Is it Irish to be Cuil?

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue Jul 29 14:13:00 UTC 2008

On Tue, Jul 29, 2008 at 8:32 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:
> The "About" page for the new search engine Cuil claims "Cuil is an
> old Irish word for knowledge. For knowledge, ask Cuil."  Do you
> experts agree, or is this another instance of the class "all English
> words derive from Irish"?
"Costello's Irish heritage inspired Cuil's odd name. It was derived
from a character named Finn McCuill in Celtic folklore."

In beta-testing, it was spelled "Cuill":

They want us to pronounce it "cool", but "quill" would be a bit closer
to the Irish pronunciation.

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list