposition to which you object. They may be factually wrong ('reliability' in the Wikipedia sense does not imply correctness): I think not, you do, but neither of our unsupported opinions are reliable sources. To oppose the article's proposition one would need to find other reliable, published sources that do so and add their arguments, with citations, to the article. If such sources exist, this certainly ought to be done. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 15:39, 21 December 2011 (UTC)


This article needs IPA to be used in it to demonstrate pronunciations. The current spellings are clumsy and could be pronounced vastly different depending on the readers own dialect. If I can find the source documents, I will put the proper phonetic spellings in. DonConquistador (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 17:10, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

Since the language was never recorded before it died out, it isn't known exactly how it was pronounced, so it won't be possible to add IPA. Angr (talk) 21:01, 17 July 2012 (UTC)


I've removed the term "Anglic" twice now, as it doesn't appear in the cited sources I've been able to check. It's certainly absent from the two books by Hickey I cited in my additions. The term appears to be pretty obscure and may be confusing to readers. Additionally, the Hickey books call this a "dialect" or "variety", but never a "language". Finally, I think the List of dialects of the English language article is a better and more intuitive target than English languages; if anything the two articles should be merged.--Cúchullain t/c 14:43, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

Additionally, I'm wondering if "Forth and Bargy dialect" or "Forth and Bargy" would be a better title for this article. This is what's used in both books by Hickey and by Dolan, and it returns 28,600 Google hits. "Yola" is harder to tease out, but Yola English returns only 14,800, most of which appear not relevant; "Yola language" returns 73, mostly Wikipedia knockoffs, and "Yola dialect" returns only 75. It seems names using "Forth and Bargy" are more common in the sources.--Cúchullain t/c 14:54, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
I don't know if the articles should be merged or not, but as long as they're separate, we should retain links to both. "Yola" is the ISO name, not that we need to follow ISO. "English", "Anglian", and "Anglic" are all names for the node; any would be acceptable. — kwami (talk) 02:20, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
How is this? I'd originally written "English language or dialect", with the link going to English languages, but after more reading I didn't see any sources that called it a "language", and none use the term "Anglic", so I figured list of dialects of English is a better link. As for Yola, I'll do a bit more research. It looks like it's well established (obviously) but "Forth and Bargy" may be more common.--Cúchullain t/c 12:45, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
"Language or dialect" would be fine, though "variety" is often used where the distinction is not clear. It's a separate language per ISO, but I don't know how widespread that POV is. — kwami (talk) 15:23, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was moved. --BDD (talk) 16:34, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

Yola languageForth and Bargy dialect – While "Yola" is in use, it appears the proposed form is more common in the sources on the topic. Diarmaid Ó Muirithe's work is titled The Dialect of Forth and Bargy Co. Wexford, Ireland, and the dialect is listed as "Forth and Bargy" in Raymond Hickey's Dublin English and A Source Book for Irish English. It's the same in The Cambridge History of the English Language,[1] Poole's Glossary,[2] and other sources.[3][4] According to Kwamikagami, the ISO name is "Yola", and this turns up in some sources, but it seems to be less common. Additionally, all of the sources I could check use the term "dialect" rather than "language". Cúchullain t/c 17:33, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Southern Ireland?[edit]

There is much use of the term "Southern Ireland" no doubt by an English write who wishes to distinguish that part of Ireland from the British possession of Northern Ireland. However, to anyone else in the world who is not British the term "Southern Ireland" would probably mean the extreme south of the island of Ireland rather than the Republic of Ireland. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:49, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

It seems to be used here only once, and it is indeed reference to the southernmost parts of Ireland rather than the Republic.--Cúchullain t/c 12:08, 23 July 2013 (UTC)