Hellhounds on my trail
February 9, 2006 10:32 AM   Subscribe

Trying to find the spelling for an Irish phrase which means something like "wet-black hounds from the abyss."

"dower-cue" or "dower-que" is what it sounds like.
I was told it was the Irish version of the Spanish notion of "duende."

"dubh" and "cú" are black and hound respectfully.
anybody got any ideas?
posted by punkbitch to Writing & Language (5 answers total)
Does any of the information on this site help?
posted by empath at 10:41 AM on February 9, 2006

I was going to suggest "deamhain cú" as deamhain apparently means "devil," and failing that I was going to suggest asking on these guys' forums, but... :)
posted by Gator at 10:49 AM on February 9, 2006

This might be a starting point. I remember the phrase from a poem about apparitions of black dogs. I studied it in a Canadian Lit class. I think the poet was from Newfoundland, but my Google-fu fails me.
posted by acoutu at 1:37 PM on February 9, 2006

An Irish friend says he thinks it's "Dubh ur cu o duibhecan" (pronounced dove oor coo o duivicaan), although he's not 100% sure. Dubh ur Cu is black wet hound, and abyss/black/darkness is something along the lines of duibheacan.
posted by amro at 3:45 PM on February 9, 2006

Dubh ur Cu...Amro's phrase is as close as you'll get to the standard spelling, and I like the solution for Abyss, which translates simply as Blackness.
I would pronounce the bh as a V sound (regional variations) so it would sound like Duv ur Coo. But in other regions the h makes the B silent so it will sound exactly as you descibe it.
You need to remember about spelling that although now standardised, Irish had/has quite a few dialects and typical of mainly oral traditions spelling is contentious!
posted by Wilder at 3:18 AM on February 10, 2006

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