Saturday, April 07, 2012

G is for Glauvaun


{Photo is one of my series "My Newfoundland"}

From The Dictionary of Newfoundland English:

glauvaun n also glabaun, glawvawn DINNEEN glámhán 'a murmuring, complaining'; Kilkenny
Lexicon glámhán. Continuous complaining; one who grumbles.
1968 DILLON 140 'Tis the one glawvawn with him all the time. That's all that one is, a glawvawn. C 71-95 A person who is always worrying about something, usually a trivial matter, is a glabaun.


Pronounced “Glawvawn.”

This is one of those words that hitched a ride on a fishing boat in the eighteenth century and came, undulated or anglicized, all the way over from Waterford.

It is onomatopoeic as many of the words of my people are. Just say it, extend the syllables. You won't need a definition.

It puts me in mind of "Cnáimhseáil" with that same kind of whining, whinging undertone to it. Marvellous words - though I need to be mindful of my degree of intimacy with each of them!

Today's post brought to you by the letter G from The Dictionary of Newfoundland English in partnership with the rest of the alphabet beginning here.

18 comments:

  1. What a lovely-sounding word.

    ---Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012


    Twitter: @AprilA2Z
    #atozchallenge

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  2. Good word - I can't think of one in general use which says the same thing. Only synonyms I saw online were fuss-budget, fusspot (not exactly the same at all) and maybe worrywart - but still not quite the same.

    We NEED your Irish word, WWW!

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  3. I have to say I find the alternatives mentioned by Twilight more evocative than glauvaun somehow. And also fuss-bucket....

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  4. I love that word and know a few people who are past masters at glawvawning.

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  5. If you are still looking for the A to Z list I left a reply to the comment you left at the A to Z Blog.

    In essence, on that main blog there are clickable tabs at the top of the page under the header. The tab you want is "2012 A to Z Challenge Sign up List".

    Lee

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  6. Been enjoying your series immensely, learning new words and letting myself float on your magic carpet of linguistic art.

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  7. Like Grannymar I too have met a few of those people in my time.

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  8. T:
    Whinging was popular in my time too, this is a word that has fallen out of disuse.
    But there is nothing in modern common useage that quite conveys the meaning.
    XO
    WWW

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  9. Nick:
    Sadly, not the same meanings at all.
    I'm reading a book at the moment and one of the minor characters is always in the state of glauvawn:
    "I'd be better off dead, there's nothing for me here."
    "Carry on without me, you'd be better off."
    That kind of thing. Fussing would never be part of it.
    XO
    WWW

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  10. Oh Gawd, GM, so do I. And not too far from here either!
    XO
    WWW

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  11. Lee:
    I sent you an email with a screen capture of what comes up.
    XO
    WWW

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  12. Why thankee kindly Pauline!
    Words are my passion too and the long journeys they take to come here!
    XO
    WWW

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  13. GFB:
    They can bring you down as nothing you say can please them or entice them.
    Self-effacing whinge is the closest I can come to a translation.
    XO
    WW

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  14. This is a great blog. I'm Welsh (and Welsh is my first language) and we're known for 'singing' our speech. Thus, I love words that are onomatopoeic!

    Rhia from Five Minute Piece for Inspiration (around #800 on A to Z Challenge).

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  15. Glauvaun is a grand word and perfectly describes my father!

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  16. Hi Rhia:
    Thanks for the visit! Having been to Cardiff many times, I was shocked when I first heard the accent. Quite indistinguishable from Cork. And so musical!
    XO
    WWW

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  17. Ramana:
    Now you can label it! I've met too many glauvauns in my time and the older they get the harder it is to be tolerant!
    XO
    WWW

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