Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. See Irish Gaelic.
  • n. See Scottish Gaelic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Either of the Gaelic languages of Ireland or Scotland
  • adj. Connected with Ireland or the Highlands of Scotland, or to the Goidelic languages spoken in those places.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A name sometimes given to that dialect of the Celtic which is spoken in the Highlands of Scotland; -- called, by the Highlanders, Gaelic.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to the Celtic race in the Highlands of Scotland, or to their language.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of or belonging to the Celts of Ireland and Scotland or their language: as, the Erse tongue.
  • n. The language of the Gaels or Celts in the Highlands of Scotland, as being of Irish origin. The Highlanders themselves call it Gaelic.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of several related languages of the Celts in Ireland and Scotland

Etymologies

Middle English Ersch, Erisch, Irish, from Old English Iras, the Irish; see Irish.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Early Scots form of Irish. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The name, as now written, is unseemly, but it is not so bad in the original Erse, which is Mouach, signifying the Sows 'Island.

    Life of Johnson

  • The name, as now written, is unseemly, but is not so bad in the original Erse, which is MOUACH, signifying the Sows 'Island.

    The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson, LL.D.

  • In the end, the only Celtic language to survive in the Scoticised kingdom of Alba – as Caledonia was renamed – was the Irish branch: Gaelic, or 'Erse' as it came to be called for a time much later, the language of the Scots of Dalriada.

    'The Invention of Scotland: History and Myth'

  • The name, as now written, is unseemly, but is not so bad in the original Erse, which is MOUACH, signifying the Sows’ Island.

    Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides

  • He spoke a loose mixture of Erse, Danish and Welsh, very well able to make himself understood in these parts.

    His Disposition

  • From a geographical and historical point of view, this subfamily can be divided into two branches: the continental branch, which has disappeared by now, and the insular branch, which can further be broken down as follows: Brythonic (including Breton), Cornish and Welsh on the one hand, and Gaelic on the other, which includes Irish, Erse and Mannish (the dialect of the Isle of Man).

    The Celtic Languages: the Richness of the Isles

  • I don't know any Erse speakers, so don't know what that means, but it is a melody to gaze out at the sea to and dream of dark eyes looking into your own...

    Going like a bush fire...

  • Only recently for public consumption has the IRA's intrinsic sinister ethos of a one nation, one culture (Gaelic), one language (Erse), one religion (extreme right wing Roman Catholicism) been deliberately played down.

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with...

  • - NJ. com: Jersey Writers var vs_blog_indexpage = "NJ. com: Jersey Writers"; var vs_blog_pagetype = "Individual"; var vs_blog_category = ""; var vs_blog_title = "Erse Verse from Before St. Patrick ..."

    Erse Verse from Before St. Patrick ...

  • The Catholic religion had been compulsory in South Ireland from 1944 until 1980, and the Erse language, although that was largely corrupted by unavoidable English words and locutions, had also been made obligatory.

    The Shape of Things to Come

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