Irish language

The Bluffer really, really wants to be tidy – but it never works out

A TIDY GARAGE: Okay, dear readers, how many of you have a garage that is as tidy as this one? Or is it like a scene from some post-apocryphal movie? Or maybe you are sensible enough to keep your car in it?
Robert McMillen

Go mbeannaí Dia daoibh agus bhur gcéad milliún fáilte isteach chuig leathanach corraitheach eile den The Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

Are you a very organized person? Are your CDs in ord na haibirte - in alphabetical order?

Can you find your teastas breithe - birth certificate or your logleabhar - logbook or even a bille fóntais - a utility bill at the drop of a hat withough having to hoke through boxes, bags, folders, handbags etc., etc.

The Bluffer, it must be said, does his best - déanann sé a dhicheall -  but after years of being a hoarder, he finds himself moving one pile of rubbish that might be of some use in years to come into another pile of dust-gathering detritus.

The flesh is willing but the mind is weak.

But, God, there is so much stuff in the average household.

The Bluffer has a garage so chocabloc that he wouldn’t be surprised if Japanese soldiers made themselves known and surrendered at some stage.

Tá sé míshlachtmhar - it is untidy is the euphemism he likes to use.

Tá an áit seo ina ciseach - this place is like a bomb site is how others describe it.

Garáiste is a garage and some people – wierdos – use them to keep cars in.

Others keep theirs in pristine condition where everything is in its rightful place so that when the owner needs to put a XXX together or needs to turn the lights on again or to press a pair of trousers they know exactly na huirlisí - tools, na fiúsanna - fuses and the bord iarnála - ironing board are.

Oh, how the Bluffer would love to be like that.

His garage has old televisions, paint with XXX, Playstations 1-3, a badly warped snooker table, an unused punchbag, underappreciated Christmas presents from 1983 and God knows what else.

Bruscar is the word for it all - rubbish.

No wonder finding that missing document or the WD40 is so difficult!

The Bluffer would love to be eagraithe - organised. Inside his head, he is all feng shui, outside he is spaghetti junction.Technology has helped him, though.

Instead of cóipeanna de shean-nuachtáin - copies of old newspapers lying about the house, he has a scanóir - a scanner on his phone which puts everything into a comhad - a file on his computer.


Clothes are still a big problem. However, if the Bluffer buys a new léine - shirt, then he gets rid of an old one. There is no room for nostalgia when keeping a cófra - a wardrobe from overflowing.

Gnáthamh is a routine so before breakfast the clothes are put into the inneall níocháin - the washing machine and before going to work they are put in the triomadóir éadaigh - tumble drier so they are ready when the Bluffer comes home from a day slaving over a hot computer.

Then he tells himself a lie. He says that a very important visitor is coming to visit in half an hour and that spurs him on to do a frantic 15-minute tidy-up before the fictitious visitor arrives.

It’s amazing what you can get done in 900 seconds if you think Angelina Jolie is going to drop by for a cup of tea!

So hear endeth this column, a mixture of Teach Yourself Irish and Good Housekeeping.

Time now for A Spoonful of Sugar and a Mary Poppins-style tidy-up.


ord na haibítre (ord ne habitchre) - in alphabetical order

teastas breithe (chastiss braya) - birth certificate 

logleabhar (luglyore) - logbook

bille fóntais (billa fone-tish) - a utility bill

déanann sé a dhicheall (janan shay a yeehill) -  he does his best 

Tá sé míshlachtmhar (taa shay meelakhtwar) - it is untidy

Tá an áit seo ina ciseach (taa un iytch shaw ina kishakh) - this place is like a bomb site 

garáiste (garaashta) - a garage

na hurlisi (ne hurleeshee) - the tools

na fiúsanna (ne fyusana) - fuses 

bord iarnála (bord eernaala) - an ironing board  

eagraithe - organised

cóipeanna de shean-nuachtáin (cope-ana de han-nooakhtaan) - copies of old newspapers

scanóir (scanore) - a scanner

comhad (cowad) - a file 

léine (laynye) - shirt

cófra (coefra) - a wardrobe 

gnáthamh (grahoo) - a routine

inneall níocháin (inyil neeakhaan) - a washing machine triomadóir éadaigh (chrumadore aydee) - tumble drier

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