Irish language

The Marie Kondo of the Gaelic world rearranges his garage

CATHAIR GHRÍOBHÁIN: No matter how many times the Bluffer visits IKEA at Holywood Exchange, he always gets lost in the labyrinthine world of Idinäs, Stodja and Songesand - whatever they mean!
Robert McMillen

FÁILTE ROMHAIBH isteach, welcome to all you do-it-yourselfers and to the clueless too, it’s another self-assembly Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

The Bluffer was at IKEA at the weekend and leis an fhírinne a dhéanamh - to tell the truth, the Bluffer quite likes making his way through the cathair ghríobháin - the maze of amazing stuff you need to clutter or declutter your home.

He is innately one of these people who likes to be eagraithe - organised and at times, he’s like Marie Kondo on steroids as he moves truflais - junk from one place to another – without any noticeable improvements!

Cuir sin sa bhosca bruscair - put that in the rubbish bin you can tell your children/spouse as you try to get to grips with the mountains of stuff that are coming between you and your Feng Shui.

The list of offending items could be infinitesimal but for some irrational reason, a little voice in your head tells you that you will watch an seanfhiseán VHS sin - that old VHS video or that your George Foreman grill will come handy one of these days and that bell-bottoms will definitely be back in style this year.

You will feel a tug-of-love as you decide whether or not you should keep your caiséid - cassettes in the age of streaming and if that old poster of Barry Manilow still gives you the shivers. 

Some things you will definitely keep of course, seanghrianghráfanna - old photographs, cuimhneacháin - souvenirs of holidays from Bundoran to Bangkok and of course, all your important documents like teastais breithe - birth certificates, arrachas tí - house insurance etc but where do you keep them?

Stóráil - storage is a bit problem because we all have ginormous amounts of stuff in our homes, from fáiscíní gruaige - hairclips to cianrialóirí - remote controls, boscaí uirlisí - tool boxes and the Bluffer has a cathaoir luascáin - a rocking chair, an unused pool table, gloiní - glasses of all shapes and sizes, coinnlí - candles, fans, food mixers, Christmas decorations, a filing cabinet and a cornucopia of other “we’ll need it sometime in the future” essential non-essentials in his.

So, it was a trip to the Holywood Exchange at the weekend, a custom similar to the trek of the wildebeest through Africa as they go in search of grass, but in the case of IKEA, it’s lánúnacha meán-aicmeacha - middle-class couples who migrate in search of a nice nest of tables or a Nordic sofa.

For the Bluffer, part of the fun of IKEA is unsuccessfully trying to work out the etymology of the Swedish names for things as he wouldn’t know his Sundvik from his Sköldblad.

In the end, he bought a Kallax (no, seriously) which is “stylish and simple storage shelving” turning his garage into a scene from The Killing.

Ord na haibitre - alphabetical order is important to the Bluffer as he dumps the detritus lying about the house into his Nordic niche so that, if they ever do become needed they can be easily found.

The Bluffer sees this as common sense while a cruel world accuses him of having OCD.

Whatcha think?


leis an fhírinne a dhéanamh (lesh un eerinye a yanoo) - to tell the truth

cathair ghríobháin (caher yreeawaan) - the maze 

eagraithe (ugreeha) - organised

truflais (truflash) - junk 

cuir sin sa bhosca bruscair (ker shin sa wucsa brusker) - put that in the rubbish bin

an seanfhiseán VHS sin (un shaneeshaan VHS shin) - that old VHS video

caiséid (casaydge) - cassettes 

seanghrianghráfanna (sheanyreeangraafana) - old photographs

cuimhneacháin (kivnyakhaan) - souvenirs

teastais breithe (chastish brayha) - birth certificates

arrachas tí (arakhiss tee) - house insurance

stóráil (storaal) - storage

fáiscíní gruaige (faashkeenee grooige) - hairclips

cianrialóirí (kanereealoree) - remote controls

boscaí uirlisí (buksee erleeshee) - tool boxes 

cathaoir luascáin (caheer looascaan) - a rocking chair

gloiní (glinyee) - glasses

coinnlí (cunlee) - candles

lánúnacha meán-aicmeacha (laanoonaha maan-acmakha) - middle-class couples

ord na haibitre (ord ne habeetchre) - alphabetical order 

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