Animal names in Gaelic

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Abhaill
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Animal names in Gaelic

Postby Abhaill » 02 Apr 2007, 02:08

Calling all speakers of Gaeilge!

I am compiling a list of animals in Modern Irish, and I would very much appreciate the input of some native and/or fluent speakers.  Sometimes you check out a word in the dictionary that seems to mean what it says, but later discover there are better, more familiar, more useful, terms that should replace them.  Some of these animals have more than one 'name', so I'd love to know which is more suitable, or if that is the case.  Am I missing any glaringly abundant Irish animals?  Please let me know!  That's the kind of help I'm looking for here, and if you can give it I'll be most appreciative!

Thanks in advance! :D

~ Abhaill


adder – nathair f.
ant – seangán m.
badger – broc m.
bat – sciathán m. leathair
bear – béar m.
bee – beach f.
beetle – ciaróg f.
bittern – bonnán m.
blackbird – lon m. dubh
boar – torc m. (allta)
bull – tarbh m.
bunting – gealóg f.
butterfly – féileacán m.
chough – cág m. deargchosach
cock – coileach m.
cormorant – broigheall m.
corncrake – traonach m.
cow – bó f.
crab – portán m.
crane – corr f.
cricket – criogar m. (iarta) / píobaire m. (an) teallaigh
crow – préachán m.
cuckoo – cuach f.
diver – lúma m.
dog – madra m. / cú m.
dolphin – deilf f.
dove – colm m.
dragonfly – snáthaid f. mhór
duck – lacha f.
eagle – iolar m.
earthworm – péist f. talún
eel – eascann f.
falcon – seabhac m. seilge
fly – cuil f. / cuileog f.
fox – sionnach m.
frog – loscann m.
gannet – gannéad m.
goat – gabhar m.
goose – gé f.
grasshopper – dreoilín m. teaspaigh / criogar m. féir / píobaire m. fraoigh
grebe – spágaire m.
grouse – cearc f. fhraoigh
guillemot – foracha f.
gull – faoileán m.
hare – giorria m.
hawk – seabhac m.
hedgehog – gráinneog f.
hen – cearc f.
hind – eilit f.
hooded crow – feannóg f.
horse – each m. / capall m.
jackdaw – cág m.
kingfisher – cruidín m.
kittiwake – saidhbhéar m.
ladybird – ciaróg f. na mbeannacht
lark – fuiseog f.
linnet – gleoiseach f.
lizard – earc m.
loon – lúnadán m.
louse – míol m.
magpie – snag m. breac
marten – cat m. crainn
martin – gabhlán m.
moth – leamhan m. / féileacán m. oíche
mouse – luch f. (bheag)
otter – dobharchú f. / madra m. uisce
owl – ulchabán m.
oystercatcher – roilleach m.
pipit – riabhóg f.
plover – feadóg f.
puffin – fuipín m.
ram – reithe m.
rat – luch m. mhór
raven – fiach m. dubh
robin – spideog f.
rook – préachán m. dubh
salmon – bradán m.
sandpiper – gobadán m.
sea-urchin – gráinneog m. thrá
seal – rón m.
slug – seilide m.
snail – seilide m.
snipe – naoscach f.
sow – cráin f. (mhuice)
sparrow – gealbhan m.
spider – damhán m. alla
squirrel – iora m. / madra m. crainn
stag – fia m. bairr
stoat – easóg f.
swallow – fáinleog f.
swan – eala f.
swift – gabhlán m. gaoithe
tern – geabhróg f.
thrush – smólach m.
titmouse – meantán m.
treecreeper – snag m.
vulture – badhbh f.
wagtail – glasóg f.
warbler – ceolaire m.
wasp – puch m.
waxwing – sciathán m. céarach
whale – míol m. mór
wild-cat – cat m. fiáin
wolf – faolchú m. / cú m. allta
woodpecker – snag m. darach
wren – dreoilín m.
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Postby shirley mclaren » 02 Apr 2007, 10:03

Very soon after I started the Path, I was contacted by an animal spirit - a large long haired golden retriever dog.  I asked him his name and he replied "GAR".  I researched this name and found it to be an anglo saxon name meaning "spear".  I am happy with that, but I am wondering if those of you who have language skills, can throw any other light on the word "gar"?

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Postby Donata » 02 Apr 2007, 16:31

The Druid Animal Oracle gives both the English and Gaelic name for each animal on the cards. Would that help?

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Re: Animal names in Gaelic

Postby larubia » 16 May 2011, 01:24

i would have always used mac an tíre for wolf. it means son of the land

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Re: Animal names in Gaelic

Postby Aoife » 09 Jun 2013, 09:03

All the good animals are male names. :x
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Re: Animal names in Gaelic

Postby elementalheart » 09 Jun 2013, 10:38

Interesting - I've no knowledge of Irish and am not a native Scots Gaelic speaker but some of your list is similar as one might expect and others completely different. A couple I think you may be splitting into two names where they are one term, if the origin is the same eg blackbird is Lon but dubh means black or dark so Lon-dubh would be possibly be a single term, maybe specifying the male ie black blackbird as opposed to the female which is brown? Just a guess. Ditto woodpecker, in Scots Gaelic it would be either lasair-choille or snagan-daraich, but darach is the oak so daraich would be of the oak ie presumably where you'd find your woodpecker pecking, rather than a separate name..

Aoife no such thing as a "bad" animal, they're all the same level of power, a beetle as a bear, or so I was taught anyway :wink: And some names would be gender specific, a hind couldn't be male but if you were just looking for deer you'd get the male fiadh which is similar to one of the posters' words for stag. I can find at least three words for stag and three more for hind in Scots Gaelic :wink: but no doubt I'd be more specific if I were a native speaker. Partly through regional and other variations in a native language that can't always be translated because there aren't equivalent details in English eg the Inuit having names for different qualities of snow where we have relatively few!

Shirley, Gar has several meanings in (Scots) Gaelic eg as a verb gar is to warm something (including oneself) and as a noun it is proximity/nearness. One can see the connection originating in warming oneself by getting closer to the fire. I believe Gor is a word for fire in Old Irish so that may be its root tho that word hasn't migrated as far as I know in terms of fire which is teine. Gar can also be used as although or not.. But rather than seek a literal translation in many languages maybe it is more how the name affects you just as a name, since that is what you asked. And if Anglo Saxon is closer to your roots than Irish or Scots then it means what it means in that sense, or maybe in another language it is completely different again, I'd go ask the dog myself, they give a name for a reason and if you want to know more, only they can tell you. Dog here is cu, tho madraidh is a pack of dogs so again there is an obvious root connection to the listed madra. PS I can't manage accents so please ignore their lack, it isn't ignorance of one sort but of the other ie technical expertise!

Sorry to hijack the thread :oops:
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Re: Animal names in Gaelic

Postby katie bridgewater » 09 Jun 2013, 11:18

All the good animals are male names. :x
That's quite a judgement. What's a 'good' animal?

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Re: Animal names in Gaelic

Postby Aoife » 10 Jun 2013, 06:09

All the good animals are male names. :x
That's quite a judgement. What's a 'good' animal?
I guess I should have expressed that more clearly. :oops: What I mean is the animals I feel the most kinship with and could enjoy fashioning an alias from are taken as male names.
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Re: Animal names in Gaelic

Postby Gallobhaí » 26 Jun 2013, 02:16

Hi Abhaill. I'm from the Irish speaking area in Ireland and I've just ordered a collection of plant and animal encyclopedias in the Irish language this afternoon.

Here is the site which sells them:

http://www.litriocht.com/shop/index.php?cPath=99_36

Here are the translated titles of the books I ordered (for the page links):

Ainmneacha Plandaí agus Ainmhithe - Names of plants and animals
An Aimsir - weather
Biaphlandaí - edible plants
Bláthanna Fiáine - Wild flowers
Cladach & Farraige - Shore & Sea
Crainn - Trees
Éin - Birds
Feithidí - insects
Luibheanna Leighis - Medicinal herbs
Mamaigh - Mammals
Dúile Fionnuisce - fresh water things
Réaltaí 's Phláinéid - Stars and planets

I will let you know what they are like when they arrive :)

Beannachtaí (blessings)
Gallobhaí.
Beannachtaí,
Gallobhaí.
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Re: Animal names in Gaelic

Postby shirley mclaren » 26 Jun 2013, 08:52

Elementalheart

Thank you for the information on GAR. I am English, but with Scottish and Irish roots.
As you say, I should really go ask the dog! I found it unusual to be contacted by a dog, as I have never had a dog, nor the desire to have one.

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Re: Animal names in Gaelic

Postby Gallobhaí » 26 Jun 2013, 11:30

Hi Shirley,
Gar is also the 33rd Northumbrian Rune. Here is what it looks like (see number 33):

http://www.englandandenglishhistory.com ... uthark.gif

Maybe this symbol might mean something to you?
Beannachtaí,
Gallobhaí.
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Re: Animal names in Gaelic

Postby shirley mclaren » 27 Jun 2013, 05:41

Thanks for that too. However, i know absolutely nothing about runes. But i looked at the symbol for rune 33 and the pattern did not strike a chord. However 33 did. I feel the number 3 has virtually governed my life one way or another. I was even born on 3 July!
ALL THAT WE ARE IS THE RESULT OF WHAT WE HAVE THOUGHT

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Re: Animal names in Gaelic

Postby shirley mclaren » 27 Jun 2013, 05:47

Just did a bit of Northumbrian rune research and came up with the following for rune 33 Gar:

Sound: “g” as in “gap”
Stands for: Spear (specifically Gungnir – Odin’s Spear)
Casting meaning: The Gar rune is a special one. Unlike the previous 32 runes in the Northumbrian set, Gar does not belong to an ætt. However, this rune is said to be the center point of all the other runes in this set. It is also said to contain all the other runes in itself, making it a powerful and useful rune.
ALL THAT WE ARE IS THE RESULT OF WHAT WE HAVE THOUGHT


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