Cair Vie* / by Deborah Clague

Moghrey Mie
Good morning in the Manx language

The next morning upon waking up from slumber, I made myself a cup of Cadbury cocoa and watched as numerous people strolled along Douglas Bay. My cab driver from the previous afternoon was correct; there was a different pace of life here. A slower, more personable one. It was a Monday but the Manx Museum and shopping district of the capital would not be open until 10:00am. The sun had risen but the roads were still nearly deserted. There was no hustle-and-bustle. There was no rat race. Just dogs chasing sticks in the sand. I could live here. 

I paused and enjoyed the view, thinking of bloodlines that had come before and imagining what propelled them to leave and settle elsewhere. From this jade jewel in the Irish Sea, I somehow came to being in Canada. 

Fastyr Mie
Good afternoon in the Manx language

I eventually checked out of my hotel and made my way to the Manx Museum. The 10,000 year history of the island is explored through film, galleries and interactive displays and, like all museums in London, has free admission. I did thoroughly enjoy the Manx National Art Gallery display, as well as the Viking and Victorian-era artefacts, but the non-linear flow of the museum was confusing. One minute, I was learning about the famous TT races. The next I walked into an exhibit on primitive man. The next I was learning about the Depression-era economy. I did pick up a "Pocket Manx" guidebook on the basics of the language, which was a neat souvenir. 

I didn't learn a lot about my surname at the museum but further research has informed me that the family name dates to ancient times, perhaps exceeding the Norman Conquest (11th Century). The name is patronymic in origin and is an anglicanization of the Gaelic name Mac Liagh denoting "the son of Liaigh", from the Irish word "liaigh" meaning "physician".

As late as 1986, Clague was the ninth most common name on the Isle of Man, although there weren't as many as I expected in the Yellow Pages. Perhaps a hundred or so. Clague is the original Manx spelling; "Clegg" is the assimilated English version. 

Our family crest is an eagle rising argent. 

Oie Vie
Good night in the Manx language

*Safe journey in the Manx language