10.14.2005

what O' means

I found out in the book Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation that the "O in Irish names is an anglicisation of 'ua', meaning grandson."

So in the name O'Leary, for instance, the "O" isn't a contraction of "of", as if someone is "of" the Leary family. I'm sure a lot of people have assumed that for years.

By the way, even if you've never heard the author, Lynne Truss, speak, you can still tell that she's British due to her spelling of "anglicization".

I'll have more to say about the book, but the Sox game is on and a videotaped Startrek episode is queued up.

2 comments:

Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

10 15 05

Yeah, MJ: Good read. I also understand that the Scottish Mc or Mac is a similar construct. Interesting eh? I love the topics you bring up on your blog because I oft speak of physics or politics; yours is a welcome change.


http://www.medievalscotland.org/scotnames/simplescotgaelicnames12.shtml

mj said...

Thanks for the compliment--I really appreciate it, especially since I've been blogging here for over a year, and I don't exactly have superstar status. ;)

I don't want to discuss politics here because there are plenty of other sites that do that, and I have nothing new to add. Plus, I love language and learning about other cultures--no matter what I've done or where I've been, that's one of the things that has been consistent.