Uncertain. Perhaps from the rare and obsolete uala (“shoulder”), apparently a byform of guala (now gualainn).
This etymology is incomplete. You can help Wiktionary by elaborating on the origins of this term.
ualach m (genitive singular ualaigh, nominative plural ualaí)
- a burden, load
Is ar na bochtáin, go háirithe i dtíortha ina bhfuil daoine ar ioncam íseal, atá an t-ualach is mó maidir le breoiteacht agus le drochshláinte, agus is acusan atá an rochtain is lú ar sheirbhísí cúraim shláinte agus is lú atá in ann déileáil le tionchar an tinnis agus teacht as.
- The poor, and especially those in low-income countries, bear the highest burden of sickness and ill health, have the least access to health care services, and are least equipped to cope with and recover from the impact of illness. (original from which above was translated)
|Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.
- C. Marstrander, E. G. Quin et al., editors (1913–76), “úalach”, in Dictionary of the Irish Language: Based Mainly on Old and Middle Irish Materials, Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, →ISBN
- “ualach” at the Historical Irish Corpus, 1600–1926 of the Royal Irish Academy.
- “ualaċ” in Foclóir Gaeḋilge agus Béarla, Irish Texts Society, 1st ed., 1904, by Patrick S. Dinneen, page 771.
- "ualach" in Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla, An Gúm, 1977, by Niall Ó Dónaill.
- Entries containing “ualach” in English-Irish Dictionary, An Gúm, 1959, by Tomás de Bhaldraithe.
- Entries containing “ualach” in New English-Irish Dictionary by Foras na Gaeilge.