Love & Terms of Endearment
Love is one of those complex concepts, isn’t it. Love is abstract so it is no wonder that there are so many ways to express how you feel about another.
1. Types of Love
There are many different nouns. Here is a rough guide. Nouns are in nominative form.
Grá – This is the generic word for love. From love of person, an abstract concept, your country, between lovers, neighbourly love…
Grá a bheith agat ar dhuine or Grá a bheith agat do duine – To love someone.
Bheith i ngrá le duine – To be in love with someone.
Grá na fírinne – Love of truth
Ar ghrá ruda or de ghrá ruda – For love of a thing, for the sake of a thing
Fíorghrá – True love
Amhrán grá – Love song
Bheith i bpian an ghrá or Bheith á c(h)loí le grá – To be lovesick
Others: Verbal Noun of Gráigh; Charity; Beloved Person; (Literature) Aos Grá – Confidents, chosen followers.
Cion – Love as in “affection”.
Cion croí a dhéanamh le leanbh – To hug a child to one’s bosom.
Ainm ceana – Pet name.
Other: Regard, Esteem; Effect, Influence
Gean – Affection. Less widely used than Cion.
Also: Gean gáire – Smile.
Searc – Love (between lovers)
Searc a thabhairt do dhuine – To love someone.
Le searc air – For love of him
Céadsearc – First love
Also: Beloved one.
Páirt – Fellowship, friendship, affection.
Lucht gaoil agus páirte – Relatives and friends.
A leanbh na páirte – My Dear Child.
Also: Part, Portion, Region, Participation, Party to a dispute; Partnership, association, alliance.
Cumann – Friendship, love; companionship.
Mo lucht cumainn – My Friends, companions.
Cumann a dhéanamh le duine or dul i gcumann le duine – To associate with or make friends with someone.
Also: Darling, Sweetheart; Company, fellowship, community.
2. Ways to express love
Often times people interchange these expressions. Note the differences.
First person singular I
Tá grá agam duit – I love you, I have love for you
Gráím thú – I love you (Not used often because Irish has been traditionally more of a prepositional language than a verbal one).
Tugaim cion duit – I give you affection
Tá cion agam ort – I have affection for you
Tá mé ceanúil ort – I’m loving/affectionate towards you
Táim i ngrá leat – I am in love with you
Is tú mo ghrá – You are my love
Is breá liom… – I love… (a thing/ activity)
However I must say my favourite is:
Tá mo chroí istigh ionat – My heart is within you
(This list is not exhaustive)
NB: Mo (the Irish word for My) has been changed to A in places. This often happens with terms of endearment. It is what is known as the vocative form of the noun. This is used when calling people, be in physically or at the start of a letter. At any rate I would pick the A ones over the MO ones.
A Ghrá mo Chroí (ah hraw muh hree) = My Heart’s Beloved, My Darling
A Ghrá Geal (ah hraw gal) = My Bright Love, Boy(/Girl)friend
A Ghrá (ah hraw); Mo Ghrá (muh hraw) = My Love
A Rún (ah ruin); Mo Rún (muh ruin) = My Dear
Mo Mhuirnín (muh wer-neen); A Mhuirnín (ah wer-neen) = My Dear
A Stór (ah store) = My Darling (NOTE, exception to lenition rule)
Mo Shearc (muh hark) = My Love
A Thaisce (ah hash-keh) = My Treasure
A Chumann (ah hom-un)= My Darling, Sweetheart.
Other and/ or Lovers:
A Stóirín (ah store-een) = My little darling.
Is í an t-aingeal í (iss e un tangil e) = She’s a little darling.
Peata (pet-ah) – A mother’s darling. / A Pheata (ah fet-eh) My…
Seanleannán liom (shan-lan-auwn lum) – An old love of mine.
Written by: éanna
“My Beloved is Mine”
(from The Song of Songs)
This is a quote from the Song of Songs 2:16
Dodi li v’ani lo (Hebrew)
The Irish translation of this line is: Liomsa mo ghrá agus leis-sean mise
So, your phrase “My beloved is mine” would be
Is liomsa mo ghrá
If you wanted to use “muirnín” it would be
Is liomsa mo mhuirnín
But the translators of the Bible opted for “grá” so I see no reason not to follow them!
Even though “muirnín” IS closer in meaning to “dod” than “grá is.
ontributed by: oisin718, GrainneBhaoil, Redwolf
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