Sean Fhocail Series: Nuair a Bhíonn an Fíon Istigh, Bíonn an Ciall Amuigh!

 Nuair a Bhíonn an Fíon Istigh,


The Irish language is often remarked upon for it's poetic turn of phrase and that is no more obvious in the sean fhocail - or 'old words'. Sean fhocail are well known sentences that some might see as cliché, but when each one of them is considered in more than just passing, the deeper wisdom and cultural insights can be glimpsed.

Nuair a Bhíonn an Fíon Istigh, Bíonn an Ciall Amuigh!

translates as

“When the Wine Is In, Sense Is Out!”

This is a very fascinating statement crossing the line between helpful guidance and also a warning. Of course there is a lot to consider regarding the impact of alcohol on Irish culture, but it might be fair to say that, in general, things are managed with the same wit and wisdom as we do almost anything else.

One can almost envision a parent warning a youth about the dangers of drinking alcohol and how it effects a person. Yet this phrase may also be offered as guidance regarding dealing with drunk people and how sense may not be achievable in the conversation.

From my own experience it is oft over heard from folk passing remark on those who may not be making the most sensible choices either in action or word when they have the 'few scoops' upon them. As a person who has ridden in a shopping trolley in my wilder youth I can admit that my 'Ciall', sense, was indeed 'Amuigh', out.

This sean fhocail really does speak to the point, providing a perspective quite possibly based on experience.

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