Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Word A Day

This week's theme: toponyms coined after places in Ireland.

shillelagh also shillalah (shuh-LAY-lee, shuh-LAY-luh) noun

A cudgel, traditionally made of blackthorn or oak.

[After Shillelagh, a village in County Wicklow, Ireland, famous for its oaks.]

-Anu Garg (words at

"Ultimately, Ballymore is Finnegan's dramatic shillelagh that prods us to wonder how we'll feel about our own hometowns years hence when they become cold and empty."

Peter Rusland; Reel Nice Effort by Merc Crew; News Leader and Pictorial
(Duncan, Canada); Jun 2, 2007.
First of all.... what the hell is a cudgel? Sigh. Hold on... I'll go look up 'cudgel'.
Pronunciation: \ˈkə-jəl\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English kuggel, from Old English cycgel; perhaps akin to Middle High German kugele ball
Date: before 12th century
: a short heavy club

Thank goodness for "a short heavy club!" I'm still not sure what a shillalah is... isn't it a musical instrument?


Sue J said...

Shilleleh = cudgel = bludgeon = blunt instrument for use in battering people. :-))
I like the word a day idea. I love words. I might find a few interesting ones myself. Colloquial terms are very interesting and usually colourful.

Sandy said...

I cudgeled some stubborn weeds today...I don't think that works...oops..