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What Does Gaelic Mean?

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Rob Facey Profile
Rob Facey answered
Gaelic is an adjective that means "pertaining to the Gaels", including both language and culture. As a noun, it may refer to the group of languages spoken by the Gaels, or to any one of the languages individually.

The Gaels or Goidels are speakers of one of the Goidelic Celtic languages: Irish, Scottish Gaelic, and Manx. Goidelic speech originated in Ireland and subsequently spread to western and northern Scotland and the Isle of Man. In modern times, the Goidelic languages have been significantly replaced by English. The term "Gael" is also used for modern Irish or Scottish Celts regardless of their language.

The modern English spelling of Gael is ultimately derived from the ancient Gaelic word Go'del which was spelled in various ways by Gaelic writers at different times. The modern Gaelic spellings are Gael Irish and Gàidheal Scottish Gaelic.

The two comparatively 'major' Gaelic nations in the modern era are Ireland which in the 2002 census had 185,838 people who spoke Irish "daily" and 1,570,894 who were "able" to speak it. And Scotland which had 58,552 "Gaelic speakers" and 92,400 with "some Gaelic language ability" in the 2001 census. Communities where the language is still spoken natively are restricted largely to the west coast of each country and especially the Hebrides in Scotland. However, a large proportion of the Gaelic speaking population now lives in the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh in Scotland, as well as Donegal, Galway, Cork and Dublin in Ireland. There are somewhere around 2,000 Canadian Gaelic speakers although they are generally of a very advanced age and concentrated in Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island. 

According to the 2000 US Census, there are over 25,000 Irish-speakers in the United States with the majority found in urban areas with large Irish-American communities such as Boston, New York City and Chicago.
Patricia Devereux Profile
Gaelic is the English name for the Celtic language of Ireland and Scotland. It is pronounced "Gay-lic" in Ireland and "Gall-ick" in Scotland.  In Ireland, Gaelic is generally known as Irish, and was once known is Scotland as Erse or Irish.  Gaelic was the principal language or Ireland during the Norse settlement in the late 8th century, and persisted through the 18th century, when it was discouraged under the British occupation of Ireland.  Gaelic is the national language of the Irish Republic (along with English) and spoken exclusively by some 100,000 people; in Scotland, some 80,000 people speak it, mainly in the Hebrides and Glasgow.  Gaelic died out as a natural language on the Isle of Man with the death of the last native speaker in 1974.  Gaelic was spoken widely in Canada and parts of the U.S. In the 18th and 19th centuries, but is now limited to about 5,000 speakers on Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Island.  There is a modern-day revival of Gaelic as part of the Irish pride movement, and it is now taught in schools.
Muddassar Memon Profile
Muddassar Memon answered
The term Gaelic as an adjective means "Pertaining to the Gaels", whether to their lingo or their society. As a noun it may be addressed to a collection of languages spoken by the Gaels, or to any one of the separate languages.

It is also the term usually used in Ireland to signify the sport of Gaelic football. When addressing Scottish Gaelic, the Gaelic is normally pronounced in Scots and Scottish English. When addressing to Irish or Manx, it is normally pronounced as geilik.

Shelta at times reckoned as a Gaelic or Goiedelic language, though it is very much linked with Irish Gaelic it is not genetically connected.

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