Amach! To the field!

A field by any other name...

What does it reveal when a language has many words for something that most other tongues describe with just one? It’s not just the 32 words for “field” that show how important the land has been to speakers of Ireland’s native language. Beyond that, an extended lexicon links the features of the land to people, hinting at just how closely the landscape is intertwined with the psyche in the country’s rural tradition. In this limited glossary we could only capture a small fragment of the nuances in the Irish “land vocabulary.” When you read these words, do you feel your relation to the land around you changing?

* The interactive map below is best viewed on a larger screen (or on paper)

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Illustration by

Eddie Stok