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from Edward Bunting, The Ancient Music of Ireland (Dublin 1840), Page 25: Shakes, etc.

Irish cúlaithris spoken by Gráinne Yeats
Scottish Gaelic cùl-aithris spoken by Tony Dilworth

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“By first finger and thumb.”

Simon Chadwick 2008

Cul-aithris - Half shake

The English here does not translate the Gaelic, which looks as if it may be a compound, cúlaithris, whose second element is aithris, 'imitation; narration; mimicry'. The first element is likely to be the noun cúl, 'a back', which a variety of applications and is common in compounds as a prefix meaning 'back' or 'backward'.

On p.32 Culaithris is explained as 'Repetition, or relish'.

Colm Ó Baoill 2002