Translation, please


War Hero
Enjoying listening to "Ballyshannon" (currently repeated on Radio 7) and although I can get most of the dialect words, I couldn't work out "shook (phon)" in one episode this morning. The context was, "They looked at me as if I'd come out the shook/shuc." That is, they looked down their noses at him. Is it a particular Donegal word ? Is it a midden or rubbish dump ?


War Hero
Thank you for that.

Just found it in a on-line Ulster dictionary. "Sheugh" which they translate as a ditch.


Hi Dubb_al_Ibn

Its a drainage ditch, usually muddy and full of unpleasant sludge and other indescribable effluent, often by a road or laneside, it is rarely clean running water, therefore a hazard if you try to walk home drunk on a dark night! You may not be aware you've just been in the "sheugh" (pronounced "shough") as the alcohol will have numbed your appreciation of your surroundings. Your family or friends will tell you of course, particularly if you walk into the house soon after! Your wife will certainly let you know if you try to get into bed in such a state. It has led to many a good man sleeping it off in the cow-shed.
Any more translations needed - my mother came from Donegal.
On a more serious note such words are actually of Scots origin - brought by the (mainly borderer) Scots settlers of the 17th century - hence the "augh" or "ough" sound, so difficult for an Englishman to pronounce. Combined with Irish or Gaelic this dialect has through the years become almost a language in its own right. It also contains many words contemporaneous with the time of William Shakespeare but now obsolete in other regions of the British Isles. This again is the result of the Elizabethan and Jacobite "Plantations" of Ulster.
Not just a Donegal word. Sheugh is used in Fermanagh and Tyrone as well.

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