I would like to know what connotations the word "galore" carries for native English speakers. I really like the word and it's meaning and have seen it being used in some modern contexts. However, I'm afraid I might sound archaic or something, if I use it.
- (immediately postpositive) in great numbers or quantity: there were daffodils galore in the park. [Collins Dictionary via the Free Dictionary.
It carries with it the idea that the plenty is a good or desirable thing; you could have whiskey galore or fireworks galore but it would sound very strange to complain about litter galore or dog turds galore in a park or playing field. It isn't archaic.
Galore is a strange beast.
It must be allowed to be in two word-classes at once.
It is a quantifier, meaning 'many'. But it is unusual in that it comes after the noun (phrase) it modifies
There were pavilions galore spread out across the field.
But it also has attributive (in the sense of 'attributional') weight, with an indication (in its traditional sense) of splendour (pavilions) and / or gaiety (pavilions, whisky), and must therefore be reckoned as a peripheral adjective (modifying the overall situation rather than the noun). So it would not traditionally be used in place of (prenominal) many here:
There were many mutilated bodies lying around the battlefield.
*There were mutilated bodies galore lying around the battlefield.
[Mari-Lou A has pointed out that some (I'd call them perverse) usages, as in Tommy Cooper's ironic 'That's nice, that is!', are encountered in certain registers. Thus 'blood galore' in the latest Dracula film or shoot-em-up. Wicked.]
Most dictionaries give single word classes (they like things neat and tidy), but they don't agree on which fits best. In fact, some dictionaries still don't accept determiners (with subclasses quantifiers ...) as a separate class.
It means "plenty" or "lots" with the connotation that the thing that is plentiful is a good thing.
It's from the Irish go leor. In Irish go leor means "enough", but it being often enough used to make its way into English is probably from ceart go leor which means "good enough"/"fine"/"okay" (ceart = "correct/proper/right/" go leor = "enough/sufficiently") and which is a phrase that even those Irish people who don't speak Irish, will recognise and use (to state assent, or in reply to Conas atá tú? or even to the English "How are you?").
While ceart go leor isn't used along with English anywhere outside of Ireland, it did mutate into galore. The original meaning of "enough/sufficient" explains why it is only used of good things.
However, I'm afraid I might sound archaic or something, if I use it.
It's far from archaic, plenty of people would use it today.
The word 'galore" is an example of a postpositive adjective, which means it comes after the word it describes.
- A postpositive is an adjective or adjectival phrase that appears, within the same clause, after the noun that it modifies.
In some languages (such as French, Spanish, and Italian), this is the normal syntax.
Examples of a postpositive usage:
- there were daffodils galore
- they heard creatures unseen (rather than the more grammatically typical sentence "they heard unseen creatures")
- You'll be able to win prizes galore.
In terms of definition, I think the other answers are very thorough.
However, in terms of connotations, it makes one think that there is more than necessary of the thing being described, as opposed to simply 'lots'.
So whilst there is indeed a sufficient amount, there will likely be surplus.
Whilst it is true that in general it is used to describe good things, it can be used in a negative sense.
There was food galore upon the table.
This would throw up a context of gluttony, or more than could possibly be eaten.