Hiking Howth and Irish Words

Hannah Vose
March 5, 2014

This past week was Reading Week, and I took advantage of the lack of classes to go to Howth*. Twice. I have been to Howth several times before, but it’s worth revisiting. Even if you just sit around in the park, it’s nice to get some sea air. Plus, Saoirse* Ronan, of How I Live Now, Hanna, Atonement, and The Lovely Bones fame, lives there, so if you’re the type who fancies celebrity spotting, there’s always a possibility.

I went the first time on Monday with one of my flatmates, since the weather was promising to be nice and we wanted to get out and glimpse sky while it was briefly visible. We walked around for a bit, had lunch at a cafe by the DART station and then went home.

On Wednesday, however, I actually had to work for my lunch. A friend and I went out with the intention of hiking the Bog of Frogs loop around the island. She had done it a couple times before. I hadn’t. Long story short, I very quickly figured out that I am in less than tip-top shape, but I managed to miraculously avoid tumbling over any cliffs into the sea and/or slipping and falling in the copious amounts of mud. (Tip: don’t do coastal hikes the day of or after a rain storm, because the path will be ninety percent mud, and you will fear for your dignity and/or life depending on where you are.)

My poor boots, however, did not fare so well. These, the boots that I bought at Penneys here in September, finally gave out: the soles were filled with mud and little rocks and worn-down so heavily that it’s pretty obvious that I have flat feet. I had to throw them out. I’m still in mourning.

Still, all in all, it was worth it. The weather was nice, and although every single muscle in my body hated me afterwards, I definitely plan on doing that hike again.



How to Pronounce Irish Names You’re Going to See A Lot

 On the topic of Irish words/names like Saoirse and Howth, words I — and possibly also you, depending on your personal level of neuroses — initially would rather spell to people than attempt to pronounce (and subsequently butcher).

Girl’s Names

Saoirse — SEER-sha || Aoife — EE-ffa || Siobhan — shi-VAWN

Niamh — NEEV || Sinéad — shi-NAID

Boy’s Names

Eoin — Owen || Cian — KEE-an || Cillian — KILL-ian

Seamus — SHAY-mus || Sean — Shawn

Place Names

Dun Laoghaire — DUN Leery (you might also hear ‘dune LAIR-ah’)

Drogheda — Draw-head-A || Sligo — SLY-go || Donegal — Dun-e-GAUL

Killarney — kill-ARE-nee || Tara — TAH-ra || Howth – HOE-th (like ‘both’)

Baile Atha Cliath — bal-A A CLI-ah (Dublin City, Atha Cliath is Dublin County.)

Eire – air/AIR-a (Ireland) || Eireann – Erin (Irish [adjective form])

Thing Names

Bord Gais – Board Gaw-sh  (Irish gas board [relevant since they promote a lot/have adverts everywhere])

Garda – GUARD-a (usually referred to as ‘the guards’, these are the police)

LUAS — LEW-as (commuter tram)

Craic – Crack (fun)


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Hannah Vose

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hannah Vose is a University of Rochester junior, majoring in English with an interest in literary translation studies. When not burying her nose in whichever book has most recently been plucked from atop the dangerously tall pile on her desk, she can be found obsessively learning new languages, squinting through her (very stylish, thank you!) bifocals at someone else&#39;s writing in her job as a Writing Fellow, drinking stupid amounts of tea, squinting through her bifocals at her own writing in her job as a scathing self-critic, or dreaming of living somewhere which gets even less sun than Rochester. Born in England but having lived most of her life in Endicott, New York, she has traveled back to the Land of Her People twice and visited Dublin once on the way over. She considered applying to Trinity College as an international student, but was deterred by tuition costs (yikes!) so she&#39;s absolutely 100% thrilled to be living in Dublin and taking classes at Trinity for an entire year (and only about 34% of that is because she might get to take a class on Patrick McCabe -- will it happen? Stay tuned!)</span></p>

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