Irish Gaelic, or simply “Irish,” is a Celtic language related to Scottish Gaelic, and more distantly to Welsh and Breton. Something that I wasn’t expecting before I arrived in Ireland is that most Irish people have at least some knowledge of the language. This has to do with the fact that Irish is now taught in most primary schools in Ireland. Unlike Scottish Gaelic, which is only spoken by a very tiny percentage of the population in Scotland, Irish Gaelic seems to be making a strong comeback.
I was delighted when I came across a book of 500 curses in Irish Gaelic. After all, curses and swearwords are the first words that people pick up when they learn a new language! I thought it was only fitting then that I share a few Irish curses with you.
Geanc ar do gharlach mar atá ar a mháthair.
Pronunciation: gank air doh GHAR-lach mar at-AH air ah WA-her
Meaning: May your child inherit his mother’s crooked nose.
Pronunciation: bah LAG-hoch ort
Meaning: May your cow herd fail.