What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

As in "Up Against the Buachalawns"…

Love this tune, would love to know what the name means, and what it means to be up against them.

Alright, you Gaelige nuts, get linguistic on me.

Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

Boys, I think.

Irish buachaill = boy

The "aun"/"awn" is probably similar to the "in" diminutive so I guess that would make buachaillan = little boy?

Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

Possibly: "Buachallán" ???

Buachallán = ragweed

Buachallán buí = yellow ragweed

Dunno, but maybe it is that?

Waiting for Zina to tell me that this is Hungarian for "banana sandwich" :|

Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

Alainn is beautiful

So it could be Beautiful Boy….yech !

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Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

Ragwort.

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Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

Na buachaillí bí alainn - the lovely boys - wasn’t that a song by Clannad?

Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia)

Ragweed is a coarse annual with leaves deeply bipinnately dissected, lower ones opposite, upper ones alternate. The plant is named for the raggedy shape of its leaves.

Strangely, its scientific name, Ambrosia, was the delicious food eaten by the mythical Greek gods to make them live forever.

These flowers depend upon the wind to bring the fine yellow grains of pollen for fertilization.

The pistillate (female) flowers are few, and are in the axils of the upper leaves. They have no corolla, only a forked pistil with an inferior ovary, surrounded by a ribbed calyx tube which becomes the achene (seed).

Racemes or spikes of tiny green "bells" contain the staminate (male) flowers. Each little bell is a five-lobed corolla with five stamens.

More on Ragweed can be found at: http://www.auburn.edu/~deancar/wfnotes/ragwd.htm

Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

Didn’t you once go out with a fellow, Conan, if memory serves me correctly.
Do buachail alainn ?

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Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

LOL — Murrough, I could probably get Fintan or some such to whip you up some scholarly blather on it…

Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

underpants

Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

only messin. yeah they’re flowers

Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

Jesus wept! I’ve had conversations on entire passages of _Finnegans Wake_ with fewer possibilities than we have here.

So, let’s recap the he and the she of it:

Up against the turf
Up against the wall
Up against the wall gettin’ pissed
Up against the wall for the excitment
Up against the ragweed
Up against the yellow ragweed
Up against the banana sandwich
Up against the pistillate
Up against the underpants

And, god help us all,

Up against the boy
Up against the little boy
Up against the beautiful boy

Ordinarily, any Irish Language discussion would bring no less than 800 similar expert opinions baring citations from the Book of Kells and The Sagas. Where are such know-it-alls now? Yes, you, the ones who break into long speeches in gaelige during sessions!
SPEAK NOW!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

Woh - time warp!!!!

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Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

Yes, grego, anyone who steps foot in Philadelphia usually becomes forever unstuck in time…Not to mention anyone who uses our Lord’s name in harmless vain…

Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

By Jove!

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Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

I think it’s ragweed too, and the tune ‘Up against the Boughalauns" refers to its pernicious colonising of fields used for grazing. I think it’s maybe poisonous to cattle or sheep or something like that, and has to be removed. However a field full of ragweed can be a fine sight - but not to a farmer.

Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

Bad stuff, ragwort. Causes irreversible liver damage to sheep, cattle and horses. Sheep and cattle tend to get eaten before they feel the usually creeping and long term effects. Bad news indeed for the horses, though.

Apparantly you should even wear gloves when pulling it by hand, as enough poison can get through your skin to do you harm. Strangely, it was at one time used to make a linament to wash down tired horses.

Oh god - I’m sounding a bit agricultural here, aren’t I?

Larsheens definition was such a nice picture too. I wanted to believe in it.

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Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

Though I grew up on a daisy farm in Tipperary (BTW, belated acknowledgement here, whoreinthenettles, of your response on the other thread in this regard) there were usually a good few ragworts around the place also. We referred to them as buachalawns or geosalawns. But what the hell does, "Up against the buachalawns" mean? I can’t imagine leaning anything against a buachalawn - unless we’re into the realm of fairies and leprechauns.

Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

Straight from the Fiddler’s companion:
UP AGAINST THE BOUGHALAUNS. AKA and see “Thar an gCnoc,” “Over the Hill,” “Sonny Brogan’s Favorite,” “The Early Breakfast,” “Knocknagree Reel,” “Miss Lyon’s Fancy,” “Larry Redigans/Redican’s (Reel) [1].” Irish. A ‘boughalaun’, or ‘buachalán’, is commonly called a ragwort and is a plant that grows 2‑3 feet high, with bright yellow flowers. It is very common in the west of Ireland but is generally considered a weed, especially in farmed land; in fact, though the weed is noxious to cattle, goats are unaffected by it and are sometimes let wild into pastures to consume the plant before cattle can get to it.

Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

Yeah, the sleeve notes of "Chieftains’ 9: Boil the Breakfast Early" informs us it’s the word for the common ragweed or ragwort.

Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

"Though I grew up on a daisy farm in Tipperary…"

Am I the only one who’s charmed at the thought of a daisy farm?

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Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

I speak the Connemara dialect of Irish and this makes no sense to me. I have tried to see if anybody I know on the Eastern side of country knows it but to no avail. Some Irish words get lost in time and fall into disuse and this to me is like one of them. There are many dialects of the language, like music styles dotted around the country so it may be a word that is used quite often in the north or south, who knows. This word to me may be spelled as it is sounded in English creating further confusion, who knows

Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

Jeremy, I think you may be onto something

Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

"Jeremy, I think you may be onto something"
He is to be sure but exactly what are you referring to.
Is this a case of cross-posting??

Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

Right then, so it’s us against the weeds!

I’d like to open the discussion up to false etymologies now:

I believe it’s properly spelled buck-a-lawn and is American in origin; it’s how land was sold to the new landlord after the proper owner was evicted.

Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

I suppose it depends on who else is with you while you’re up against the ‘buachalán’.

Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

"Up against it" = facing a problem
In this case the noxious weed.

Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

Buachalán is ragwort.

(It has nothing to do with buachaill "boy" apart from the fact that both have the same first element coming from *bau > bó "cow")

It’s a very common weed with a yellow flower, cows and horses usually avoid it because it is poisonous to them, the problem usually only occurs when it gets dried and mixed up with the hey and is then consumed by accident.

Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

Based on what my teacher (who will remain anonymous) at CIAW told us in his or her class (really anonymous), Zina has it exactly right.

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Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

W.B. Yeats in his collation of local stories, “Celtic Twilight” (1893), chapter 2, “Belief and Unbelief” relates this story (part):
“A little girl…in the village of Grange, close under the seaward slopes of Ben Bulben, suddenly disappeared one night about three years ago. …It was rumoured that the faeries had taken her. A villager was said to have long struggled to hold her from them, but at last they prevailed…
The local constable was applied to and he at once instituted a house to house search, and at the same time advised the people to burn all the bucalauns (sic) (ragweed) on the field she vanished from because bucalauns are sacred to the faeries. They spent the whole night burning them, the constable repeating spells the while. In the morning the little girl was found, the story goes, wandering in the field. She said the faeries had taken her away a great distance, riding on a faery horse. On the way her companions had mentioned the names of several people who were about to die shortly in the village. Perhaps the constable was right. It is better doubtless to believe much unreason and a little truth than to deny for denial’s sake truth and unreason alike.” Etc.

don’t see too many constables today walking around with ragweed and casting spells! Anything’s possible though, I guess.

Buachalán buí, The yellow ones

I’m afraid you’re way off the mark, Murrough, with your Artemisia, we’re talking native species here, have a wee look at this link, especially the lore bits:
http://www.wildflowersofireland.net/plant_detail.php?id_flower=216#glos

Modern ‘myths’ about the plant abound, if only cause it’s a nuisance to farmers and you’ve got to blame someone: http://www.ragwortfacts.com/ragwort-myths.html
But this common plant is part of an entire ecosystem and it has its own native ‘enemies’:
http://phenology.biodiversityireland.ie/species-list/insects/cinnabar/ (These are very real tigers, at lest that’s what the kids around my block call them. They’re more enduring than the Celtic kind… A common sight even in cities.)
And, of course,… these enemies have their own fiends too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYaqY-f81KQ&feature=related (the said parasite might be a wasp larva or some smaller life form…)

Hope this proves useful and keep youse interested.

Re: What are “Boughalauns/Buachalawns/Buchalawns”?

Be mindful that ragweed and ragwort are very different plants, as has been suggested previously here. The former is a native of North America of the genus Ambrosia, the later is Eurasian of the genus Senecio. Both are in the family Asteraceae.