Village Gets Harlot Back

I previously wrote about the efforts in Ireland to roll back the Anglicanization (yes, I did choose that word deliberately) of Irish (“as Gaeilge”) place names. Here’s the latest, from the Irish Independent of 14 April 2007.

The story goes:

“A small village is set to win its battle to have its harlot restored to the community and be officially recognised by the State….

Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Eamon Ó Cuiv has approved a request made to him by Limerick County Council to change the Irish name of An Dún (Doon) to Dún Bleisce.

The people of Doon overwhelmingly came together to have the word ‘bleisce’ – meaning harlot as Gaeilge – restored to Doon or ‘Dún’ in Irish.

The ‘bleisce’ part of the official name was previously dropped by the Placenames Commission in 2003.”

This is most encouraging news, especially welcome to those of us who resent the pollution of our culture by the most toxic elements of foreign culture (hip-hop speak, Americanizations, Garrison town language, and so on). Long may this campaign continue.

What intrigues me, though, is that the “Doon” part of the name means “fort” in Irish (Dún). I’m wondering what a harlot was doing with such a fortress? I suppose we’ll have to await for another cultural assault by the Riverdance Brigade to find out…

Ultan Ó Broin
Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally. Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.


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