Think you don’t speak Irish? Think again ….

From the brilliant pen of Siobhan McNamara!


Ardnamona 2 At Ardnamona Woods, Donegal Town.
©Siobhán McNamara, March 2014

How much Irish do you use in a day? Probably much more than you realise. Many words that have slipped into common usage in English are believed to originate in the Irish language.

Some of the more familiar words are ‘galore’ which comes from the Irish ‘go leor’ meaning plenty. ‘Knack’ is thought to come from ‘gnách’ meaning custom, habit or practice. ‘Spree’ is derived from ‘spreach,’ the spoils of a raid in ancient times.

These are largely examples of the street language of early Irish-Americans who contributed much to the development of vernacular American-English. While many of these words are listed in dictionaries as being of unknown origin, those who study language say the similarity to Irish and the consistency of when they came into the language are too strong to be ignored.


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