Is maith an t-anlann an t-ocras.

Is maith an t-anlann an t-ocras.

Hunger is a good sauce.

Note: Dies Alliensis — 18 July, 390 B.C. — was a day of infamy for the Roman state. It was the day the Roman Army was routed by a band of pagan Celts at the banks of the river Allia. This defeat led to the subsequent sack of Rome by these “barbarians”. Almost four centuries later, Julius Caesar would take Rome’s revenge on the clans of the continental Celts. Ceasar’s victory over Vercingetorex marked the beginning of the end of “the First Golden Age of the Celts” (p. 21, Alexei Kondratiev, The Apple Branch: A Path to Celtic Ritual,Collins Press, 1998). Meanwhile, Marcus Tullius Cicero may have borrowed this week’s seanfhocal when he wrote, “Optimum condimentum fames.” (Hunger is the best sauce.)

Note also: The definite article ‘an’ prefixes a ‘t’ in the nominative and accusative case before all singular masculine nouns that begin with a vowel. So the words ‘anlann’ and ‘ocras’ which are masculine gender, singular number, require a ‘t’ before them when they are modified by the definite article ‘an.’

How does one know that these words are masculine gender? Endings can give a clue. Nouns ending in ‘…as’ are almost always masculine. In general, nouns ending with broad consonants are usually masculine. However, there are exceptions. For example, unlike the word anlann, most words ending in ‘…lann’ are feminine like amharclann (theatre), bialann (restaurant), dánlann (art gallery), leabharlann (library), and pictiúirlann (cinema). To be certain, therefore, it is a good idea to memorize the noun’s gender when you learn the noun.

Déanann tart tart.

Déanann tart tart.

Thirst makes (for) thirst.

Note: Thirst leads one to drink which often increases one’s desire for yet another drink. This pattern is often continued on the morning after when “cotton mouth” stimulates one’s desire for a ‘drink’ of the softer variety. This vicious cycle is one of nature’s little jokes.

‘Sé leigheas na póite ól arís.

‘Sé leigheas na póite ól arís.

It is the cure of a hangover (to) drink again.

Note: This is a more direct reference to what in Béarla is known as “the hair of the dog that bit you”. To some it may seem incongruous that drink would both cause and cure the condition; but the logic is often more apparent to one who is suffering the effects of “one too many”.

Is maith sú bó, beo nó marbh.

Is maith sú bó, beo nó marbh.

The juice of the cow is good, alive or dead.

Note: With apologies to our vegetarian friends, cows are among those few animals who provide us nourishment both when alive (milk) and when departed (a nice juicy steak). Some things in life are unfailingly good, no matter what the circumstances.

Note also: The pronunciation of the words “bó” and “beo” are different. The only phonetic difference between the two pronunciations is that “bó” is pronounced with a broad “b,” while “beo” is pronounced with a slender “b.” If you listen closely to the speaker, you should hear a short i-sound, like the “i” in the English word “hit,” after the “b” of “beo” that is not spoken after the “b” in “bó.” This short, slight, trailing i-sound is characteristic of slender consonants. Slender consonants are indicated when either the vowel “i” or “e” appears next to a consonant.