Thursday 22 February 2024

The Gaelic Tree Alphabet

 It's World Gaelic Week, so I thought I'd try and find out more about the Gaelic Tree alphabet. The Gaelic alphabet has only 18 letters (which is probably one of the reasons the spelling of the language can seem so difficult to a non-native speaker). Each letter is paired with a tree. This evolved from the earlier Ogham alphabet, which was used to write the old Irish language. 

The Gaelic Tree Alphabet is:

A for Ailm (Elm) 

B for Beith (Birch)

C for Coll (Hazel) 

D for Dair (Oak)

E for Eadha (Aspen)

F for Fearna (Alder)

G for Gort (Ivy)

H for Huath (Hawthorn)

I for Iogh (Ivy)

L for Luis (Rowan)

M for Muin (Bramble)

N for Nuin (Ash)

O for Onn (Gorse) 

P for Peith Bhog (Downy Birch)

R for Ruis (Elder)

S for Suil (Willow)

T for Teine (Holly) 

U for Ur (Heather)

Though some plants also have other names, for example Froach also means heather.

There is an excellent resource on the trees of the Gaelic Tree alphabet on the An Darach website.

If you're interested in finding out more about the old Ogham alphabet, there seem to be a lot of web resources out there, including this guide on Wikipedia.

1 comment:

Lowcarb team member said...

This was interesting ...thanks.

All the best Jan