Festival-Speak

At Celtic Festivals some are attempting to add more language and dress that is authentically Celtic. For those working the festivals, you can begin to incorporate phrases and language and dress that will begin your festival traditions.

Here are some phrases in English that incorporate Celtic ideas, and a few Irish Gaelic phrases that are appropriate. You can try to memorize a few to use at festivals. When speaking to festivalgoers, it may be helpful to use the Gaelic phrase followed by the English translation. Carry this list with you so you can practice adding words and phrases to your Celtic Festival dialect.

TO GREET PEOPLE TO THE FESTIVAL OR TO YOUR AREA:
Céad míle fáilte! (kayda meela full cha) – A Hundred Thousand Welcomes!

TO GREET A VERY DEAR FRIEND:
Anamcara! (Ahn am kar ah) – Soul friend!
or
Mo chroí ! (Ma kree) – My heart!

WHEN THE KING AND QUEEN PASS BY:
Éireann go Brách! (Air in go brawh) – Ireland Forever!

TO TOAST SOMEONE WITH A DRINK:
Sláinte! (sloin-cha) – Good health!

TO SAY THANK YOU:
Go Reibh maith agat. (guh reve ma ha goot) – Thank you.

TO SAY YOU'RE WELCOME:
Tá fáilte (tah fullcha) – You're welcome.

TO ENCOURAGE AFRIEND IN BATTLE OR A STRUGGLE:
Misneach! (Meesh nock) – Courage!

TO TELL SOMEONE OFF (Skip the translation on this one.):
Póg mo thóun! (poge ma hone) – Kiss my ass!

IN REFERENCE TO SOMEONE WHO IS ODD BUT NOT BAD:
He's (She's) one of the Selkie-born!

TO ADDRESS A LADY:
My good woman, My lady, Good lady, Gentlewoman, Gentles (more than
one), Fair one, Lass, Lassie, Lassies, Biddy (followed by surname),
Mistress (followed by first name), Missy, Miss, Good crone, Wise grandmother,
Mother/máthair (maw hair), Daughter of Danu

AN ARROGANT WOMAN:
'Tis Herself!

DISPARAGING OR TEASING REFERENCE TO A WOMAN:
Wench, Ban-Sidhe, Traveler, Will-o-the-wisp, Pixie, One of the Selkie born,
Changeling, Ragamuffin, Tart, Strumpet, Trollop

TO ADDRESS A GENTLEMAN:
My good man, Good fellow, Sir, Good sir, Good sirs, Lad, Laddy, Lads,
Laddies, Gentlemen, Gentles (more than one), Master (followed by first name), Good sage, Wise grandfather, Father/Athair (ah hair), Son of Dagda

AN ARROGANT MAN:
'Tis Himself!

DISPARAGING OR TEASING REFERENCE TO A MAN:
Knave, Rascal, Rapscallion, Rounder, Traveler (gypsy), Goblin, Pooka,
Dwarf, Layabout, Leprechaun, one of the Selkie-born (odd but not bad), Johnny
Come Lately

ALWAYS FINISH A STORY WITH:
'Tis a true story!"

IF YOU ARE ASKED DIRECTIONS, BEGIN WITH:
Well, I wouldn't start from here if I was you…
or
Ye can't get there from here, but if you start yonder at the tree…

ALWAYS FINISH GIVING DIRECTIONS WITH:
Ya can't miss it! (even if you can)

ENCOURAGE SOMEONE WITH:
Ya've got to take ev'ry advantage!

TO EMPHASIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF SOMETHING:
Sure and it's…

TO ASK SOMEONE IF HE/SHE WANTS SOMETHING, ASK:
Will ye be having the/a _____, then?

SOMETHING THAT IS VERY GOOD IS:
Grand! ('Tis a Grand day! 'Tis a Grand story!)

HERE ARE SOME SUGGESTED PHRASES WITH AN IRISH CELTIC FLAVOR:
(If you know the Celtic Gods and Goddesses and Celtic culture, try your hand at making some up!)

By Lugh's sword of truth that is a wondrous deed!

May Brigit bless your hearth, good lady.

Well, sir, I believe you would give the Horned God competition! (flirting)

May the spring festival of Beltaine bloom ever in your marriage bed.

She is so beautiful I might be persuaded to be handfasted!

May the Faeries give your cows abundant milk!

I would have her Selkie skin to hide and make her mine.

May you dance in the Faerie realm but not be lost there but for a day.

She would make the ban-sidhe blush with her screeching!

He is a prince of the Fair Folk with such a face as dreams are made of.

By the chariots of the Tuatha De Danaan, that is a riddle indeed!

Would that the Cailleach would escort her across the veil e'er I see her again!

I'll have the Druids' judgment on that if you dare!

May Manannán Mac Lir guide your ships through the storm, good friend.

I would that Morganna took a shillelagh to him!

Goddess bless you and yours.

May Brighid spread her cloak upon your fields.

He is as ugly as Balor the Cyclops!

The wisdom of the Salmon to you.

Eat the hazelnut, my friend, and find some wisdom in this.

May the law of the Brehon come down upon his head!

Cernunnos has no horns compared to that man. His maypole is strung well with ribbon! (flirting)

May those who love us, love us well. And those who love us not, may the Goddess turn their hearts. And if she cannot turn their hearts, may the God turn their ankles, that we may know them from their limping!

She is the Spring Maiden in all her glory!

May the Faeries take you and leave your shoes!

May Epona's horses carry you to safety.

May the road rise to meet you, and may the wind be at your back.

May the ancestor's guide you in your decision, my friend.

It is a great oak that shades his yard! (he is wise)

By hoof and horn! 'Twas a grand story!

I would make of your maypole a dance, sir, but I fear it would be a short dance indeed!

~~ Source Unknown ~~