Cúpla Focal


During your visits to Gaelick, you may come upon cúpla focal (a couple of words) in Irish. Fear not! Here is a run down of how to pronounce them and what they mean. This page will be updated as words are used. But, if you come across something that we’ve forgotten to add, let us know and we’ll update it post haste.

First things first, vowels. Your normal a, e, i, o and u are the same in Irish as English but, to make things more interesting, they can have a fada (like an accent) which changes their sound.

á- aw
é – ay
í – ee
ó – oh
ú – oo



Álainn – (pron. aww-ling) Lovely, pretty.
Amach – (pron. ah-mock) Out, outside.
Amháin – (pron. ah-wahn) number one.
Babóg – (pron. bah-bow-g) Doll.
Bád – (pron. bawd) Boat.
Báibin – (pron. baw-been) Baby.
Báidín – (pron. baw-djeen) Little boat.
Bainne – (pron. ban-nyeh) Milk.
Ban – (pron. bonn) Woman. Plural: Mná (pron. m’n-aww).
Bán-dearg – (pron. bawn-darrag) Pink.
Cáca – (pron. kaw-kah) Cake.
Cailín – (pron. koleen) Girl. Plural: cailíní (pron. koleen-ee).
Céilí – (pron. kay-lee) Night of Irish music.
Comhghairdeas – (pron. koh-gar-jass) Congratulations.
Croi/chroi – (pron. kree) Heart.
Cúpla – (pron. kew-pla) Couple.
Dáil – (pron. daww-l) Irish lower house of parliament.
Dearg – (pron. jar-ag) the colour red.
Focal - (pron. fuk-ill ) Word.
Gaelic - (pron. gay-lick) Irish culture.
Gaeilge - (pron. gwayl-ge) Irish language.
Gnéas – (pron. g’n-ace) Sex.
Grá- (pron. graw) Love.
Gúna- (pron. goo-na) Dress.
Iarnród Éireann – (pron. eeern-rode air-an) Irish Rail (Ireland’s national railway company).
Lámh – (pron. law-v) Hand. Plural: lámha (pron. law-va).
Leaba – (pron. l’ya-ba) Bed.
Leispiach – (pron. lez-pee-ock) Lesbian.
Mná – (pron. m’n-aww) Women.
Mo – (pron. muh) My.
Oireachtas – (pron. ur-oc-tuss) Ireland’s parliament.
Samhain – (pron. sow-ann) Hollow’een.
Seanad – (pron. shan-ad) Ireland’s upper house of parliament.
Seanchaí – (pron. shan-a-key) Storyteller of old.
Seomra – (pron. showm-rah) Room.
Sin é – (pron. shin-ay) That’s it.
Spraoi – (pron. spree) Fun.
Taoiseach – (pron. tee-shock) Ireland’s Prime Minister.
Uimhir – (pron. iv-er) Number e.g. Uimhir a hAon – number one.



There are some words and phrases that, while not in Irish, would not be recognisably English to someone, say, from England. These have developed either from direct translations from Irish into English, or have developed independently since English was introduced into Ireland.

Eejit – n. Idiot
Gee – n. (Pronounced with a hard “g” as in “gold”, not with a “g” as in “Georgina”.) An offensive term for a woman’s private parts. Used widely and variously.
Gee-bag – n. A derogatory term; an insult. Based on the word “Gee”, is similar in meaning to “shit-head.”
Gee-eyed – adj. Extremely drunk.
Scarlet – adj. Embarrassed, as in red-faced. Usually pronounced by dropping the ‘t’ – scar-leh


Some Phrases

Some of you may wish to know how to say some simple phrases, so here we are, some basic things any lesbian should know how to say.

Hello there – Dia duit (pron. jee-a ditch)

Welcome – Fáilte romhat (pron. fall-cha rowth)

What’s your name? – Cad is anim duit? (pron. cod is anim ditch)

Have you ever seen The L Word? – An bhfaca tú riamh An L Word? (pron. on vah-ca too ree-v an L-Word)

Are you a lesbian? – An leispiach tú? (pron. on lez-pee-ock too)

I am a lesbian – Is mise leispiach (pron. iss mi-sha lez-pee-ock)

No, your boyfriend can’t watch – Níl cead ar do fear amharc a fáil, ar bith! (pron. neel cad air duh far aw-arc a fawl, air b-ih)

Do you have a girlfriend? – An bhfuil cáilin agat? (pron. on will koleen a-gut )

Are you married? – An bhfuil tú pósta? (pron. on will too pow-sta)

Where are all the lovely women? – Cá bhfuil na nban áilainn? (pron. caw will na man aww-ling)

A pint of Guinness please – Pionta Guinness, más é do thoil é (pron. pint-a Guinness mawsh aye di hull aye)

Can I buy you a drink? – Pointa? (pron. pint-a) which just means “Pint?” Any real Irish person will understand.

Can I have your phone number? – An bhfuil cead agam do uimhir theileafóin a fháil? (pron. on will kad a-gum duh ih-ver telephone a awl)

Your place or mine? – Do teach nó mo chuidse. (pron. duh tchyack no muh quid-sha)

Lower – íochtair (pron. ee-ock-tar)

Higher – níos airde (pron. nees ard-je)

Thank you – Go raibh maith agat (pron. guh rev mah agut)

You’re welcome – Tá failte romhat (pron. thaw foil-cha rowth)

I like you – Is maith liom tusa (pron. iss mah lum tussa)

I love you- Tá mé in grá leat (pron. thaw may in graw lath)

Is there a U-Hual nearby? – An bhfuil U-Haul in aice láimhe? (pron. on will U-Haul in akka law-va)