I-Spy in Ireland

The names you will find on Irish maps tend to have their origins in one of three languages groups.  You can probably guess that one of them is English – we are not going to look for those.  Very common too is Gaelic.  But wait a minute, we did that last week in Scotland.  Indeed!  The pronunciation will be different, and the spelling may vary a bit too, but you will see the same components here, as Scots Gaelic and Irish are from the same Celtic language family.


So, dig out a map of Ireland and see if you can find these words in place names.  Some of them are pretty much the same as the Scottish Gaelic ones from last week, but I think you will find it easier to spot them in Ireland.

Ard = a high place or an important place

Bally = place of…

Carrick or Carrig = rock

Clon or Cloon = dry place – look in an otherwise boggy area

Derry = place of oak trees

Down, Dun or Don = fortified place

Droichead = bridge

Drum or Drom = ridge

Glen = valley

Kil or Killy = church

Knock = hill

Rath = fort

Ros = wood


And the other language represented in Ireland – Viking – but we will come back to that another time.