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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2003 (April-June) » Irish name for Grandmother « Previous Next »

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Kathy Murphy (216.83.188.5 - 216.83.188.5)
Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2003 - 11:11 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Hi,

My name is Kathy Murphy and I am about to become a grandmother for the first time. I would like to use something different than the normal Mom Mom, Grandmom, etc. and thought maybe the Irish have a translation for Grandmother.

Is there anyone out there that can help.

Thanks!

Kathy Murphy

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Bradford (216.16.15.66 - 216.16.15.66)
Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2003 - 12:02 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Kathy, a chara,

Here's a few I've seen: máthair mhór, mamó, seanmháthair.

I'm sure the native/fluent speakers know of some others.

Le meas,

Bradford

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Phil (159.134.209.199 - 159.134.209.199)
Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2003 - 02:07 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Mamó is definitely the best.

The other two mean:

Big mother
Old mother

-Phil

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Aonghus (159.134.59.60 - 159.134.59.60)
Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2003 - 03:39 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Phil a chara
please don't pontificate
All three words given by Bradford above are in common use by native speakers for grandmother; and here is a fourth
Nana

Mamó and Nana would be familiar forms/pet names for calling your grandmother, the other two are less likely to be used when talking to a grandmother, more as a description.

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shay (213.202.167.221 - 213.202.167.221)
Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2003 - 03:55 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

im a fluent speaker and i use seanmhathair and mamó. Mamó is probably the easiest though

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Aonghus (193.120.237.66 - 193.120.237.66)
Posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2003 - 04:02 am:   Edit Post Print Post

btw. Phil
consider the etymology of grandmother for a moment
Just for comparison
in French it's
Grand mére
in German it's
Grossmutter

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Phil (159.134.209.145 - 159.134.209.145)
Posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2003 - 06:24 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Kathy wanted a name by which her grandkids could address her.

I don't call my grandmother "Grandmother", I call her "Nanny", which comes from "Granny".

"Mamó" is the Gaeilge for "Granny/Nanny".

In alot of Gaeilge stories I've read, the grandad is called "Daideo" by the kids.


-Phil

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Aonghus (193.120.237.66 - 193.120.237.66)
Posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2003 - 07:44 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Yes, but what you said was
> The other two mean:
> Big mother
> Old mother

They don't. They mean grandmother.

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Phil (159.134.209.19 - 159.134.209.19)
Posted on Thursday, May 01, 2003 - 02:09 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

true

-Phil

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James Murphy (217.78.1.244 - 217.78.1.244)
Posted on Friday, May 02, 2003 - 09:04 am:   Edit Post Print Post

What about 'Garmhathair'?

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Aonghus (193.120.237.66 - 193.120.237.66)
Posted on Friday, May 02, 2003 - 09:38 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Garmhac is one of the ways of saying grandson,
(Gariníon for granddaughter)
but I've never heard/read Garmháthair, and it doesn't come up in An Foclóir Beag

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James Murphy (217.78.1.244 - 217.78.1.244)
Posted on Friday, May 02, 2003 - 10:00 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A Aonghuis,
According to Dinneen's dictionary 'Gar-' is used in compounds and means 'great-' or 'great-grand-'. The examples given are 'Gar-athair', 'Gar-mhathair', 'Gar-mhac' and 'Gair-inghean'.
I suppose 'gar-' isn't used as much as 'sean-' etc. or mabey it has fallen out of use.

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Aonghus (193.120.237.66 - 193.120.237.66)
Posted on Friday, May 02, 2003 - 11:54 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Interesting.
I've read and heard garmhac and gariníon frequently, but never come across garathair or garmháthair. I must check my Dineen; perhaps it is confined to a region.

Sin-seanmháthair would be my way of saying greatgrandmother.

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Aonghus (193.120.237.66 - 193.120.237.66)
Posted on Wednesday, May 07, 2003 - 04:41 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Having checked out Dineen 1934 it has all those forms.

I only have the shorter Gearr Fhoclóir Gaeilge Béarla, which is an extract from Ó Donaill.

It does not list garmháthair, but lists garathair as great-grandfather.

And, as I say, I've never come across it's use as grandmother.

Unfortunately, Dineen gives no hint as to whether it might be regional.

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