Irish edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Old Irish sib (compare Scottish Gaelic sibh, Manx shiu, from Proto-Celtic *swiswis (compare Welsh chwichwi), a reduplicated form of *swīs (you, ye) (see Old Irish síi), from Proto-Indo-European *wos.

Pronunciation edit

Pronoun edit

sibh (emphatic form sibhse, conjunctive and disjunctive)

  1. you (plural), ye/you
    Bhí sibh ansin.You were there.
    Cloisim sibh.I hear you.

Usage notes edit

  • Unlike many European languages, Modern Irish does not distinguish between "familiar" and "polite" second-person pronouns. Sibh is used to address two or more people, regardless of how well known those people are to the speaker. It is no longer used to address one single person.
  • The emphatic form sibhse is also used as the vocative: Haigh sibhse! — "Hey you (all)!"

See also edit

Further reading edit

Scottish Gaelic edit

Etymology edit

From Old Irish sib. Cognates include Irish sibh and Manx shiu.

Pronunciation edit

Pronoun edit

sibh (emphatic sibhse)

  1. second-person plural/formal pronoun; ye, you

Usage notes edit

  • sibh is used to address more than one person, or to address one person formally or politely, particularly if they are significantly older or of higher social rank than the speaker.
  • Grandparents, teachers and clergymen are addressed as sibh, and parents often are also. Addressing them as thu would usually be considered rude.
  • People significantly younger than the speaker, for instance a child addressed by a young adult, are never addressed as sibh. Children do not use sibh amongst themselves. Some people may find it uncomfortable to be addressed as sibh if they do not consider themselves to be significantly older than the speaker.
  • The use of sibh varies by dialect, with some places being stricter about its usage than others.

Derived terms edit

See also edit

References edit

  • Edward Dwelly (1911), “sibh”, in Faclair Gàidhlig gu Beurla le Dealbhan [The Illustrated Gaelic–English Dictionary], 10th edition, Edinburgh: Birlinn Limited, →ISBN
  • G. Toner, M. Ní Mhaonaigh, S. Arbuthnot, D. Wodtko, M.-L. Theuerkauf, editors (2019), “sib”, in eDIL: Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language