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how to say baby in irish

Let’s learn how to say baby in Irish!

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One common word for baby in Irish is leanbh /lyan-uv/.

This is pronounced  /lyan-oo/ in the Ulster dialect.

Another common term for baby is babaí /bob-wee/.

This is not to be confused with the Irish word for doll, babóg /bob-owg/.

If you want to say baby boy the term you need is leanbh mic /lyan-uv mik/.

Baby girl is leanbh iníne /lyan-uv in-een-eh/.

If you wanted to say that a boy is the youngest child in his family you would say sé an babaí é /shay un bob-wee aye//

To say the same about a girl the expression that you need is sí an babaí í /shee un bob-wee ee/.

Another way to say this is to call a child as ‘the last of the litter’. In the case of a boy we say sé deireadh an áil é /shay dehr-ih-ruh un aw-ill aye/ (‘he is the last of the litter’). To say the same of a girl: sí deireadh an áil í /shee dehr-ih-ruh un aw-ill ee/.

In this expression, ail is the genitive singular form of the word ál /awl/. We can use to refer to things like ál páistí /awl paw-ish-tee/ – a swarm of children – or ál banbh /awl bon-uv/ – a litter of piglets (farrow). Banbh (piglet) is in the genitive plural here.

The word pregnant in Irish is torrach /thurr-ukh/

To ‘get pregnant by somebody’ is éirí torrach le duine /eye-ree thurr-ukh le dhin-eh/. This translates directly as to get pregnant ‘with’ somebody, which is nice as it is the same preposition, le (‘with’), that is used when we talk about being in love with somebody – i ngrá le duine /i ngraw leh dhin-eh/ . I like to think that this use of le implies a spirit of union and care in relation to pregnancy.

Another phrase used in relation to pregnancy is to say that a woman is ag iompar clainne /egg umm-pur klin-eh/. This translates as ‘carrying offspring’.

And should one be ag iompar clainne, amongst the things required are..

..a cliabhán /klee-uv-awn/ (cot)..

..lots of bainne /boh-in-eh/ (milk)..

..and plenty of clúidíní /klood-een-ee/ (nappies)!

Did you enjoy this how-to-say Irish language video? Discover our Gaeilge Gach Lá approach to letting the Irish language into your everyday life:

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4 thoughts on “how to say baby in irish”

  1. Donal Patrick Cairns

    Good video. Ben articulates very well. One question for your consideration …. why include the competing Ulster pronunciation of only “leanbh”. For example, “duine” is pronounced differently in Ulster too.
    I might be asking too much here but, and without wanting to increase your costs, or change the structure of the Bitesize Irish platform, might there be capacity or appetite for 3 videos – one for each dialect?

    Le meas

    1. Hi Donal, a chara. Thanks for your interest and for engaging with the content we produce. Our How to Say videos are created to give you useful tasters of the Irish language, and indeed to encourage you to come over to Bitesize Irish. Due to their short nature, they are not intended to be a wholistic or absolute resource that would cover every aspect of the language.

      For those interested in diving deeper into the Irish language, we encourage you to take part in our 1-Week Challenge:

      And then to explore which membership plan at Bitesize Irish best fits your Irish language journey: