This is but one of many Irish Proverbs advocating circumspection.
- Others are listed in the Talking and Health
sections of this website.
Some notes on the Irish in the Proverb:
- Ná (pronounced as "naw") makes the
verb which follows negative.
- Feic (pronounced as "feck") is the verb
"to see". Some Irish dialects (especially Munster) would use
the verb "Cí" - pronounced as "key" as the verb
- Ná feic therefore becomes "Don't see"
- A bhfeicir (pronounced "a vecker") means "that you
see". The -ir suffix to the verb indicates the second person,
singular. More often, nowadays, you would hear "A bhfeiceann
tú". The suffix -eann, or -ann indicates the habitual present
tense while "tú" (pronounced too) means "you" (second
- Is is an abbreviation of "agus"
(pronounced "oggus") meaning "and"
- Clois (pronounced "clush" - rhyming
with "brush") is the imperative form of the verb "to
- Má (pronounced "maw") translates as
- Fiafraítear (pronounced feef~ree~tor). The
imperative form of the verb "to ask" [a question] is
"Fiafraigh" (pronounced feef~rig). The autonomous form of
the verb is used in the proverb to indicate that it does not matter who does
the asking of the question.
- Díot (pronounced dee~ut) means "of
you" or "off you".
- Abair (pronounced "ob~burr") is the
imperative form of the verb "to say"
- Feadrais (pronounced fad~rish) is derived from
"feadar" - to have knowledge, i.e., to know. The ~ais suffix
indicates the second person, singular form of the verb.
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