Tuesday, 29 July 2008


You know Cuil, this new search engine all the kids are talking about. From the site:

Cuil is the Gaelic word for both knowledge and hazel

On the main page they say "old Irish" instead of "Gaelic". So does cuil mean either "knowledge" or "hazel" in any language? The Early Irish Glossaries Project has cuil: "fly; flea, gnat". "Hazel" is coll (cognate with hazel), altho it was sometimes spelled cuil, probably in inflected forms. MacBain's has Old Irish cuil: "corner, recess" (also). Here's focail.ie on cuil: "fly, bug".

The Cuil site also implies that the word, whatever it means, is connected to the name of the legendary hero Finn McCool, which they spell McCuil. This looks like a folk etymology; the name is normally spelled Fionn mac Cumhail in Irish Gaelic.

Perhaps they should have googled it.


Drew said...

Ha. They probably did look up the meaning using their own search engine, which is a “Google killer” only in the sense that it could make Google die from laughter. Also: Why even mention that it means “hazel”? I mean, so it’s wrong and all, but even if they thought it was right, why would that definition have any bearing on the weight of the brand name?

Editrix said...

I love that one of the real definitions of "cuil" is "fly; flea, gnat," because that's about as threatening as Cuil is ever going to be to Google.