Celtic countryside

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JustKate

Senior Member
Can the adjective Celtic be applied to something not related to the culture or language, such as the countryside? When you google "Celtic countryside" or "Celtic country," which I have, you find lots of references, including this promotional piece for a line of perfumes known as Hylnds ("Medieval Chic: Hylnds Fragrances Capture the Romance of The Celtic Countryside"), and there are "Celtic Countryside" items offered in the "store" for the online game FarmVille. I suspect mere marketing puffery, but perhaps I'm doing them an injustice. I looked Celtic up in the WR dictionary and it talks only about Celts or the Celtic languages, but maybe we are both out of date?
 
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  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    For many people, "Celtic" refers mainly to "Irish and (some) Scottish", and perhaps that is the image they are attempting to capture in their copy. However, others reserve special narrower interpretations, with language and culture figuring prominently. The people who originated the language (and attendant culture) in the (mesolitihic and) neolithic and iron ages are thought to have come from central Europe and moved west, through France and up the Atlantic seaboard to SW England, Ireland and W Scotland. Any and all of those areas could technically carry the moniker. However, I support the "marketing puffery" interpretation.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    The link takes you to a page with the title (in my browser tab) : Hylnds Fragrance Launch - Scotland Perfume 2013. I guess that Hylands is a not-so-cryptic version of Highlands (as in Scottish Highlands) but the Celtic knots are associated today with ireland. So the "Irish and some Scottish" tag seems appropriate for the puffery:D
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    We have the somewhat derogatory "Celtic fringe" and we have the "Celtic cross". But it's pushing it a bit to suggest that there's some sort of countryside that's common to Ireland, Cornwall, the Scottish Highlands and Islands, the Isle of Man and Brittany.

    PS. This cracked me up
    If you could smell like one place, where would it be? For Garance Doré, it's the island of Corsica where she grew up. For indie Brooklyn perfumers D.S. & Durga (a musician and an architect, respectively), the sights and smells of Northern England are where its at.
    That'll be somewhere like Salford, then
    I found my love where the gaslight falls
    Dreamed a dream by the old canal
    Kissed my girl by the factory wall
    Dirty old town, dirty old town
    Ewan MacColl - Dirty Old Town
    A subtle blend of the aroma of coke works and rotting dead animals in the canal, not forgetting the tannery and the brewery.
     
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    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    We have the somewhat derogatory "Celtic fringe" and we have the "Celtic cross". But it's pushing it a bit to suggest that there's some sort of countryside that's common to Ireland, Cornwall, the Scottish Highlands and Islands, the Isle of Man and Brittany.
    ...
    I don't find "Celtic fringe" in any way derogatory - speaking as a representative of same who frequently rejoiced in the label along with colleagues from Scotland and Wales. The Celtic Fringe, in my context, were frequently ahead of the English :p

    I am sure I would recognise Celtic countryside, especially when it is illuminated by Celtic twilight or Celtic dawn.

    But I suspect that the use of the term in the topic example is pure advertising puffery.
     

    mr cat

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I think the question is does the adjective 'celtic' create an image in your mind when you read it and I think for most people it would, so it has some validity even if not of any particular place. Whereas 'the sights and smells of Northern England are where its at', given that it's a more specific place, may give a different image to those who don't really know ''England's last wilderness''.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I cast another vote for 'mere twaddly piffly puffery'. (And the name 'Hylnds' itself is positively noxious.)
    I think the question is does the adjective 'celtic' create an image in your mind when you read it and I think for most people it would, so it has some validity even if not of any particular place. Whereas 'the sights and smells of Northern England are where its at', given that it's a more specific place, may give a different image to those who don't really know ''England's last wilderness''.
    ... erm? ...
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I don't find "Celtic fringe" in any way derogatory - speaking as a representative of same who frequently rejoiced in the label along with colleagues from Scotland and Wales.
    It's all a matter of perspective. Yours is, obviously, from the inside looking out. Others see things differently. :)
    1894 G. Allen Post-prandial Philos. xviii. 155 If Lord Salisbury thinks we are a Celtic fringe he is vastly mistaken.
    1938 L. MacNeice I crossed Minch i. i. 3 That natural..culture which..is only found on the Celtic or backward fringes.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Having just translated a book on Celtic art, I'm not even sure that "a Celtic country" is really acceptable. The Celts historically ranged from Turkey to Portugal, Rome to Scotland. All Europeans south and west of the Black Forest live in countries with a Celtic inheritance whether they know it or not. Certainly there's no common factor in the countryside of the Alps and Belgium that could be called Celtic. And "Norse, Orcadian,... Pict ... and Angle" which the promotion refers to are certainly not Celtic. Perhaps the "Brooklyn perfumers D.S. & Durga" couldn't be expected to know all this.

    What the blurb-writer means is, I guess, those countries (Ireland, Scotland, Wales...) which have a Celtic language. Northern England doesn't.
     

    rhitagawr

    Senior Member
    British English
    I've lived in Wales for over thirty-five years and I've never heard the phrase Celtic countryside. If I did hear it, I'd find it odd. Much, if not most, of the Welsh countryside hardly differs from that of England. Even if you consider the Welsh mountains, there are similar mountains in England. A Celtic country doesn't sound quite right either, although Wales is one.
     
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