Irish: “Tá na páistí ag súgradh sa tsráid”
English: The children are playing in the street.
In the above Irish sentence the word “súgradh” (pronounced “sugra“) means “(act of) playing, sporting; amusement, flirting, having fun. This is a verbal noun of a verb that has no finite or participial forms. The Irish “súgradh” comes from the Old Irish “súgrad” with the same meaning. The etymology of this word is unknown. This word has no cognates outside of Gaelic (that I know of)…
Now in Serbian we have the word “igra” meaning “play, game”. The verb “igrat”, “igrati” means “to play, to dance, to have fun”. This word comes from the Proto-Slavic jьgra and has cognates in all Slavic languages:
Belarusian: ігра (ihra)
Russian: игра (igra)
Ukrainian: гра (hra)
Bulgarian: игра (igra)
Macedonian: игра (igra)
Serbo-Croatian: игра (igra)
Old Czech: jhra
Old Polish: igra
Slovak: hra, ihra
Upper Sorbian: jhra, hra
Lower Sorbian: gra, igra
The etymology of this word is unknown. This word has no cognates outside of Slavic languages (that I know of)…
Now are these two words related? I think so because in some dialects of Serbian we have another version of the word “igra”: “sigra”. This word also means “play, game”. And the verb derived from this word is “sigrat”, “sigrati” meaning “to play, to dance, to have fun”.
So we have:
Slavic wide: “igra”, “igrat”
Serbian only: “sigra”, “sigrat”
“play, game” and “to play, to dance, to have fun”
What do you think? Coincidence?
According to the latest archaeological data, Balkans and particularly the territory of today’s Serbia was a mayor Celtic (Gaulic) stronghold between the 4th and the 1st century bc. I wrote about this in my post “Bran – Vran“. The genetic data from the Balkans is showing that the descendants of these Celts are still living in the Balkans, Slavicised and mixed with many other people into Serbians. Maybe this is why it is in the Serbian language that we find words like “sigra” which is the link between the Irish “súgradh” and the Slavic “igra”…