Our blog serves as regular motivation for you to speak the Irish language. Find posts about culture, videos where you find how to say certain phrases, and member interviews to tell you about their experience of learning the language.

Dear Bitesize: How to Pronounce and Make Sense of Irish Place Names

How to pronounce and make sense of Irish place names

I have recently moved to Ireland and would like to be able to pronounce place names in Irish and make some sense of them.

Thanks to the internet, you can hear most Irish place names being pronounced by a local in both Irish and English on the website logainm.ie.

There are many words that commonly appear in Irish place names. Here are a few. Click on the word to hear it. 


Meaning: a high place

Anglicised : Ard

It usually means a place which is physically high but may also mean a place of high importance.


Meaning: ford.

Anglicised: Ah, Ath


Meaning: town, home.

Anglicised: Bally, Balli


Meaning: small

Anglicised: Beg


Meaning: rock.

Anglicised: Carrick


Meaning: church, churchyard.

Anglicised: Kill, Kil

It is often followed by a saint’s name.


Meaning: Forest.

Anglicised: Kyle, Kill


Meaning: stone, stone building

Anglicised: Clogh


Meaning: meadow, pasture

Anglicised: Cloon, Clon, Cloyne


Meaning: hill

Anglicised: Knock


Meaning: ridge

Anglicised: Drom, Drum


Meaning: lake

Anglicised: Lough


Meaning: temple, church

Anglicised: Temple

You can learn even more about Irish pronunciation by participating in Eoin’s course Crack Irish Gaelic Pronunciation on Udemy. 

If you like what you’ve read, why not sign up to free newsletter updates! Simply submit your name and email address in the form which you can find further down on the right of this page.

That’s it for today, folks. Thanks for reading!

If you’ve ever got any grammar questions, don’t hesitate to email info@bitesize.irish.

Le gach dea-ghuí, (Kind regards)


2 thoughts on “Dear Bitesize: How to Pronounce and Make Sense of Irish Place Names”

  1. This is very interesting! I’m going to visit Bhaile Eachaidh next month, the birthplace of my great-grandfather. I’m grateful that I got to learn the Gaeilge spelling and pronunciation before my trip. Go raibh maith agat!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.