Friday, March 6, 2015

A Quick Guide to Gaelic for Your St. Patrick's Day by Amber Leigh Williams

I wore kelly green in my official author pic, a salute
to my Irish heritage!
Anybody else looking forward to St. Patrick’s Day this year? In truth, I get excited about St. Paddy’s every year. My traditional corn beef is already in the freezer. On the morning of March 17th, I’ll be throwing it in the crockpot with red potatoes and cabbage. This year, I’m going one step further and trying an Irish soda bread recipe the day before. (The hub is a bit skeptical about this…and for good reason. The last time I tried to make bread from scratch, I nearly burned down the house….)

I love everything about St. Patrick’s Day – not just the warm, hearty feast at the end of the day. I love dressing up my minion in kelly green. Before the hub leaves the house, I make extra sure he’s wearing his green boxers. When he comes home from work, there’s a green Guinness waiting for him. By that point, the minion and I have strung the house with shamrock paper chains. If the weather’s been good to us, we’ve also been on a hunt for four-leaf clovers and leprechauns. As the evening draws near, the house begins to smell good—really good! And then - we feast!

My favorite Irish hero comes from J.D.
Robb's In Death series....
Over the last year, my interest in the Gaelic language has increased tenfold. My love of spoken “Irish” started when I began reading romance novels, as a matter of fact. I blame Roarke, the fantastic, futuristic hero of J.D. Robb’s romantic suspense series who happens to be a born-and-bred Irishman. I’ve studied Celtic history and my own Celtic roots which can be mapped back to the shores of Northern Ireland (on my paternal grandmother’s side) and the Isle of Skye in Scotland and the Mighty McClures of Ireland (on my maternal grandfather’s side). Recently, I learned that Gaelic—which is still spoken in many Celtic regions today—is currently divided into two variations, Scottish and Irish. (Those who have been watching the hit Starz television show, Outlander, have heard quite a bit of Scottish Gaelic spoken....)  

If you’d like to learn a bit of Irish Gaelic to share on St. Paddy’s Day, here’s a quick guide of fun Irish sayings, greetings, endearments and blessings just for you! (This really came in handy while planning my next trilogy, which features three Irish heroes....) Enjoy!
Eist moran agus can beagan.
Hear much and say little.

Is minic a gheibhean beal oscailt diog dunta!
An open mouth often catches a closed fist

De reir a cheile a thogtar na caisleain.
It takes time to build castles.


Last year, I found a four-leaf clover in the
foam of my green beer. Slainte!

O m'anam.
From my heart.


Saol fada chugat.
Long life to you.


Cuimhnigh i gconai.
Always remember.


Is fearr Gaeilge briste, na Bearla cliste.
Broken Irish is better than clever English.

Ta suil agam go bhfuil tu i mbarr na slainte.
I hope you are in the best of health.

Mo anam cara.
My soulmate.

Beannachtai na Feile Padraig!
Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Tá grá agam duit! 
I love you!

Cá bhfuil an teach pobail?
Where is the pub?

A little cuteness overload from the minion's
first St. Patrick's Day (2012)! "A chuisle mo chroí."
A chuisle mo chroí.
My dear darling/treasure.

A ghrá mo chroí.
Love of my heart.

Dia dhuit.
God be with you. (This phrase is the equivalent of 'Hello'.)


Go n-éirí on bóthar leat.
May the road rise with you.

Did I leave anything out? Feel free to share your favorite Gaelic greeting or your favorite Irish blessing for St. Paddy's Day! Here's wishing you the luck of the Irish and a pint of green beer....

Amber Leigh Williams lives on the Gulf Coast. A southern girl at heart, she loves beach days, the smell of real books, relaxing at her family’s lakehouse, and spending time with her husband, Jacob, and their sweet, blue-eyed boy. When she’s not running after her young son and three, large dogs, she can usually be found reading a good romance or cooking up a new dish in her kitchen. She is represented by D4EO Literary Agency. Find out more about Amber and her books on the web at www.amberleighwilliams!


Jannine Gallant said...

I've never been much of a St. Patty's day celebrator, but I love these sayings. Especially the one about the open mouth and closed fist! LOL

Margo Hoornstra said...

Same here. What Jannine said. Even down to the open mouth and closed fist favorite. Fun to read post.

Barbara Edwards said...

What a great post to share. I also love Roarke! And all things Celtic.
Good luck with your series. I'll be looking for it.

Diane Burton said...

Looks like a few of us like the quote about the fist and the mouth. LOL We don't really celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Hubs doesn't like corned beef. (He doesn't know what's good.) I'll probably get my corned beef fix at the local deli (or Arby's). Great fun reading your post.

Alicia Dean said...

I've also never done much on St. Paddy's day, but what a fun post! Love these sayings. AND, what an adorable pic!

Amber Leigh Williams said...

Jannine, you gotta love the Irish sense of humor :-)

Amber Leigh Williams said...

Margo, I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

Amber Leigh Williams said...

Barbara, I've read the In Death series at least five times. Roarke is like my chocolate addiction...I can't get enough!

Amber Leigh Williams said...

Diane, I'm sorry your hubby doesn't like corn beef. I felt the same way about cabbage until I started cooking it all in the crockpot together. Yum-yum!

Amber Leigh Williams said...

Alicia, thank you! I love my little lephrachaun :-)