An Irishman's Diary on the 50 Irish words for wind
Translated from the original Gaelic (and other sources)
Storm Ophelia passing Porthcawl in Wales. Photograph: Rebecca Naden/Reuters
1. The wind that shakes the barley.
2. The wind that shakes everything else, but leaves Teresa Mannion heroically upright.
3. Wind that’s misspelt so often on social media, the mutant version starts trending on Irish Twitter #Opheila (sic)
4. Wind that would go through you.
5. Rumour-carrying wind.
6. Wind that was put up you by that unexpected knock on the door just now.
7. A sudden gust of that makes sh**e of the umbrella you spent a tenner on only five minutes ago in Dunnes Stores.
8. The lung-emptying outburst that accompanies the expletives uttered on such occasions.
10. Not-the-day-for-thatching wind.
11. “A dirty tempestuous night that will knock a shake out of us even if we’re in the very bed”. (Myles na gCopaleen, An Béal Bocht)
12. The wind you walked home three sheets to last night.
13. The good-natured wind that’s always at your back in Irish proverbs.
14. The actual, spiteful wind, that was against you when you were cycling into work this morning, and has now as usual turned around to face you on the way home.
15. “There’s a great roaring the west, and it’s worse it’ll be getting when the tide’s turned.” (Synge)
16. “[...] dashes of the very brine were bursting over the window glass although ten miles of road separated the house from the sea shore.” (An Béal Bocht, again.)
17. “Hash” weather (Carlow-style).
18. Wind that forces smoke to retreat back down your chimney.
19. Wind blowing from the Hill 16 end.
20. A swirling wind that’s probably not helping either team.
21. Wind that you might as well try to catch in 1960s folk songs.
22. Mild internal wind caused by drinking beer from bottles.
23. More serious wind, arising from a “feed of pints”
24. The effects of “draught” beer (see above).
25. Poetic wind that rhymes with “kind”.
26. Wind trapped in a bag and magically transformed into music by Paddy Moloney’s elbow.
27. “When the black herds of the rain were grazing in the gap of the pure cold wind” kind of wind (Clarke).
28. The Wind Among The Reeds (Yeats)
29. The wind among the other kind of reeds (National Symphony Orchestra, brass and woodwind sections)
30. Cold Blow and the Rainy Night (Planxty)
31 - 42. The Sir Francis Beaufort wind collection (limited edition, numbered 1-12)
43. “They say pigs can see the wind and that it is red. In the very old times the Irish believed that there were twelve different winds with twelve colours.” (PW Joyce, English as We Speak It in Ireland)
44. “A person’s colour,” [Old Mathers] answered slowly, “is the colour of the wind prevailing at his birth.” (Flann O’Brien, The Third Policeman)
45. “What could be more exquisite than a countryside swept lightly by cool rain reddened by the south-west breeze?” (ibid)
46. “Four Sheets to the Wind In Copenhagen” (the expected micro-climate facing many Irish football fans next month, as predicted by Tom Waits).
47. Gael-force wind, sent by nature to inflict the Celts of northwestern Europe alone.
48. “[...] the young folk are setting their faces towards Siberia in the hope of better weather and relief from the cold and tempest which is natural to them” (An Béal Bocht, yet again).
49: The Clones Cyclone.
50. “There were heated exchanges in the Dáil yesterday”.