- 1 English
- 2 Irish
- 3 Scottish Gaelic
gaol (plural gaols)
- (UK, Ireland, Australia) Alternative spelling of jail.
1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 3, The China Governess:
- ‘[…] There's every Staffordshire crime-piece ever made in this cabinet, and that's unique. The Van Hoyer Museum in New York hasn't that very rare second version of Maria Marten's Red Barn over there, nor the little Frederick George Manning—he was the criminal Dickens saw hanged on the roof of the gaol in Horsemonger Lane, by the way—’
Gaol was formerly the usual spelling, and is still preferred in some proper names. Most Australian newspapers use jail rather than gaol, citing either narrower print width or the possibility of transposing letters in gaol to produce goal. 
- See also Wikisaurus:jail
From Old Irish gáel (“relationship”), from Proto-Celtic *gailo- (compare Lithuanian gailùs (“compassionate”), Gothic 𐌲𐌰𐌹𐌻𐌾𐌰𐌽 (gailjan, “gladden”), German geil (“wanton”); Greek φίλιος (fílios, “friendly”)).
Forms with the definite article:
|Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.
From Old Irish gáel (“relationship”): Proto-Celtic *gailo-; compare Lithuanian gailùs (“compassionate”); Gothic 𐌲𐌰𐌹𐌻𐌾𐌰𐌽 (gailjan, “gladden”), German geil (“wanton”); Greek φίλιος (fílios, “friendly”).
- love, affection
- tha gaol agam ort — I love you (literally "is love at me on you")
- ghabh i trom ghaol air - she fell madly in love with him
|Vocative||a ghaoil||a ghaola|
Forms with the definite article
|Nominative||an gaol||na gaoil|
|Dative||a' ghaol||na gaoil|
|Genitive||a' ghaoil||nan gaol|
The love expressed by gaol is more intimate in nature than that of gràdh.
- An Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language, Alexander MacBain, Gairm Publications, 1982