What Are Some Common Irish Grandmother Names?


Quick Answer

As of 2015, some common Irish grandmother names Irish-speaking children use include "Seanmháthair," which translates to "old mother," and "Máthair Mhór," which translates to "great mother." English-speaking Irish children usually refer to their grandmothers with common names, such as Granny, Grandma or Nanna.

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Full Answer

The Irish language, known as Gaeilge, has specific vocative and nominative case forms, which require the speaker to use different terms when describing a person versus addressing them directly. In the case of Irish grandmother names in Gaeilge, the majority are nominative case, meaning they are used when describing or speaking about a person's grandmother. "Seanmháthair" and "Máthair Mhór," are considered formal titles, along with "Máthair Chríona," which translates to "mother of the heart." In turn, when speaking or addressing one's grandmother directly, vocative case names are generally used. These titles are considered informal, such as "Maimeó" or "Móraí," and the latter is used interchangeably to address grandmothers and grandfathers.

Additionally, some common Irish terms of endearment grandmothers use when speaking to their grandchildren in Gaeilge are "a stór" and "a thaisce," which both mean "my treasure," and "a mhuirnín," which means "darling." Other affectionate terms include "a leanbh," which translates to "my child," and "a chroí," which means "my heart."

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