October 25, 2021

something’s fishy

and it’s my new lil friend, Fionnuala:

a dragon scale male betta fish 


is a traditional Irish name, sometimes spelled Finnguala/Fionnghuala and pronounced Fin-oo-lah. ((Although this choir seems to pronounce it Finn-ah-gah-wala. Open for an Irish language treat if you're not familiar with the language)). Literal meaning: "white shoulder", which our fishy friend appears to have here.

In an Irish legend called the Children of Lir, Fionnuala is one of four children of Lir. The Children of Lir are turned into swans by a jealous step-mother (I don't love this trope), and cursed to swim the lakes of Ireland for 900 years. In the myth, the arrival of Christianity to Ireland is what releases the swans from their curse!

I absolutely love the names in this fairytale: Aodh, Fiachra, and Conn (the other three children of Lir), Aoife (the evil step-mom), and the Tuatha Dé Danann (the name of this mythical race of people).

Early on in the pandemic, I was reading this tale over Zoom to nieces and nephews and it was an absolutely transporting, magical fairytale that served well in a fun bonding activity. I figured I'd bring a piece of this tale/memory along for this next phase of the pandemic, as I cozy up my workspace and introduce a fishy friend 🐠

AND we can abbreviate to Finn, which in addition to its relevant fishiness, can also stand for one of our animated faves, Finn the Human:


P.S. if anyone else wants to introduce a fishy friend to their lives/work-from-home life, I have a ton of extra substrate...