Talk:Béal na Bláth

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Since we're not obliged to use "official" names per WP:COMMONNAME it should remain at its current title. Notwithstanding an ongoing letter writing campaign by a certain individual that seems to have found traction on here, "Béal na Blá" gets 1 result on Google Books. A similar search on all of Google returns a dearth of reliable sources, the main use of the term is in lyrics to a song. 2 lines of K303 09:32, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

I've added information regarding the varying versions of the name. It's interesting that the Placenames Commission page itself seems to be in a state of flux regarding this - last time I checked (several months ago), it gave "Béal Átha na Bláiche" as the correct Irish-language version of the name and it didn't mention "Béal na Blá" at all. --Kwekubo (talk)
That makes sense. However notwithstanding one primary source and one man's letter writing campaign, the common name still is Béal na mBláth and that isn't likely to change for some time I don't think. 2 lines of K303 09:57, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
If I recall, "common name" on this article was once "Béal na Bláth". Would the obscurantists please make up their mind? Béal na Blá is correct, and is marginally different in spelling from whatever the promoters of misinformation want. Given this minuscule difference, most people would opt for the correct spelling. (talk) 10:59, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
WP:NOTSOAPBOX. This article isn't the place for campaigners for "correct" names to fight their battle. 2 lines of K303 11:03, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

I would agree it is not a place for soap-boxing or anything of the sort. It is a place for accuracy however. Wiki is about sharing accurate information. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:10, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Accuracy according to who? Whoever recently updated a database and a letter writer? Do they suddenly get to overturn years of how a place is named according to other reliable sources? 2 lines of K303 09:33, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Accuracy according to the people who have actually studied this topic and are using all known evidence to make a call on the correct name. Wikipedia is about accuracy, and according to the Placenames Commission of Ireland, Béal na Blá is the accurate name for this place. Bláth is a misleading corruption of relatively recent vintage. The reputable authority on Irish placenames, in my view, can be trusted much more than the views of people who have not studied this. Roibéard Ó hÚrdaill, in today's Irish Times, for instance, recounts going around the area speaking with natives about how they pronounced the name. His letter in today's Irish Times can be read here. His article studying Béal na Blá is “The Placename Béal na Blá” [Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society 104 (1999)]. If people here believe that "Béal na mBláth" is correct, they should challenge both the Placenames Commission and Ó hÚrdaill in a public forum. Until they do so successfully then most impartial rational observers will accept Béal na Blá as the authoritive name and, with Ó hÚrdaill's evidence, the name the place is known by in the locality. (talk) 12:48, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved. No prejudice against a new RM that discusses the merits of "Béal na Blá" as a title. Jenks24 (talk) 11:15, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Béal na mBláthBéal na Bláth – I sympathise with those who would prefer this article to be at Béal na Blá, but we have to reflect real-world usage of these placenames per WP:IMOS - as One Night In Hackney commented, there is no hard evidence that "the man on the street" uses "Béal na Blá", either in Irish or in English. A little snooping with Google Maps Street View reveals that signs in the locality, both publically and privately owned, spell the placename as "Béal na mBláth" or "Béal na Bláth". Roibeárd Ó hUrdáil's suggestion of "Béal na Blá" makes much more sense as the original name for the locality, but it is clear from his article that it is conjecture (albeit well-thought-out conjecture) and it does not cite hard evidence. I do have a proposition, though, which might work as a compromise: move the article to Béal na Bláth, which is pronounced the same way. On Google Search, I'm getting 121,000 results for "Béal na Bláth", and only 58,500 for "Béal na mBláth". There is a similar 2:1 preference in favour of "Béal na Bláth" on Google Books. --Kwekubo (talk) 13:43, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

For posterity, I'm mildly amused to note that "Béal na mBláth" has been removed from the Placename Commission's website too, within the last 24 hours. Perhaps the letter-writing campaign has become more focussed. --Kwekubo (talk) 18:28, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment I'm inclined to support this proposal. It's the pronunciation I've been familiar with until the novel 'm' that I first came across here. Interested to hear the views of others before iVote. RashersTierney (talk) 20:18, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
    • Anyone know if the Logainm entry is a recent 'correction'? (you may need to click on 'Béal na Blá/​Bealnablath' for full details) RashersTierney (talk) 22:09, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
      • Yes. I had reason to look this up about a year or two ago - this isn't the first time letters have been written to The Irish Times about "Béal na Blá", there was a similar letter in August 2010 (archive copy here). I checked at the time and was surprised to notice that the preferred Irish-language version of the name at the time was "Béal Átha na Bláiche"; there was no mention of Béal na Blá at all. Unfortunately, the Internet Archive doesn't seem to trawl properly so I can't provide a link. --Kwekubo (talk) 22:56, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Neutral. Like Rashers, I seem to recall that it was always "Bláth" when I was young. In my case, however, it always felt like bad Irish, so I was happy when "mBláth" came into vogue. But whatever the consensus is is fine, if anybody ever does actually !vote. Scolaire (talk) 16:53, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. It looks like "Béal na mBláth" is a passing fad. Evidence from Oireachtas debates (I don't list the author for written answers, since it would have been an anonymous civil servant. Interesting that the FF and FG speakers on 1967/04/11 are recorded with different spellings):
Date-record Type of text Spelling in transcript Speaker/questioner
1934/03/01 Speech Beal-na-Bláth Richard Mulcahy
1938/04/29 Speech Bealnablath Eamonn O'Neill
1959/05/14 Speech Beal na mBlath Patrick O'Donnell
1960/05/05 Speech Bealnablath Denis J. O'Sullivan
1961/04/11 Speech Beal na mBláth Tadhg Ó Maonghaile
1962/05/22 Speech Beal na Blath Oliver J Flanagan
1963/05/28 Written question Béal na Bláth Daniel Desmond
1965/05/26 Written question; speech Béal na Bláth Donal Creed; Michael Hilliard
1966/07/07 Written question Beal na Blath Donal Creed
1967/04/11 Speech Beal-na-Blath Patrick O'Donnell
1967/04/11 Speech Béal-na-Bláth Michael Hilliard
1967/04/12 Speech Beal-na-Blath Michael O'Leary
1971/08/05 Speech Beal na Blath Louis Belton
1972/05/25 Speech Beal na Blath Oliver J Flanagan
1982/06/24 Written answer Beal na Blath
1987/10/29 Written answer Beal na Blath
1996/11/13 Speech Beal na Bláth P. J. Sheehan
1997/12/17 Written answer Beal na mBlath
1999/10/20 Speech Beal na Bláth Máirín Quill
2009/11/19 Written answer Beal na mBlath
2009/11/26 Written answer Beal na Blath
2011/01/18 Written answer Beal na Blath
2011/11/08 Written answer Beal-na-mBlath
jnestorius(talk) 16:59, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
If it was used in 1959, 1961, 1997 and 2009 it can hardly be called a "passing fad". Perhaps "minority usage" was what you meant. Scolaire (talk) 13:13, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Béal na Blá is the authoritative spelling. Has anybody a reputable source denying this? Why this article would put an incorrect name, Béal na Bláth/na mBláth as the article name when there is no dispute about the correct name from people educated on the issue is baffling. Is ignorance going to triumph over knowledge in this Wikipedia article title also? (talk) 12:48, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
So please provide a reference for Béal na Blá [as] the authoritative spelling. RashersTierney (talk) 13:08, 22 August 2012 (UTC) See the new Logainm entry (you may need to click on 'Béal na Blá/​Bealnablath' for full details) RashersTierney (talk) 23:26, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Ignorance is not the issue here, but rather the requirement that we follow Wikipedia's policy on article titles. This does not mean that we should ignore the likely original spelling of the placename - indeed, discussion on this would add greatly to the article - but it does mean that the title of the article must be consistent with usage in reliable English-language sources. Selected excerpts follow from Roibeárd Ó hÚrdail's 1999 article which proposed the "Béal na Blá" spelling:
"The name Bealnabla Bridge first appears ... in the relevant Parish Namebook of the Ordnance Survey for 1842... In [the 1901 survey] it is said to be obsolete and is replaced by 'Bealnablath' (mouth of the blossom)... By mid-century, the second constituent of the linked form being considered to be a genitive plural (of the flowers/blossoms), its initial consonant underwent a conscious grammatical eclipsis, it seems, [becoming] the quasi-official Béal na mBláth of the signposts now... Older local informants still insist that the eclipsis is a school-led one imposed since mid-century...
"While Art Ó Maolfabhail does not reject Béal na mBláth out of hand he opts for bláthach ('buttermilk') instead of bláth, or rather its genitive form na bláithche/bláthcha... This disposes of the grammatical difficulty satisfactorily and accords with the traditional local pronunciations to that extent.
"The most striking topographical feature of the area, it has to be said, is the 2 1/2 miles (or so) ravine through which the Bride flows... I take this defile to be the referrent of the first element... the metaphorical Béal' ('mouth', 'opening', 'starting point')... I take the second element of our placename to be blá, as in 'Blá also blaí, blae, fem, a green, lawn, level field, plain'... I suggest that the Blá of our placename is the lower Bride Valley, and that, indeed, it may also include its extension eastwards and on to Cork city."
The logic seems fairly reasonable, and he lists five phonetic pronunciations that he recorded from local inhabitants, suggesting that the "m" is erroneous. See his letter in today's Irish Times for more. But there is no consensus as to whether the true original placename referred to "pasture" or to "buttermilk"; this lack of clarity is acknowledged by the Placenames Commission on their website, who hedge their bets and don't provide a straight translation. "Béal na Bláth" is by far the most commonly observed spelling of the placename at present; as far as I can make out, the "Béal na Blá" version has gone entirely unused in reputable sources until the letters in last week. If the commonly-used name for the location in English publications changes, then this article should reflect that - but not until that time. --Kwekubo (talk) 13:58, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Oppose move as Béal na mBláth is the correct name isn't it ? (talk) 20:03, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Like some of the above I'd always heard it used as "Blá" or "Bláth" with no "m" sound, and the first time I remember seeing the "m" used was on WP. BastunĖġáḍβáś₮ŭŃ! 21:43, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support in light of Logainm update and as a compromise, until 'Béal na Blá' gets common purchase (which may not be for a considerable time). RashersTierney (talk) 18:56, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment: Since this discussion began, I'm seeing more and more use of 'Béal na Blá' in the newspapers. It might not be as long as we thought before it becomes the standard. It might be worth holding off on this page move for a little while. Scolaire (talk) 09:35, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
    • I'd be all in favour of a short wait if it was likely to result a significant and demonstrable shift in usage. However, current spelling in mainstream media is still a mixed bag. How about we go with the current proposal and revisit in a years time? There probably won't be much debate until the next anniversary looms, if then. RashersTierney (talk) 12:01, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.


Apart from the bare entry, is there any evidence that an English version of Béal na Bláth is used at all? "Bealnablath" is only the three words run together (and without the fadas). I think it's misleading having it in the first sentence as it is because a non-Irish speaker would naturally assume that it is pronounced "beal" to rhyme with "meal" and "blath" to rhyme with "path". I've never heard anybody in County Cork or anywhere else call it anything but "Béal na Bláth" (or "mBláth") when speaking English.

Also, the current opening, "Béal na Bláth (Irish: Béal na Blá...)", suggests that "Béal na Bláth" is the English version, which only adds to the confusion. Scolaire (talk) 16:11, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

I note that since Roibeárd Ó hÚrdail's letter on 22 August 2012, The Irish Times in its English language articles is now referring to this place exclusively by the name Béal na Blá, which is of course the authoritative version as established by It also appears in an English language RTÉ report from 2010. (talk) 18:25, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
And other papers too, but that is not the point at the moment. My question is, do we need "also anglicised as Bealnablath"? What is the evidence that anybody uses that anglicisation? Scolaire (talk) 21:03, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

No comment? I'm going to take out the "anglicisation" then. Scolaire (talk) 18:15, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

574 results on Google Books, 20,000-odd on Google in general. It's not as common as the others, but it's in use. And Béal na Bláth is the usual English version, isn't it? Jon C. 08:17, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Precisely my point. "Béal na Bláth" is the usual English version. "Bealnablath" is not therefore an "anglicisation", it's merely the running together of the three words, an alternative way of writing it. Apart from the bare "English: Bealnablath" on, there is no evidence in any of the 574 results on Google Books, or 20,000-odd on Google in general, that it is an "anglicisation". My point about pronunciation stands: an anglicisation would either be written "Baylnablaw" or pronounced so as to rhyme with "meal" and "path". The opening as it is is misleading. Is there any reason not simply to say "Béal na Bláth, alternatively Béal na Blá or Bealnablath..."? Scolaire (talk) 09:05, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
That's fine with me. Jon C. 09:09, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Béal na mBláth again[edit]

I agree with adding "Béal na mBláth" as an alternative name in the first sentence, as it's certainly a well-known alternative. It is also covered by the cited page, which (if you click "More") says, "The linguistic evidence does not support *Béal na (m)Bláth..." As regards the infobox, do we need to fill in the "other_name" field at all? With so many alternatives it seems pointless to pick just one. We have established (I hope) that there is no "English" or "anglicised" name, so I can't see the point of having any alternative in the infobox. Scolaire (talk) 13:25, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

No problem with removing all alternate names from the infobox. 2 lines of K303 13:34, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
Béal na Blá is the correct official name for this place, in fact the sole legal name for it. To remove it from the Infobox is obscurantism and not a little distrust of readers' intelligence and ability to make up their own mind. I doubt any professional historian worthy of the name will refer to it as anything other than Béal na Blá from now on. The evidence supports the spelling Béal na Blá. This article should not try to hide this. (talk) 18:09, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
Calm down! "Béal na Blá" is in the first sentence of the lead. It's not hidden. Readers have every chance to use their intelligence and ability to make up their own mind. Not having it in the infobox is not "obscurantism" or anything else; it's just an agreement among editors not to have it as an "alternative name" in the infobox when in fact there are no fewer than four alternative names. "In fact the sole legal name for it"? Please point me to the relevant legislation. You "doubt any professional historian worthy of the name will refer to it as anything other than Béal na Blá from now on"? You may well be right, but Wikipedia is not a crystal ball, so we'll just have to wait until those worthy professional historians publish their references in reliable sources. --Scolaire (talk) 18:46, 6 September 2012 (UTC)