Irish Language Used In Gaelic Games ⚽: In this blog, we go further with the Irish language used in the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) and add a bit more to it, namely some important terms used during the Gaelic games. We suggest that you continue reading to learn more.


Does promoting the Irish language in the GAA hurts the players and teams more than it helps?


Whatever the case may be, it is certainly true that having ample knowledge on the language is an asset, especially on the disciplinary side of the sports body.


That is why however big or little the Irish language actually helps in the games should not really matter. Instead, players and teams should focus on learning some Irish languages and phrases so no problems would eventually arise in their quest to win a championship.


For instance, depending on how well-versed a team is in the Irish language, it could either increase or diminish its chance to win a championship. Rules were specifically made that more or less required the use of the Irish language. For example, all players had to speak Irish on the field as tried by the underage section of the Dublin County Board (Cumann na Scoil Condae Átha Cliath) in 1918.


A booklet with compiled Irish language words or phrases that can be used for Gaelic games has been printed for quite some time now that may help different athletes and teams master them. Below, we state some examples from the booklet, along with others words or phrases known to be used in the GAA Gaelic games. Continue reading to learn more.



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Examples of Irish language words and phrases used in Gaelic games


Before we go to the actual terms used in games, we want to share something a bit different first.


Say, for example, you are associated with the GAA. If you have to speak at a dinner dance, or you are are an important figure that needs to speak at numerous function this year, then you need to use a cúpla focail.


In Irish, cúpla focail means a few words – in Ireland, we also refer to them as the few words. Basically, it means using a few Irish words in an English sentence.


Here, we state some useful phrases you can use, all located in the booklet.


Téarmaí Trófaithe – Trophy Terms

Bonn – (bun) Medal

Corn – (corn) Cup

Faoi dheich – (fwee jie) Under 10

Faoi dhó dhéag – (fwee gaw yaig) Under 12


Or, you can also say…


Faoi cheathair déag – (fwee kaher jaig) Under 14

Faoi shé déag – (fwee hay jaig) Under 16

Mionúir – (minnur) Minors

Sóisir/Sóisearaigh – (soshirree) Juniors

Sinsir/Sinsearaigh – (shinshirree) Seniors

Imreoirí faoi aois – (imroree fwee eesh) Underage players

Imreoir na bliana – (imrorr na blaineh) Player of the year

An t-imreoir is mó feabhais – (eh chimror iss mow feowss) Most improved player
Pearsa cumainn na Bliana – (parseh coming na blaineh) Clubperson of the Year


Cúpla Focal – Saying a few Words

A Chathaoirligh – (eh kaheerlee) Mr. Chairman

A Aíonna Speisialta – (eh eena speshee-alteh) Special Guests

A Athair Urramaigh – (a ahar urramee) Reverend Father

A Dhaoine Uaisle – (a geenee ooshleh) Dear People

Thar ceann an Choiste – (har kyun eh koshteh) On behalf of the Committee

Ba mhaith liom fáilte a chur romhaibh go léir chuig an ócáid speisialta seo – (ba wy lum
fwaalcheh a kur rowve gawh lair higg on oakadge speshee-alteh shawh) I would like
to welcome you all to this special occasion

Tréaslaím libh/daoibh – (chracelee-um deev) I congratulate you

Gabhaim buíochas libh – (go-um bweehas live) I thank you (as an chuireadh – (iss eh
kurroo) for the invitation)


You can learn more by reading the booklet we have linked above.


Gaelic games: examples of Irish language words/phrases used


Now, we go to the main point of the blog.


These are what the players usually can say when in the playing field.


Liathróid – an Irish word which means football, handball etc. This means the ball itself.

Peil – the Irish word for football, but different from liathróid (i.e., the game of Gaelic football itself).

Caid – another term that you can use for Gaelic football, which usually refers to precodified varieties in the south west of Ireland.

T’aire! Tathair ort. Isteach ar an bhfear. – (Tharreh! Thaw-har- urth. Sthoch ar a var.) Mind yourself! He’s on you. In on the man.

Tá siad againn – (teh shid ageeng) We have them!

Tá sí agam – (teh she ugim) I have it (the ball)!

Sin an bealach – (shin ehbalah) That’s the way!

Imeartha go maith – (imurha goh myh) Well played!

Maith thú, a Ainm – (my whooh eh ____) Well Done, Name!

Maith thú féin – (my whoo hain) Good man/girl yourself!

Bullaí fir / mná – (bully firh / mraa) Good man/woman!

Coinnigh ag dul – (kingyee ehgoll) Keep going!

Pasáil an liathróid – (pwassal ehlayridge) Pass the ball!

Cuir anall í – (kur nal ee) Pass it across to me!

Cuir anonn í – (kur anon ee) Send it across! (to someone)

Fág agam í – (fwaag ugim ee) Leave it to me!

Fág aige/aici í – (fwaag eggeh/ekee ee) Leave it to him/her!

Na lig dó/di dul tharat/Ná lig thart leat é/í – (nah lig heart lat ay/ee) Don’t let him/her
by (past) you!

Fan leis/léi – (fan lesh/layhee) Stay/stick with him/her!

Tá sé/sí agat – (teh shay/shee ugat) You have him/her!

Is leatsa/leat í – (iss lat ee) It’s yours!


As mentioned above, there are many other examples. But for more terms, please refer to the GAA’s booklet linked above.


Learn Irish through FluentIrish


Now that we have shared with you some things that you should know about the Irish language words and terms used in Gaelic games, we also want to discuss with you how we can help you in everything Irish-related.


ba mhaith linn plé leat freisin conas is féidir linn cabhrú leat i ngach rud a bhaineann leis an nGaeilge.


If you can understand simple Irish, you will want to improve. FluentIrish is here for you. Listen every day to get on with Irish.

Má tá tú ábalta Gaeilge shimplí a thuiscint – beidh tú ag iarraidh biseach a dhéanamh. Tá Fluentirish anseo faoi do choinne. Bí ag éisteacht gach aon lá chun a bheith ag gabháil ar aghaidh i nGaeilge.

We provide informative blogs and helpful podcasts that can help in your quest to learn the Irish language.


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