the caoin

mia0815

Senior Member
Taiwanese
from Frank McGuinness's praise for 'The Secret Scripture

'The Secret Scripture is written in voices lonely as the caoin, the most haunting of all laments for loss, echoing through the ages of the novel, giving it its courage, its strangeness, its raw, rough beauty...'

I tried googling for the definition of 'the caoin' and also tried wiki, but couldn't seem to find anything.



Please help. Thank you.
 
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Hello again, Mia. Keen (definition 1A) = 'funeral lament'. It's a word borrowed from the Irish caoinim ['to wail']. I presume McGuinness chose to use the original Irish word because it has more depth of meaning than the English borrowing:)
     

    pickarooney

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    Hello again, Mia. Keen (definition 1A) = 'funeral lament'. It's a word borrowed from the Irish caoinim ['to wail']. I presume McGuinness chose to use the original Irish word because it has more depth of meaning than the English borrowing:)
    caoinim = I wail/cry
    caoin on its own is the infinitive and is used to mean any kind of weeping/crying in modern Irish.
     
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