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Gaelic Terms
I've been asked by an Irish person if the following are correct. Can anyone help?
chess fidchell
pawn ceatharnach
knight ridir
bishop easbuig
rook caisteal
queen banrighinn
king righ
I can't give a complete answer, but the following may help:

- my dictionary (first published in the 19th century, so maybe not too reliable) gives taileasg as the translation of chess (if anyone still has a t-shirt from the 1995 Lewis Chess Festival, you'll see it shows the inscription "Fir-Taileisg Leodhais", i.e. "Lewis Chess Men"); careful, though - the Gaelic-English section of the dictionary translates Taileasg as "backgammon" (I think the literal meaning is "board game"). At any rate, Fidchell does not look Gaelic, and there's nothing remotely like it in the dictionary.

- ceatharnach is certainly plausible as a word for a pawn: it could be a development of ceathairneach, defined as "a sturdy fellow; a freebooter, a robber, a hero".

- ridire is a knight in the non-chess sense, so that or a shortened form ridir would seem likely for the chess term.

- the remaining four terms I would guess are spot-on. Banrighinn will, of course, be familiar to anyone who passes through Glasgow Queen Street Station; and Easbuig is at the heart of the name Gillespie.
"Easbuig is at the heart of the name Gillespie"

Don't know about Eaisbuig but definitely Kronenburg.
Ignoring Robins guff for the moment.

Just contacted an Irish friend of mine and he gave me the following

ficheall (chess)
rí (King)
banríon (Queen)
caiseal (Rook)
ridire (Knight)
easpag (Bishop)
ceithearnach (Pawn)
sáinniú (Check)

I can't verify the authenticity other than he speaks Irish Gaelic and plays chess

Wiki confirms ficheall <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m -->
"How sad to see, what used to be, a model of decorum and tranquility become like any other sport, a battleground for rival ideologies to slug it out with glee"
You appear to be able to look up Gaelic translations here

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Strangely, pawn is given as 'ceithearnach' when related to chess, but there is an alternative translation of fichillin which I guess has the same derivation as chess itself (ficheall)
Well spotted Matt

Although it doesn't pick up J'adoube : As dell boy would say: I don't know how that's pronounced in French
Alex Gillies Wrote:Well spotted Matt

Although it doesn't pick up J'adoube : As dell boy would say: I don't know how that's pronounced in French

Wasn't it Bill Hartston who described j'adoube as being a contraction of the anglo saxon expression.
" Shut up I never touched it" ??
"Taileasg" was used to mean chess when the junior training squad was given a Gaelic name in around 1995. The full title of the squad included something about young lions and the unpronounceability meant that it never really caught on.

I suspect that Scots and Irish Gaelic may differ on this?
"Heather's clever book" - as plugged by the Rampant Chess team.
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Ignoring Andys guff for the moment, very funny Robin Smile
Googled and found:

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chess K Q R N B P
Gaelic tàileasg, fidhcheall rìgh banrìgh caisteal ridire easpaig pàn, ceatharnach

Pasted below some details from further down page. fidhcheall translates as "wood-intelligence" ! They don't say where they got all this - maybe from browsing a Finnish-Gaelic dictionary.

6 The Irish rí is the ordinary word for 'king' and is also the word for 'king' in chess. It is a cognate of the Latin rēx and the same root is found in Hindu and Bengali raja. banríon, like the Finnish kuningatar, is the current word for 'queen' and also for the 'queen' in chess. The Irish word for rook caiseal is an early (5-6 century) borrowing from Latin castellum. The Irish ceithearnach 'pawn' is the word for the traditional Irish foot-soldier. sáinniú (= +, 'check') is the verbal noun (cf -ing) of the verb sáinnigh 'to corner, trap, put in a fix, and in chess, to check'.

The close relationship between Irish and Gaelic is obvious, except for tàileasg 'chess' (also refers to draughts and backgammon, probably from English tables) and pàn (from English pawn). Caisteal is a borrowing from Latin and is the usual word for 'castle'. The other terms are of the same origin as the Irish ones. Fidhcheall, rìgh, banrìgh and ceatharnach are native Celtic words in Gaelic.

In the case of Welsh, brenin and brehines are the usual words for 'king' and 'queen'. Castell and esgob are borrowings from Latin castellum and episcopus. The word for chess gwyddbwyll is an exact cognate of the Irish ficheall meaning literally "wood-intelligence" in both languages. The word for knight marchog is the ordinary word for rider or knight, cf Breton marc'heg. The word for pawn gwerinwr ordinarily means countryman or rustic in Welsh. Brenin, brenhines, gwyddbwyll, marchog and gwerinwr are native Celtic words in Welsh.

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