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Tribhuilleach no creathadh coimhmhear

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


Irish Tríbhuilleach spoken by Gráinne Yeats
Scottish Gaelic trì-bhuilleach spoken by Tony Dilworth

Scottish Gaelic crathadh co-mheur spoken by Tony Dilworth

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“By second, first, and third fingers, three times in succession.”

Simon Chadwick 2008


This figure is identical to Barrluth beal an-airde, but repeated three times.

Simon Chadwick 2008


Tribhuilleach no creathadh coimhmhear - Triple shake

Two alternative Gaelic names separated by no, 'or'. Tríbhuilleach is basically an adjectival form compounded from trí, 'three', and buille, 'a stroke, beat, blow'; the meaning is 'consisting of three strokes/beats'. But such adjectival forms in Gaelic are quite frequently used as nouns, so that here we might translate as 'a three-beater', or indeed 'a triple'.

The second term consists of the noun creathadh, 'shaking, trembling', a fairly uncommon form (usually intransitive) of croitheadh, 'shaking', governed by coimhmhear. The latter may be genitive plural of a compound noun, comh + méar: méar is the word for 'a finger', and the prefix comh- normally implies 'mutual, joint, common; equal; fellow-'. It is not easy to decide on what creathadh comhmhéar is likely to mean: perhaps 'shake of equal fingers'?

Colm Ó Baoill 2002