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Tá gaoth dobhair ina ait galánta.

Go deimhin! Palmiro | Talk 15:03, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

The terms 'shy', 'bammy' and 'big wow' (used in a sarcastic, pejorative sense) are all in common use in the Glasgow area. Given the many connections between this part of Donegal and the west of Scotland could this not be an indication as to their origins?


Since Gweedore no longer has any official status, is it worth reducing the usage of it on this page and doing a rename & redirect? ☸ Moilleadóir 04:09, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Moilleadóir's point 100% so I'm going to change it to Gaoth Dobhair and if someone can find proof that it's still known as Gweedore (even in the English language). The fact that this is an english site doesn't matter, as the name 'Gweedore' actually doesn't exist. But should be mentioned anyway to avoid confusion with the old name.

--Colman Huge 19:29, 23 October 2007 (UTC)Colman Huge October 2007 (UTC)

"Cut and Paste" moves are not permitted, if you want to move a page then see WP:MOVE. Djegan 19:51, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
In any case it does not matter if the given name has official status or not. We do not move things around based simply on what sovereign governments and parliaments say. Nor is this the press office of Minister O'Cuiv. Rather we use the most common English name. See also WP:IMOS. Djegan 20:35, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
Italians talk about 'Roma' and 'Napoli', which are the official names of the cities. But this is en.wikipedia, so we should continue to name places 'Rome', 'Naples' and 'Gweedore'.Cooke (talk) 10:55, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
The fact is, the Irish Government (who govern the country) have given status to the name GAOTH DOBHAIR, therefore Gweedore is completely fictional, and for the sake of the quality of this website, GAOTH DOBHAIR should be the articles' name, it's that simple!--Theosony (talk) 17:05, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
Please see Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(Ireland-related_articles) for policy on this. The article is Gweedore, I'm afraid, whether the place is called that or not.Chris (talk) 17:36, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
You'll find the Irish version is used a lot more than the English.--Theosony (talk) 10:27, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
The point that Brichcja made is completely redundant. If placenames in India are renamed based on official government policy (i.e. Calcutta is located at Kolkata) then why not Irish placenames? After all, Calcutta is the common name used throughout English-speaking countries. In Ireland it is the same. Whether you agree or not, the fact is that Gaoth Dobhair is the name used by the national media (possibly with some exceptions), the government, on new OS maps, and soon to be on all maps. I will agree to Irish Gaeltacht placenames being located at their English language common versions if Indian placenames are located at their English language common versions. Otherwise it is just hypocritical. --MacTire02 (talk) 10:14, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
The difference, Mr Wolf, is that India isn't infested with the pathetic Wiki Anglophiles that Ireland is; the Indian editors are far more numerous and unlike here are not totally outnumbered by Anglo-American editors. This has zilch to do with policy and everything to do with politics and POV. There is absolutely no point in arguing this case btw; THEY know it just as well as we do and they'll vote you down every time. (They call that "consensus" btw - their wee joke I suspect :) Sarah777 (talk) 00:15, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
I have taken the initiative and moved it to its correct name; if we need to adjust the Irish MOS to reflect practice in relation to India that so be it. Sarah777 (talk) 00:21, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

(unindent) Since the subject is still under discussion here, I have moved the article back again to Gweedore until there is a consensus on a move. If a consensus does emerge to moved the article to the Irish name, Gaoth Dobhair, County Donegal seems like overkill -- are there any other Gaoth Dobhairs around?

In reaching a consensus, it seems to me that there are some good arguments on both sides, but not a lot evidence so far. It would also help considerably if editors refrained from attaching derogatory labels to those holding a different view, and I hope that on mature reflection some of the comments above may be removed their authors. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 22:00, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Gaoth Dobhair, County Donegal is perfectly acceptable - I can cite dozens of precedents. Please move the article back at once and stop abusing Admin powers by indulging in edit warring. I regard your move as an abuse of your administrative powers. On mature reflection perhaps you might realise that your intervention follows a pattern which relentlessly supports Anglo-POV. Sarah777 (talk) 23:34, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
Sarah, I have not taken a view either way on the substantive merits of the move, just reverted a move made while the issue was still under discussion. If you have a contribution to make on that issue, then go ahead and make it and try to reach a consensus. I'm disappointed that you have followed up your earlier attack on other editors with a personal attack on me, and will raise the issue elsewhere. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 23:47, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
PS. Reverting a move does not require admin powers, abusive or otherwise. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 00:23, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
In this case, I support moving the article to it's official name with a redirect from it's former name. (BTW, I see this as a similar argument to the use of "Republic of Ireland" VS the official name of "Ireland" for the state.) --HighKing (talk) 00:24, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
This discussion is a repeat of Talk:Dingle#Move_.28again.29 . WP:NCCN would appear too apply here. The Ireland example isn't apt here asIreland is the common and legal name of the while Gweedore is the common but not legal name Gnevin (talk) 00:26, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Is there a difference between the "official name" and a legal name? What *is* the legal name in that case? If there is none, then what status does an "official name" have? --HighKing (talk) 00:35, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Legal name is defined by law, Official name is a de facto name, officially used some body but not defined by law. And wiki doesn't about care for either Gnevin (talk) 00:39, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
What about Official Languages Act (Ireland)? Seems like the "legal name" was changed very definitely. And wiki, being software, doesn't care about anything at all I'd say...:-) --HighKing (talk) 00:47, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Common usage?[edit]

How is common usage measured on wikipedia? I personally don't agree with just using a google search to see how many hits match either version (as was used in the Gort 'a Choirce article). I tried using this method before and google has a tendency to throw up the same website a number of times. I've provided a list below of some common usage for Gaoth Dobhair. Again though, I'd just like to point out before anyone has a go at me that I have no problem with the article being located at Gweedore, as long as there is consistency within wikipedia. That means if Irish Gaeltacht placenames are to be located at their English language counterparts, then Indian placenames should be located at their English counterparts - i.e. Kolkata at Calcutta, Mumbai at Bombay etc. Someone somewhere mentioned about the location of these places being located in a non English speaking country - I don't see the relevance as Gweedore is located in an Irish-speaking area of a country whose first official language is Irish, and where that state expressly forbids the use of English names on Gaeltacht places after the enactment of the official languages acts. Anyway, here's the list:

I could go on. So, somebody please define common usage, and define as to whether or not it has geographic and political boundaries. --MacTire02 (talk) 08:44, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Statistics on common usage[edit]

It seems to me to be a mistake to look for only one particular usage, or to pick out any number of individual instances where one form or the other is used. What's needed is some sort of systematic comparison, to try to find out what is "the most commonly used English version of the name of the subject" (which is the test set in Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English)).

So I tried using google to do a general search (with all the caveats McTire02 rightly suggests), but also to search some specific sites for "Gaoth Dobhair" and to replicate the search in each case for "Gweedore". Here's what I came up with:

Site Gweedore Gaoth Dobhair Gaoth Dobhair
as % of
Google (international) 106,000 23,100 22
Google (Ireland only) 44,000 8,200 19
Oireachtas 839 235 28 146 84 58
Irish Independent 100 20 20
Irish Times 67 15 22
RTE 965 74 8 162 80 49 3,130 204 7 100 0 0 100 3 9

I am not going to try drawing conclusions from this, and do not intend to take a view either way on this proposed move. I'm just offering some evidence which may help editors in reaching a consensus, but there are a few points to note:

  1. I chose a variety of sites to offer a selection of official, journalistic and user-driven sites. Other editors may want to repeat the comparison on other websites.
  2. a number of the search hits in each case picked up uses of "Gaoth Dobhair" in Irish-language text, and those hits are not relevant when deciding common usage in English. I made no attempt to count the total of such false positives, but from a look at the first page of results in each case it seems that for every site the number of hits for "Gaoth Dobhair" overstates the English-language use to some extent. This is definitely the case with the Oireachtas, where 8 of the first 20 hits for "Gaoh Dobhair" come in a passage of Irish-language text and for RTE (6 of the first 20 hits are in Irish-language text) as well for (6 of the first 20 hits are in Irish-language text).
  3. MacTire02's instance of a use of "Gaoth Dobhair" on should be noted as one of a small number of uses of "Gaoth Dobhair" when Gweedore predominates by more than 10:1 on that site (albeit on a small sample).

Hope this helps. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 19:05, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

PS I have just been reading Wikipedia:Naming conventions (geographic names), which may be a more specific and appropriate guideline than Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English).
WP:NCGN suggests trying google scholar and google books. So I did:
Site Gweedore Gaoth Dobhair Gaoth Dobhair
as % of
Google scholar 227 49 22
Google books 855 223 26

Note that even though this time I used the language setting to exclude Irish-languages results, the hits for "Gaoth Dobhair" include a number of hits which are in Irish-language text. So once again the instance of "Gaoth Dobhair" is overestimated in these figures. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 19:52, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

There's also another problem with using any google search for the common name. Since the official language acts the town has been known in official circles, in the media, etc. as Gaoth Dobhair. However, these same sources will more than likely have used Gweedore prior to the enactment of the acts. i.e. time is another consideration. What may have been common usage a few years ago in print and online may not be common usage now. We must also bear in mind that names of hotels, businesses etc. cannot be considered for inclusion for common usage (all the businesses there could change their name to Black Hole Inc. or some such but that wouldn't mean the name of the town was changed) as, although the name of the town may have changed, businesses have registered names, domains, documentation and continuity issues to think about too. So, based on this, again I ask what defines common usage? Bearing in mind that the same search used just above on Calcutta/Kolkata revealed the following:
Site Calcutta Kolkata Kolkata
as % of
Google scholar 223,000 35,400 6.3%
Google books 36,018 2,047 17.6%

In simple terms, common usage on google scholar and books means we must adhere to english common usage when using Irish placenames, but Indian when using Irish placenames, despite established common English usage in both cases. Again, it seems hypocritical - the Gaoth Dobhair is used far more in terms of percentage against Gweedore compared with Calcutta vs. Kolkata. As the issue does seem contentious, I just wish to reiterate that I have a completely neutral viewpoint on this. What I do have a problem with is hypocrisy - I feel either we use official names in all cases even where there is a pre-existing English name, or we use English names only. If we accept the former, then Irish Gaeltacht placenames in wikipedia must be moved to their Irish language version, thereby allowing us to keep Calcutta at Kolkata, Bombay at Mumbai etc. If we accept the latter, then Irish Gaeltacht placenames remain at their English language location, but Indian placenames MUST be moved to their pre-existing common English language use. --MacTire02 (talk) 23:33, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

It doesn't seem to be the case that the media has switched to the Irish name: look at the figures for RTE. is another interesting example, because AFAIK the ads there expire after the house is sold, so of all the sites it seems to me the results on are those which reflect the most current usage, rather than the usage a few years ago. I'm not saying that auctioneers usage should predominate, but the claim that the media etc have switched over to Gaoth Dobhair doesn't seem to be to be proven by the evidence so far.
As to Calcutta vs. Kolkata, the place to raise that is Talk:Kolkata. You may first want to compare searches on Google India for Kolkata and Calcutta. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 00:22, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm still concerned about the google hits for rte etc. I have looked at the link for the rte hits on Gweedore and the vast majority of them seem to be either advertisements by an external body (in this case many from or archived articles from before the enactment of the official placenames act. Remember that while that act was brought in in 2003, the sections relating to Gaeltacht places only took hold from the second quarter of 2004. In the first 2 pages (20 hits) 5 were from independent operators advertising on rte, and therefore not reflective of RTE's own usage, 7 were from prior to 2nd quarter 2004, 4 were since that period, and 4 were repetition (2 articles mentioned twice each). If we remove repetition and independent advertising we are left with 64% of hits prior to enforecement of legislation, 36% after legislation. This suggests a general decline within RTE for the use of Gweedore. The same method used for Gaoth Dobhair showed 4 Irish language hits, 5 Turas Teanga hits and 11 hits after 2004. If we remove the Irish language and the Turas Teanga (language course so likelyhood of bias is high) hits we are left with 100% of hits for Gaoth Dobhair since 2004. This to me suggests a decline in RTE usage. I still understand the wish to keep the article at its current location, but its the reasoning behind it I don't get. If the same logic used in naming Irish Gaeltacht places were applied to Indian places then we would have Calcutta and not Kolkata. I do not wish to get involved with the naming of places in India but it does seem to me that naming conventions on wikipedia should be based exclusively on a linguistic basis (Ireland), and not on a geopolitical basis (India). --MacTire02 (talk) 08:51, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
MacTire02, it's a great idea to try to break down the usage like that to try to identify trends, but I'm not persuaded by the way you have done it. Well done excluding the duplicates, but why exclude the advertising? The test here is to track "common usage" rather than "official usage", and it seems to me that advertisements have a perfectly legitimate place in assessing common usage. There's a case for saying that they may even be a better indicator of common usage, because a rational advertiser (motivated solely by commercial benefit) will use whatever name is most familiar to its target audience, whereas RTE as a state broadcaster may well adopt a policy of using the official name regardless of popular usage.
If you want to make a case for changing the basis on which articles are named, that's a discussion which belongs on the talk page(s) of the relevant guideline(s), not here. Your suggestion of following a linguistic basis for naming would create some oddities such as München, Firenze, Hellás, Moskva and Yerushaláyim … so it would be a controversial idea. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 16:30, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

What we have to accept here is that different languages have different names for the same place; in this case, Gweedore in English and Gaith Dobhair in Gaelic, and by that logic the article should be at Gweedore in the English WP and Gaoth Dobhair in the Gaelic. (Wait! Read the rest first!!) What has happened with the Indian placenames (Kolkata, Mumbai etc) is that their English names in common usage have changed (from Calcutta and Bombay), and that's why their pages are at the new versions and not the old. Everybody used to call the capital of China Peking, but nobody does nowadays; its English name in common usage changed, and the article is at Beijing. So, if the everyday common name (in English usage) for the place in question here should become Gaoth Dobhair, then that's where the article should be; otherwise it should stay at Gweedore until it does. Now, I know that RTE uses Gaoth Dobhair; they have to, because they're forced to politically. Looking at the links at the bottom of the article, it seems that local people use Gaoth Dobahir in the Gaelic versions, and Gweedore in the English - check out [1], [2] and [3]. Chris (talk) 09:10, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

(outdent)The problem with statistics is that I get different numbers that those reported in the table (although broadly the same, but different nonetheless). So we're trying to use a tool in a way that it wasn't designed for. And is common usage the *only* policy that we must give precendence to? --HighKing (talk) 09:27, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

You see I happen to agree that on an English language encyclopaedia the articles concerned should be at their English language namesake. What I'm puzzled about is the definition of common usage. How do we *know* that Kolkata is common usage? Where are the statistics obtained from? Did somebody do a person to person survey, scan every single piece of print related to the location? Did they take time into consideration - i.e. when were the pieces written, when was the research undertaken to establish common usage? Is common usage confined locally (continent, country, county, district) or linguistically on an international level (established pre-existing English name)? Who defines common usage? Are there political considerations to be taken into account? What about cultural considerations (Anglophile vs. Gaelophile)? Is common usage based on literary or colloquial usage? Chris pointed out some links above, but I also pointed out links further above to the contrary when it comes to local usage. Again, I'd like to point out that I've no standpoint on this - I'm just trying to find out why we have such discrepancies when it comes to placenames. It seems to me that when there is a sizeable group with certain political and linguistic motivations placename articles on wikipedia can be moved to reflect their viewpoint, but when another similar but much smaller group based on the same political and linguistic motivations is outnumbered by an external group then they have to suffer. --MacTire02 (talk) 10:00, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree with all you've said - you've elaborated on my dislike of editors "proving" common usage by using Google. Fact is though, there's nothing else available... But the "time" element is certainly relevant and important, but more so, especially when it comes to placenames, a lot of weight must be given to the official name and local usage. --HighKing (talk) 12:47, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Folks, as I said above I am not arguing for either outcome: my only concern here is that the decision on whether or not to move is based on the the best evidence we can get. MacTire02's list in the previous section seemed to me to be deeply flawed, because it was just a short list of instances where "Gaoth Dobhair" was used in English, without any attempt at a systematic sample or at comparison.
The Google figures will vary slightly depending on whether the search is specified to apply only to English-language pages, and of course Google's database is constantly being updated, so the results will shift over time as pages are changed or new ones are added to the database. But if the results don't significantly affect the outcome, that's not an issue.
It does seem to me to be more persuasive to look again at whether more recent usage shows a different pattern to earlier usage, and Google isn't good at picking that up, because Google web search ignores any metadata on the publication date of an article.
However, Google News does allow searches by publication date, so I tried a search of 2008 news articles. The results were 39 hits for "Gaoth Dobhair" and 1,140 hits for "Gweedore". So even in 2008 news reports, "Gaoth Dobhair" is used only 3.4% as often as "Gweedore", or 1/30th of the frequency at which it would be merely "as common" rather than "more common".
Interestingly, the figures for 2007 are closer: 94 hits for "Gaoth Dobhair", versus about 200 for "Gweedore". If we accepted those figures as reliable, they show a trend away from the use of "Gaoth Dobhair", but the huge disparity in sample size between 2007 and 2008 make me wonder how reliable they are.
There may be all sorts of glitches in the Google News results, and part of it will depend on what publications are included in Google News searches, so I certainly wouldn't stand over those Google News results as being anything more than a very crude indicator of usage. But so far, out of all different sets of the data presented we have a) nothing which shows "Gaoth Dobhair" even matching "Gweedore" in usage, let alone exceeding it; b) nothing which shows a trend to increasing use of of "Gaoth Dobhair", apart from MacTire's analysis RTE results. (I'll add a commenmt on that above, because it seems to me to be partly based on a flawed exclusion).
It may be that using some websites date-range searches will produce different answers. The Irish Times, for example, has an advanced search which allows use of a date range, and that may be worth trying. And I certainly wouldn't rule out the possibility that the balance of usage may change over the years head: Dingle's official renaming as An Daingean has not caught on, but the British-imposed names for other towns have mercifully disappeared -- Maryborough, Philipstown and Kingstown have completely disappeared from popular usage, although nearly 90 years after its official renaming as "Ráth Luirc" Charleville still finds the old name getting about an equal score in popular English-language usage.
Finally, please can we all accept that the issue at stake here is not what anyone (whether wikipedia editors or the Irish government) thinks that the place should be named, but what name is commonly used in English. If we stuck rigidly to official names, we'd get a lot bizarre results, such as an article named Patrick Bartholomew Ahern. And "local usage", which HighKing suggests prioritising, is problematic too. Wikipedia's readership is not drawn only from Ireland, let alone only from the Donegal Gaeltacht; it's an international English-language readership. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 16:10, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
No no no! I think i was misunderstood about the advertising thing. What I was analysing was RTÉ's own usage. The advertising is not RTÉ's own guideline (whatever that may be). Outside analysing RTE usage, then advertising is of course very appropriate. --MacTire02 (talk) 19:22, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Sorry I misunderstood your intent. But I'm not sure that I understand why you wanted to single out RTÉ's own usage, other than as an indication of semi-official usage. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 19:49, 17 February 2009 (UTC)


There appears to be a photo gallery, which, as far as I know, there shouldn't be. --Heggy 22:47, 31 October 2007 (UTC)


"Due to the fact that Gweedore is in the Gaeltacht and partly due to the provisions of the Official Languages Act 2003, the English version of the placenames are rarely used, as it is a stark reminder of British rule in Ireland." - this wording is vague and POV. Firstly, the English version of placenames are often if not predominantly used in conversation. Sometimes they are omitted from road signage, and sometimes they have been graffiti'ed out of road signage, but it is inaccurate to say the names are "rarely" used. I feel the "as it is a stark reminder of British rule in Ireland" is obviously POV and impossible to verify. I will change this wording on Sunday May 11th - suggestions and amendments welcome. SeamusSweeney (talk) 14:11, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Please see the 'Names' section above and share your view there. I think that Gaoth Dobhair should be the title of this article. You are missing the point of this being an encyclopedia and not a place for people to look up places whichever way feels comfortable. it should be both educational and factual, the name 'Gweedore' is the opposite.--Theosony (talk) 17:06, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

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