Irish language

Like Jim Carrey, you can become a superhero by wearing a mask

MASKERADE: The messaging is all over the place and some people will disregard the rules but the bottom line is that people should wear masks on public transport and in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not possible
Robert McMillen

HELLO THERE and welcome to the masked ball that is the Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

Well, things seem to be getting back to normal on the old Coronavirus front. 

Le seachtain anuas - for the past week, ní bhfuair duine ar bith bás den víreas - no-one has died of the virus in the north, buíochas le Dia - thank God.

However, it seems that society is now split into two diametrically opposed groups, the “I don’t give a fiddler’s” head-the-balls and the “vee have vays of making you ver a mask” anally-retentive types.

The Bluffer likes to straddle both groups.

Caithim masc - is I wear a mask and you could be ar an bhus - on the bus or sa siopa - in the shop or all the time you are outside.

The latest guidance is that face coverings have been compulsory since last Friday (10 July.)  

This means if you are using a bus, train or ar bhád farantóireachta - on a ferry “you are required by law to wear a face covering” and even when you are in the  station.  

This rule does not apply to people with relevant medical conditions or children under 13.

Caithim masc an t-am ar fad nuair atá mé amuigh - I always wear a mask when I am outside is something you will not often hear someone say from what the Bluffer can see.

There is certainly a bigger uptake than there was but mask-wearers are definitely in a minority.

In some ways, it’s understandable. It can get quite hot under a mask and Is dream geabach sinn mar Éireannaigh - we Irish are a chatty bunch and covering the mouth seems a bit stand-offish.

As the Financial Times has pointed out, wearing masks is for an chosmhuintir - the plebs. Trump, Johnson, even a big supporter of wearing them, Keir Starmer, has been seen with one. 

Maybe, and we have seen it already, masks become a ráiteas faisin - a fashion statement, then more people, and especially the young, will be more inclined to wear them.

Will it be long before O’Neill’s are making Antrim, Tyrone and Kerry masks?

Ní maith liom masc a chaitheamh - I don’t like wearing a mask is all fine and dandy but your own and other people’s safety is paramount, mucker, so put one on. 

It doesn’t have to be a masc mainliachta - a surgical mask which usually contain an análaitheoir - a respirator.

For the general public, the term being used is “a face covering” which are usually made out of cloth and cover the nose and mouth and can be secured to the head with ties or straps. They may be manufactured or you can make your own at home.

Needless to say, the mask is only one way to help keep the Coronavirus at bay.

Nigh do lámha - wash your hands more often than you would normally do, social distancing is still in force although some people seem to think it has ended and try to stay aware of one-way systems in shops and elsewhere.

Everyone wants to get out of the situation we are in so it’s best to follow the rules without being uptight about it.


Le seachtain anuas (le shakhtin anooiss) - for the past week

ní bhfuair duine ar bith bás den víreas (nee woor dinya er beeh baas den veeriss) - no-one has died of the virus

buíochas le Dia (bweeakhiss le jeea) - thank God

caithim masc (kyhim masc) - I wear a mask

ar an bhus (er un wuss) - on the bus

sa siopa (sa shuppa) - in the shop

ar bhád farantóireachta (ar waad farantorakhta) - on a ferry

caithim masc an t-am ar fad nuair atá mé taobh amuigh (kyhim masc un tam er fad noor ataa may teev amwee) - I always wear a mask when I am outside 

Is dream geabach sinn mar Éireannaigh (iss dream gyabakh shin mar ayrenee) - we Irish are a chatty bunch

an chosmhuintir (un khoswuntcher) - the plebs

ráiteas faisin (rytchiss fashin) - a fashion statement

Ní maith liom masc a chaitheamh (nee myh lum masc a khyhoo) - I don’t like wearing a mask 

masc mainliachta (masc mnleeakhta) - a surgical mask

análaitheoir (analeehore) - a respirator

nigh do lámha (nee daw laowa) - wash your hands

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