Madrac, the Friulian for ‘snake’

The masculine noun madrac is the Friulian for snake.

In the Bible, the reader first encounters this noun in the first verse of Gjenesi 3, in the story of the fall of man: il madrac al jere il plui galiot (the snake was the most sly) di dutis lis bestiis de tiere (of all the beasts of the earth) che il Signôr Diu al veve fatis (which the Lord God had made).

The reader will hear madrac pronounced a number of times in the video below; the first instance of it is right at the beginning of the recording, where the verse presented immediately above is read aloud by the speaker.

The noun madrac appears in the third verse of Esodo 4, when God tells Moses to cast his staff on the ground, that it might turn into a snake: Mosè lu butà par tiere (Moses cast it on the ground) e il baston si tramudà intun madrac (and the staff turned itself into a snake) e Mosè al fuì denant di lui (and Moses made off before it).

In the fourteenth verse of Fi di Sirac 25, we read the following of the venom of a snake: no ’nd è velen (there is no venom) plui trist (more wicked) di chel di un madrac (than that of a snake). The Friulian for snake venom is velen di madrac. In the fourth verse of Salms 140, in a psalm of David, we read the following of the wicked: velen di madrac a àn sot dai lôr lavris (snake venom have they under their lips).

Snakes may be described so in Friulian: retil cun cuarp lunc cuviert di scais (reptile with long body covered in scales). Vocabulary: il retil (reptile); il cuarp (body); lunc (long); cuviert (covered); la scaie (scale). The movement of a snake may be described employing the verb strissâ (to slither). For instance: un madrac al strissave framieç dai baraçârs (a snake was slithering between the bushes).

A wicked person (une persone triste) may be described as a madrac in Friulian. For instance: chel vendidôr al è pardabon un madrac (that salesman really is a snake).

The Friulian for venom, as seen above, is the masculine noun velen. Related to this is the adjective velenôs, meaning venomous. A venomous snake, then, is expressed in Friulian as un madrac velenôs. Of the adjective velenôs, the different forms are: velenôs (masculine singular); velenôs (masculine plural); velenose (feminine singular); velenosis (feminine plural). For instance: chest madrac al è velenôs (this snake is venomous); chescj madracs a son velenôs (these snakes are venomous); cheste femine e je velenose (this woman is venomous); chestis feminis a son velenosis (these women are venomous).

The Friulian for path is the masculine noun troi; a winding path may be described in Friulian as being a madrac (after the manner of a snake). For instance: il troi al leve sù a madrac (the path snaked its way upwards).