Irish language

Dinnseanchas agus seanfhocal - an Irish place-name and a proverb



Warrenpoint - Rinn Mhic Giolla Rua - MacElroy’s point or peninsula 

Warrenpoint is a comparatively recent name, the town having grown up only in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. 

"The initial element Warren is undoubtedly a surname but there is no evidence to suggest that the founder was connected with the family of Waring or Warren who gave name to Waringstown. 

"Warrenpoint town is mainly in the townland of Ringmackilroy which derives from Ir. Rinn Mhic Giolla Rua (MacElroy’s point or peninsula).

"The parish of Warrenpoint consists of only three townlands and was part of the neighbouring parish of Clonallan until 1825 [Warings’s Point 1744]."

From A Dictionary of Ulster Place-Names by Pat McKay

While Irish-speaking friends of mine would call it Rinn Mhic Giolla Rua others are happy enough to call it simply An Pointe.


Ní chaitheann an chaint an t-éadach.

The talk doesn’t wear the clothes.

I picked up this proverb from the great website where it’s interpreted as “put up or shut up” or you would say it about someone who “talks a good game” ie the kind of person who will give you all the instructions you need but will never lift a finger to help.

In Ireland, we used to call these people “the hurler on the ditch,” individuals who will scream at the television screen and offer sage advice about what tactics his team should be using, despite never having played a game in his life. Or someone who complains about the Irish language but doesn’t know the first thing about its history. I suppose it could also be an early reference to the idea of “mansplaining”!

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Irish language