Liam S. Gogan

The following is an article written by Alf MacLochlainn, former director of the National Library of Ireland, on Pádraig Dineen and his great (1927) dictionary. We are grateful for the author’s kind permission to publish this article and also for the permission of the periodical Studies in which the article was originally published.

Alf MacLochlainn

Pádraig Ó Duinnín worked on the Irish-English Dictionary – first edition – from 1901 to 1904. (In “Ulysses” this one-time Jesuit appears briefly as a background figure in the National Library).

Dinneen (especially in the 1927 “greatly enlarged” edition) took a lead from the recently published Oxford English Dictionary, in supplying literary contexts for the meanings listed under each entry

A thesaurus of the words, phrases and idioms [Roget first appeared some fifty years previously], Dinneen’s work is often more like an encyclopaedia of pre-industrial manners, customs, lore, skills and crafts.

Fifty years ago, when I was a young man on the staff of the National Library of Ireland, I had the pleasure of serving with an energetic library assistant, Pádraig Ó Conchubhair, who had joined the staff as a boy attendant as long ago as 1904, a significant year. In that year another member of the library staff, one of the assistant librarians, John Eglinton, was editor of Dana, an elegant if short-lived journal of independent thought (1). Eglinton, with colleagues including the Librarian, T. W. Lyster, was to be featured by James Joyce, whom he published in Dana, on that fictional Bloomsday in 1904, engaging in a discussion of Hamlet with an argumentative young poet. Lyster was to be dragged away from this discussion, readers of Ulysses will remember, by an attendant reminding him of a reader’s requirements.

The reader was Fr Patrick S. Dinneen (Pádraig Ó Duinnín) (2), formerly a Jesuit, who departed from the Society by mutual agreement in 1900, never to practise his priestly functions again. Born in 1860, Patrick Dinneen became a Jesuit at the age of twenty, left the Society after twenty years of membership and died in 1934. He was gifted, industrious, a formidable controversialist, given to punning and earthy humour, cranky as well, and to be remembered most notably for his Irish dictionary, the first edition of which was published in 1904. Not only the librarian, but junior members of the staff too, had to attend to Fr Dinneen’s needs. Pádraig Ó Conchubhair recalled that one of the duties of boy attendants was to follow Fr Dinneen as he left the reading room, and to pick up the slips which fell from him like leaves from autumn trees, the slips on which were written the entries for the forthcoming dictionary.

The full title-page reads:

Irish Texts Society/ Foclóir Gaedhilge agus Bearla./ An Irish-English dictionary/ being a thesaurus of the words, phrases and idioms/ of the modern Irish language,/ with explanations in English,/ compiled and edited by Rev. Patrick S. Dinneen, MA/ Dublin, MH.Gill The Gaelic League./1904. (3)

Dinneen had assumed the task of compiling and editing the dictionary in 1901, a century ago as I write and an occasion well worthy of centennial celebration. The Irish Texts Society, founded 1898, had accepted that the publication of such a dictionary was a primary objective and the work was first entrusted to An tAth. Peadar Ó Laoghaire, Dáithí Ó Cuimín and, later, Eoin Mac Néill. 12,000 entries had been accumulated, mainly from pre- existing dictionaries, when these gentlemen, due to other commitments, were unable to continue and the work was passed on to Dinneen. In three short years he enlarged this narrow base to the substantial work published in 1904. That consisted of 783 pages, set in double columns, approximately 300,000 words of text giving the meaning in English of about 30,000 headwords in Irish.

The stereos which might have been the medium for re-printing it were destroyed in the fires of central Dublin at Easter, 1916 and with the encouragement of the Irish government after the Treaty of 1921 the preparation of a second edition was put in hand. For this, Fr Dinneen had the assistance of Liam Gogan and others and the use of space in the National Museum, where Gogan worked, where tables were spread for the growing mass of slips which accumulated as the work progressed. Perhaps it was at this period, as he set out from the National Library to the National Museum, across the forecourt of Leinster House, that Fr Dinneen required the attentions of library attendants as recalled by Pádraig Ó Conchubhair.

The title page of the 1927 edition reads:

Foclóír Gaedhilge agus Béarla / an / Irish-English dictionary, being a thesaurus of the words, phrases and idioms / of the modern Irish language./ Compiled and edited /by / Rev. Patrick S. Dinneen, M.A.,/Hon. D.Litt. (Nat. Univ. of Ireland) / New edition, revised and greatly enlarged / Dublin: / Published for the Irish Texts Society / by / The Educational Company of Ireland, Ltd.,/ 89 Talbot Street, Dublin. / 11 Patrick Street, Cork /1927

And indeed it was greatly enlarged, being a volume of over 1300 pages, containing a text of some three quarters of a million words, giving explanations in English (though the title-page this time does not draw this to our attention) of 45,0000(+/-) Irish headwords. This comparison of the numbers of headwords in the 1904 and 1927 editions must be treated with care. In 1904, for example, hyphenated words beginning with the prefix ‘sámh-‘ is a single headword followed by the other hyphenated words running on. Thus nine headwords become one. ‘Meacan’ in 1904, the word for any tap-rooted vegetable, is followed by 21 separate headwords for different vegetables, while in 1927 they are all run on under the one head ‘meacan.’ The list of principal abbreviations in 1904 contains 81 items, 21 of them linguistic terms – adj. for adjective, e.g. – the rest detailing sources, texts, persons or places. The corresponding list in 1927 contains about 250 items.

Dinneen does not specify in his list of sources the Greek and Latin dictionaries he used but we know that the English dictionary he used was the work listed in his 1927 edition as ‘NED. – The New English Dictionary; ed. Murray, etc.’ He refers to it for example in the entry under ‘ciltidh, ‘fermented worts in poteen-making’ (Ros.) [i.e. a word from the Rosses, in Donegal] ; cf kilty, kiltie, the complete draining of a bumper of liquor. See N.E.D. under kilty.’ When we dutifully compare, as advised by that cf, the New English Dictionary entry for ‘kilty’ we learn that it is an obsolete Scots term named for a Scottish laird famous for his drinking powers and that it denotes ‘complete draining of a glass of liquor (indicated by turning it upside down).’ Why or how this could have become a technical term in the vocabulary of illicit distillers in Donegal remains unclear.

The New English Dictionary had perhaps a closer relationship with Dinneen’s Irish-English dictionary than has been noticed. Indeed in 1896 Tomás Ó Flannaíle, one of the early Irish-revival activists has stressed the need for a New Irish Dictionary, using a phrase which recalls the English model. That had its origin in a suggestion made in 1857 by Richard Chenevix Trench, sometime Church of Ireland archbishop of Dublin, that there was need for a new English dictionary on historical principles. It began publication, in sections, in 1884 and by 1901 had reached headwords with initial K. In 1895 a change in the administration of this massive undertaking had caused it to be named the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the title by which it is now universally known. Ultimately to run to thirteen volumes, it contained 15,000 pages, dealing with 400,000 headwords supported by 5,000,000 quotations contributed by 1,000 British and American scholars.

The typical OED entry consists of a list of the variant forms in which the headword has appeared, explanation(s) of its meaning or meanings, separated and numbered if necessary and supported by dated occurrences, and a derivation. The explanations can be discursive. Thus, for example, the third meaning recorded under ‘kitchen’ reads as follows: ‘Food from the kitchen; hence any kind of food (as meat, fish, etc.) eaten with bread or the like, as a relish; by extension, anything eaten with bread, potatoes, porridge, or other staple fare to render it more palatable or more easily eaten. Thus butter or cheese is ‘kitchen’ to bare bread, milk is ‘kitchen’ to porridge. Chiefly Sc. or north Ir. (=Welsh enllyn)’

The entries in Dinneen’s Foclóir are broadly comparable and consist typically of an array of meanings of the headword (only very rarely separated by numbering), illustrative phrases, often including extracts from songs or poems and occasional references to cognates or early Irish forms. We note too a characteristic use of that little word ‘as,’ in OED’s ‘as meat,’ above. Dinneen resorted to it to extract himself from difficult corners in which he found himself as a result of his consistently giving verbs in the first person singular of the present indicative. So the unlikely ‘milsighim I dawn’ requires the qualification ‘(as the day).’ Similarly ‘gabhluighim, … I fork as a road,’ and, making distinctions which might appear unnecessary ‘clithim, I copulate, as swine’ but ‘doirim, I copulate, as cattle.’

Dinneen’s illustrative citations suffer in comparison with the dated quotations which distinguish the OED. In Irish there was no significant printed tradition and therefore few datable occurrences to cite. Dinneen’s quotations from poets are necessarily from editions of their works published long after their floruits and he frequently falls back on the vague ‘early’ or ‘recent’.

The array of associated meanings with which he opens his typical entry can be quite intimidating. Thus ‘sáruighim’ is explained ‘I outdo, outrun, overtake, overcome, surpass, survive, exceed, block, delay, offend, wrong, trespass, invade, harass, subjugate, dispute with, outargue, contravene, transgress, violate, ravish …’

Socruighim’ is explained ‘I level, even, smooth, settle, arrange, establish, adjust, fix, make steady, appoint, come right, grow peaceful…’ The range of meanings which he had, presumably purposefully, represented in these arrays is probably what occasioned Fr Dinneen’s defensive remarks in his preface: ‘Many words, in addition to the basic meaning, have many shades and developments of meaning, in extreme examples a word may finally come to have a meaning which is the exact opposite of its original signification.’ Is this a post facto justification for such anomalous entries as that second of three meanings given for ‘cabhán?’ ‘a hollow, cavity … a valley, a hollow plain; Cavan; a slope, a small hill …’ Or ‘lúbaire,’ meaning both ‘rogue’ and ‘stalwart;’ or ‘seadaire,’ explained both as ‘a champion’ and ‘a dolt.’ Or stagún,’ meaning both a potato cake and a frost-bitten potato.

Such groups of near-synonyms as we have seen under ‘sáruighim’ and ‘socruighim’ suggest that among the pile of reference works at the compiler’s left hand there may have been a copy of the commonest source of such groups - Roget’s Thesaurus, published in countless editions from the middle of the nineteenth century until the present day. In my 1912 edition, for example, I find a list at # 60 which echoes Dinneen’s ‘socruighim’ - ‘arrange, dispose, place, form, put/set/place in order, set out, collocate, pack, marshall, range, size, rank, group, parcel out … ‘ and at #255 ‘smooth, smoothen, plane, file, mow, shave, level… ;’ and at #731 a long list which includes terms closely comparable with Dinneen’s explanation of ‘sáruighim’ - surmount, overcome, defeat, conquer, vanquish, discomfit, overthrow, overpower, outdo, rout, quell, drub, worst.

We note with interest that Dinneen, in its subtitle, described his dictionary as a thesaurus.

A notable feature throughout his work is the logical failure to distinguish woods from trees, to insist on the particular when the general was all that was needed. Thus under ‘maide,’ a stick, we meet the phrase ‘maide fóir,’ and since ‘fóir’ means ‘help’ we would conclude,that a ‘maide fóir’ is any kind of helpful stick or plank, say a walking-stick, perhaps a wedge in certain circumstances. But no, Fr Dinneen must give, as the definitive meaning of ‘maide fóir,’ the description of the particular ‘help-stick’ of which he knew or which he had had reported to him. For he tells us a ‘maide fóir’ is ‘a stick swathed around with a straw rope used by hens as a gangway to reach the roost.’ For ‘tiachóg, ‘ he is not content with the general ‘a bag, satchel or pouch,’ but must add the specifics ‘a bag made of sheepskin, a bag for hens to lay eggs in, a wallet for miscellaneous use according to the season of the year.’

If a special bag for hens to lay eggs in should strike us as a strange object, what are we to make of such surrealist concepts as a gaunt rabbit (‘spiodal’), goats’s honey (‘mil gabhair’) or dead man’s spittle (‘blinn’)? There is an anecdote which might explain some of these more bizarre entries. The distinguished Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins was on the staff of University College, Dublin, while Dinneen was a student and was the victim of practical jokes. He was an informant for Joseph Wright, compiler of the standard English dialect dictionary and students allegedly presented him with fake locutions for communication to Wright, asserting that they had heard them in their native places throughout Ireland. If Dinneen was one of these jokers, he may in poetic justice have later been a victim, for, his biographers tell us, many fake lists were sent to him when he had turned lexicographer. Tantalisingly, they do not identify any such hoax items and they do not assure us that Dinneen identified them all.

The exuberance of the information pouring out forces us to realise that inside Dinneen’s Foclóir there is another book hidden. The information, for example, that eating cabbage affects the way in which your pee works in tucking frieze is certainly above and beyond strict dictionary needs, a gratuitous addition to the simple explanation of what ‘maothachán’ is - ‘maothachán … an emollient liquid for steeping, esp. suds and urine stored for … washing new flannel, tucking frieze, etc. (the consumption of cabbage affected its emollient qualities).’ But this nugget of information would form an interesting part of an entry in some encyclopaedia describing traditional crafts, in this case weaving - and the book hidden inside Fr Dinneen’s great dictionary is just such an encyclopaedia. It is an encyclopaedia of the manners and customs, lore and skills, of the pre-industrial society which survived in Dinneen’s home place (4), Sliabh Luachra, on the bare Cork-Kerry border, and in the other parts of western Ireland where the Irish language was still the vernacular. By cool design or in response to some inner compulsion, Dinneen was loath to miss the opportunity to record the way of life of that Irish-speaking community.

That it was an encyclopaedia of rural life becomes obvious when we see, for example, under ‘seanfach’ not only the meaning of the word - ‘a heifer from three to four years (without calving)’ - but a full classification of cows from ‘laogh,’ a young calf, through ‘gamhain,’ ‘colan’ and so on, complete with distinctions by age and fecundity. Numerous references to potatoes include, under ‘scrios,’ a detailed description of a particular form of tillage: ‘ … prátaí do chur fás., to sow potatoes covering them in the beds with a light coating of soil (the first step in sowing potatoes the third consecutive year, the old furrow is made the middle of the new bed, and the surface of the middle part of the old bed constitutes the scrios for the new bed; this method of tillage is called ath-riastáil, while the tillage of the previous year is called ath-romhar …’

That it was an encyclopaedia of a way of life that was vanishing is equally clear; for example, the listings of various obsolescent, pre-enlightenment, methods of measurement, for length, volume, extent and so forth - ‘dorn,’ as every schoolboy knows, means ‘a fist’ but Fr Dinneen expands - ‘ … a measure of about six inches; sé orlaighe i nd., dhá dh. i dtroigh, six inches in a fist, two fists in a foot … (fist measurement is still in use).’

Fr Dinneen’s Foclóir Gaedhilge agus Béarla is a strange book, in some ways an infuriating book, in others an endearing one. Although Irish is only the second language in our household, the book frequently joins us round the table at mealtimes, to settle an argument, to enlarge our appreciation of a vanished way of life. To young readers, for whom Irish printed in the cló Gaelach , the ‘Gaelic script,’ is ‘old Irish,’ I say it is well worth the few minutes trouble it takes to familiarise yourself with the older spellings and letter-forms, so that you may be able to savour this great work. Indeed, I go further, and say to those who do not know it already, that if for no other reason, then for the enjoyment of this truly desert-island book it is worth learning the Irish language.

Extracts from the dictionary are given below to illustrate the encyclopaedic character of the work, that is, they are examples of entries in which the explanation goes far beyond what is needed to explain the headword. I repeat for emphasis, they are the merest sampling, results of a trial boring and by no means exhaust the mother-lode which is this great book. The abbreviations are as used by Fr Dinneen. Ellipsis … is by the present writer - many of the explanations which demonstrate the encyclopaedic character of the work are parts of long entries, here abstracted. Remarks in square brackets thus [ ] are additions by the present writer.


bolcan a strong drink; spirits made from black oats and used by the poorer classes gargratha bitter … as the taste of certain whiskeys …

reicin ullage; “old man,” the froth of porter collected in some public houses and mixed with fresh liquor.

séibín a little mug: a shebeen which was a measure of varying quantity, 2 to 3 quarts, used at Limerick for grain tolls, it also meant the toll thus taken (See Irish Commons Journal…) whence the word shebeen (sheebeen) and shebeen house … “shebeen properly means weak small beer …” (Note to … “Castle Rackrent”; …)


aillis a cancer … braon aillse a drop observed to fall upon the tombs of certain tyrants, so called from its cankerous corroding of what it falls upon.

aingeal a burnt-out cinder taken from the fire, sometimes given in their hands as a protection to children going out at night, is called aingeal, as it is supposed to represent an angel;

Bealtaineidir dhá theine lae B., in a dilemma, from the practice of driving cattle between two fires with a view to their preservation.

buarach a spancel b. bháis, an unbroken hoop of skin cut with incantations from a corpse across the entire body from shoulder to footsole and wrapped in silk of the colours of the rainbow and used as a spancel to tie the legs of a person to produce certain effects of witchcraft.

caipín … a child’s caul (prized by sailors as a protection from shipwreck).

cingciseach … one born within the Pentecost triduum; such a one is fated to slay or be slain or both; the Pentecost days are dangerous for such.

cinneamhain fate … ill-luck, misfortune, as the loss of cattle, etc. If one buries the carcass of a cow, horse, etc., that died [,?] on his neighbour’s land, the cinneamhain, or ill-luck, goes to the neighbour …

drúchtín …a slug … On May morning the girls discovered the colour of the hair of their future husbands from the shade of colouring of the first drúchtín they found: …

fóidínf. mearaidhe, a little sod on which if one tread he is led away and has to keep walking aimlessly till moonrise unless he turn his coat inside out;

girle guairle [In the 1904 edition, this entry contains a version in 250 words of the tale familiar to English-speaking children as the tale of Rumplestiltskin; in 1927 it is reduced to about 110 words.]

saillní fhaightear saill gan saoradh … oil (or sweat) is not got without labour (two apprentices of Vulcan having failed to supply the Devil with a razor sharp enough to shave him in return for favours received were placed by Vulcan in a tub and ordered to hammer a wedge of cold iron to red heat, this tempered by their perspiration collected in the tub provided the razor required …) .

seacht seven … like 3 and 9 treated as a potent and formal number; 7 crosses were used for consecrating altars … and groups of ecclesiastical ruins are called “seven churches;” 7, as also 4, was a favourite Celtic number in public organisation …

siodh … a fairy hill… arising from cairn or tumulus burial… an sluagh sidhe, the fairy host, the shee, described in folk. as riding on the blast and occasionally carrying off mortals leaving a changeling behind called iairlis or corpán sidhe (a fairy corpse); bean sidhe, a woman of faery, depicted as keening as she combed her hair (usually red) and foreboding death or calamity … ceol sidhe, a fairy music luring the unwary to their doom … associated in the siodh cultus which is of Bronze Age origin are the Tuatha De Danann; three men banished from the mounds for falsehood are represented in Togh[ail] Br[uidhne] Da Derga as red in colour riding red horses and portending death to the King for outraging his geasa;

smut a stump, anything- short … Mart na S., Shrove (“Sulky”) Tuesday; “ Domhnach na S., the first Sunday of Lent (both arising from the discontent of unmatched marriageable girls); related words are: Domhnach na Cogarnaighe, Quinquagesima, “Whispering” Sunday; Domhnach na Diúgaireachta, Quinquagesima, “Tippling” Sunday

sop a wisp or handful (“sop”) of hay … s. i mbéal doruis, a pad of straw at the door (on which tailors and other craftsmen used sit to avoid window-tax) ; s. Sheáin, a May Day fire ( a pagan survival in connection with the protection of cattle) … Sor Sop, Sir Wisp, a personage in the Wren-play, in straw suit, masked and armed with a wooden sword or bladder fastened to a rod, he represents the Englishman and is defeated by an Irish knight similarly armed called Sean Scot …

Tailte … name of an apocryphal chieftainess of the Fir Bolg, dau. of Maghmhór and foster-mother of Lugh from whom Cnoc Tailtean and Aonach Tailtean (the annual August games held in her honour in Lag an Aonaigh) are called: al. the village and district Teltown: here hurling matches, etc., were held up to recent times; marriage contracts were signed at the ancient aonach and locally “a Teltown marriage” is applied to an illicit or unsustained union.

tuathal a turn to the left, north or wrong direction … note: driving a chariot withershins (ansols) round a fort was taken as a sign of hostility, cursing stones (clocha breaca) at Inishmurray, Sligo, are turned to the left to effect a curse, the prayer stations being visited in the direction of the sun (deiseal), drops of water from a backward turning mill-wheel are used to cure whooping-cough in Sweden, the left turn being used to effect riddance in general…

uisce … u. na gcos, water used for the feet (should not be left in the house overnight, esp. on All Souls’ Eve … )


bóinin … a calf … Le gach buin a b., the calf belongs to the cow (the judgement in St. Columcille’s case) [a surreptitiously made copy was deemed to be the property of the owner of the manuscript from which it was copied].

buanna a recruit … a billeted soldier …; one having free quarters in a house, hence, a domineering person, one who assumes authority in a house, even a woman; … (in this “domineering” sense orb. we have evidence of the attitude assumed by the military quartered in the houses of the people, which is in accord with our historical knowledge).

ciartha breid c., a cere-cloth (worn over the eyes by Columcille on his visit to Ireland from Iona).

lios a garth … a fairy fort …an ancient Irish steading (dún) might consist of a walled enclosure (urlann) followed by a circular palisaded earthwork (rath) , the last of which enclosed the lios in which stood the buildings; …

luachair rushes … garments were strewn under the feet of kings, but rushes under those of a lower degree - rushes were similarly used in the houses of nobles in medieval England.

a king … ard-r., a high-king … the Irish ard-r. was also called … r. Teamhrach … he was selected from the royal deirbh-thine of the Úí Néill from the 5th. c.

Scot a Scot, an Irishman … from Lat. Scottus … first applied in 360 A.D. … Claudian says the Scots came from Ireland and returned thither and afterwards settled in Scotland circ. 495 A.D.; the change of mg. in the 12th. c. led to the transfer of Hiberno-German monasteries to Scotch control; (Johannes) Scotus Eriugena (810-877) is either pleonastic or means “the Irish-born Scot”; Scottica was the name of a South Gaulish potter in the Roman period

Teamhair … Tara … note: T. in Meath was for long the seat and symbol of power of the ard-rí … though not always his ordinary residence; a triennial legislative assembly at which the bearing of arms was prohibited was held there lasting for three days before Samhain and three after; the sites of the principal structures are still visible, the Lia Fáil, the central monument, is intact but not in its original position;


fuigheall a remnant … f. baistidhe, the effects of an imperfectly performed baptismal ceremony; it was believed that when the baptism was from any cause defective some calamity or some imperfection of body would overtake the child [1904 edition].

leisce sloth (one of the seven deadly sins); … geoid a shy… person; neoide bochta buidhne Dé, the poor cavillers of God’s people (certain of the Jews).

roideog myrtle, esp. bog-myrtle … an infusion of the tops of its branches is used for tanning and as a yellow dye; it is used locally for palm on Palm Sunday; al. supposed to have been used to scourge Our Lord, and hence it is considered unlucky to strike cattle with.

saileach … osier, sallow; on St. Patrick’s Day, a sally root is charred and crosses are marked on the shoulder.

saileog the sally tree … a little willow… ( … people say it is cursed, it was originally a large tree and from it Our Lord’s Cross was made).

scathlann a shelter … a shed such as was used for Mass in Penal times

scuab … anything brush-like … S. a Fánaid … a plague or destruction to occur on the Last Day to avenge the slaying of John the Baptist.

seamróg a shamrock, trefoil… s. na gceithre gcluas, the four-leaved shamrock (believed to bring luck, related to an early apotropaic sign enclosed in a circle (sun or wheel symbol) the shamrock is used in modern times as a national emblem in Ireland (as in Hanover), perh. from the legend associating it with St. Patrick’s illustration of the Trinity and possibly as a survival of the trignetra, a christianised wheel or sun symbol…

séipéal a chapel, a church (esp. Catholic, from the limitations imposed on Catholics in regard to church building, a similar distinction is observable in Scotland as between Dissenters and Episcopalians; teampall and eaglais are now used of large churches).


1 Dana: a magazine of independent thought. No. 1, May 1904.(Dublin,Hodges,Figgis). I have discussed the role of Dana, Eglinton and his intellectual contemporaries in an essay 'Those young men...The National Library of Ireland and the cultural revolution,' published with André Sheehy-Skeffington's ' A coterie of lively suffragists,' in Writers, raconteurs and notable feminists; two monographs ( Dublin, Cumann Leabharlann Náisiúnta na hÉireann,1993).

2 In An Duinníneach: An tAth. Pádraig Ó Duinnín, a shaol, a shaothar agus an ré nar mhair sé (Baile Átha Cliath, Sáirséal agus Dill,1958) Proinsias Ó Conluain and Donncha Ó Ceilachair have given a definitive account of the life and works of the great lexicographer, with clear pictures, warts and all, both of Fr Dinneen and his numerous works, of which the dictionary, our present subject, is the most durable.

3 The Irish-language material in the Foclóir is set in so-called Gaelic type or 'cló gaelach'. I make no apology for having transliterated into the roman letter all the matter set in 'Gaelic', though 'transliterated' is hardly the word as there are only three or four letters which would not be instantly recognised by a reader of ordinary English. People who lament nowadays the supplanting of the 'Gaelic' by the roman types are people who never or seldom read Irish.

4 The Dinneen home has declined to the status of outhouse, recognisable only by the decorative moulding over the doorway.