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Proverb: Little Holes, Big Ships

January 17, 2011

Bàthaidh toll beag long mhòr.  [Bah-hee tole bay-ik low-ung vohr.] A little hole will sink a big ship.

 From: A Little Book of Gaelic Proverbs compliled by W.A. and H.R. Ross

*Bàthaidh will sink 

toll hole

beag little

long ship

*mhòr big.


* Bàth technically means:

  1. va Drown, immerse.
  2. Quench, slake.
  3. Extinguish, smother.
  4. ** rarely faint.
  5. ‡‡ Die, perish. Bhàthadh e, or chaidh a bhàthadh, he was drowned; bhàth i an gealbhan, she extinguished the fire (by pouring water on it); bhàth e a phathadh, he quenched his thirst; bàthamaid gach smalan, let us drown all care.

 From: Dwelly Online Dictionary

-aidh/ -idh is the future tense ending

**Adjectives lenite (add h after the initial letter, which changes the initial sound) after feminine nouns. 

Long/ ship is feminine, so it lenites mhor

Toll/ hole is masculine, so beag/ little does not lenite.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Renea Reay Buchholz permalink
    January 17, 2011 4:57 pm

    🙂 🙂 Tha sin a’ còrdadh rium.

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