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Hogarth judge

November 2017

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Hogarth judge

Words we need in English: Dúchas

Dúchas, or in the old spelling dúthchas, is an Irish and Scottish Gaelic word that literally means "legacy" or "inheritance." (As such, in Ireland, Dúchas is the name of their government's preservationist organization.)

In a number of Irish proverbs, it seems to mean something close to "natural dispostion; inherited personality traits; inherited temperament." As such, English really needs the word. One relatively familiar Gaelic saying holds that:

Is treise dúchas ná oiliúint.
"Natural temperament is stronger than training."

Briseann an dúchas tré shúile an chait.
"Breeding breaks through in the eyes of a cat."

Another proverb about cats expresses a similar sentiment:
Cad a dhéanfadh mac an chait, ach luch a mharu??
"What else would the cat's son do, but kill a mouse?"

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