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Seeking an Irish name for a new Giraffe

The Wildlife Park at Fota Island outside Cork has a newborn giraffe that they need to name, and they have a tradition of giving their Giraffe's Irish names.

You can suggest a name on the Parks website.

You can read a little bit more about this story in today's Irish Times

October 9, 2015



A few ideas:

1. Smaragaid. (Emerald)

You might think "the Emerald Isle" is an Americanism (I did; Johnny Cash and all that). But I just googled it and it seems the first recorded appearance of the phrase is in a poem by Belfast-born doctor William Drennan (18th-19th century).

Re: "Smaragaid" a group of German horsebreeders have adopted the name Smaragaid Connemaras. Their comment: "Connemara Ponys kommen ursprünglich aus Irland, der smaragdgrünen Insel." i.e., "Connemara Ponies originate from Ireland, the Emerald Isle."
The baby giraffe's mother's name is Sapphire, so it's a natural choice.

2. Saoirse. (Freedom)

Here's Iarla Ó Lionáird singing a version of Seán Ó Riordáin's poem Saoirse (Paul Muldoon reads his English translation in between)

Here's the text of the original poem
Freedom, political or existential, could be a very timely theme with all the 2016 commemorations coming up.

3. Afric (From the TG4 series)

A dark horse maybe but the similarity to Africa is catchy.

I won't submit anything.

So if any of these names grab you, go for it.

A chance to meet the cutest baby giraffe on earth. :D :D :D


How does one say "Giraffe" in Irish?



"Ainmhí Afracach a bhfuil muineál agus cosa tosaigh an-fhada air" de réir an Foclòir Beag


The Giraffe should be named Sioráf, or, if they already have one with that name, Shioráf.


This is the 64th giraffe that has been born at Fota - if they haven't called one Sioráf by now, they probably won't go for it now.

Other Giraffes have been called Clodagh, Cuileann, Éadaoin and Bláithín, according to the IT article. Maybe Síofra would do the job?


I haven't yet done the numbers lesson (I still have to re-gold-ify my tree because of a vacation I took to London before I can do the negatives lesson an others on that row), but however one says "sixty-four" in Irish may work as well.


Oh, another name that might work could be t-sioráf, but I'm not a hundred percent sure about how the "t-" thing works.

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