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Gaelic names again

Halò, a chairdean, I've noticed that all the nice or less nice people we met so far have a first name only. There is a polite form of addressing people (sibh), but never together with a name. It's usually athair, seanair or Ollaimh ... I get it that Gaelic names are Name Son of Somebody. Therefore it would kind of strange to address people as Mr. Son of Somebody. But how are you talking to people whom you do not know too well, as for instance, the woman in the bakery? Is it first names for everybody like in Iceland? And how about foreigners? Would you address them by their first name as well? (Actually we did this when visiting the Hebrides. Nobody seemed to care for familiy names there.) There is a question that really puzzles me: Dè an t-ainm a th' oirbh, athair? Assuming that most people know who their father is - can you address somebody senior but not actually your father as athair? Last nosy question: I noticed on tombstones that women did not have the same familiy names as their husbands but obviously kept their birth name. Is it still the case today (in case people actually have a Gaelic name)? So many questions ... I would appreciate any input.

April 5, 2020



I wondered about that too.. perhaps priests can also be "father"?


It is not strange to address people as Mr. Son of Somebody. That's what you should do if you have manners and that's what children do in GME schools, e.g. Halò a bhuas Nic Dhòmhnail is a Mhaighstir mac Leoid! The reason why nobody seemed to care in the Hebrides is because 1. people generally (but not always) use Gaelic in familiar context and English in formal context, and 2. many people have the same family name. I've never heard anybody calling a senior male figure "Athair" but you can colloquially address a senior male figure by "a bhodaich", assuming you know them well, a bit like you'd say "old man" or "old fellow" in English. Don't know about your last question - would need to visit cladhan more often :D


Tapadh leat! I was about to give up on this ... I get it that Ms. Daughter of Somebody is a good way of addressing at least teachers and the like. Number two is not so clear - when I was on the Hebrides two years ago I knew about three words of Gaelic: Slàinte, drochaid and loch ... And Alba of course. But people introduced themselves by their first name and were happy enough when I told them my first name. Maybe it was because they enjoyed having crazy tourists around who actually wanted to see Uibhist. Tha Uibhist sgoinneil! (Can't understand why other people do not want to go there, actually).


I don't know, but good post!!!


The names in Gaelic have caught my attention into the course, and I don't know other names too!

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