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Summer Cows

From An Gaeilgeoir, Samhain 2000

HELP! My office is overrun with SUMMER COWS!!!

We're having quite an invasion of these beasts in Minnesota, probably due to the exceptionally warm autumn weather. People find them all over the house, looking for a warm spot to overwinter. They're on my windows, rooting among my papers, trotting along my computer.

But they're kind of cute and don't do any damage, so I rather like their company. Of course, bó shamhraidh, "cow of summer," translates as "ladybug" in English. Other names for ladybugs (or ladybirds, for the more sophisticated among you) include bóín samhraidh, "little summer cow," and bóín Dé, "little cow of God."

Names for many things in nature are quite different in Irish from the English version, as the list below will confirm. See if you can match the Irish term on the left with the appropriate English equivalent on the right. (Hint: several of these terms can be expressed in more than one way in Irish. If you're looking for help, your Irish-English dictionary will help you more than your English-Irish dictionary.)

beach ghabhair "odd duck" or "queer fish" (person)
cluimreach ghabhair bat
beatha mhara blackthorn
muc mhara deadly nightshade, belladonna
muc shneachta fox
madra crainn lamprey
madra uisce large caterpillar
madra rua mare’s tails (clouds)
péist an dá shúil déag otter
péist chapaill plankton
capaill bhána porpoise
éan corr snowbank
coileach gaoithe squirrel or marten
máthair airne wasp
lus mór na coille weathervane
sciathán leathair whitecaps (on waves)

Answers here . . .