My love, my dear, my sweetheart...
Like any other language, Irish has its own terms of endearment for friends and loved ones.
Exact translations of English terms of endearment into Irish are not always possible, however. Irish endearments are unique in themselves and some of the best deserve a mention.
1. “A chara” (uh KHAR-uh): Means “Friend.” This form of address can be used in everything from formal letter salutations to greeting cards. It is used to address both men and women.
2. “A stór” (uh stohr): Literally means “my treasure.” Can be used in an affectionate friendship or as a term of endearment to a child.
3. “A ghrá” (uh GHRAH): Meaning “Love.” A more romantic endearment.
4. “A chroí” (uh KHREE): Meaning “Heart”
5. “A mhuirnín” (uh WUR-neen): Meaning “Darling”
6. “A chuisle” (uh KHUSH-leh): Meaning “Pulse”
7. “A leanbh” (uh LAN-uv): Literally means “my child.” Affectionate term of endearment.
8. “A rúnsearc” (uh ROON-shark): Literally means “secret love” — a very passionate way of saying “beloved.”
9. “Mo shíorghrá” (muh HEER-ggrah): meaning “My Eternal Love” is a more modern translation of the the concept of soul mates.
10. “M’fhíorghrá” (MEER-ggrah): meaning “My True Love” — yet another translation of the modern soul mate concept.
When you consider that none of these terms of endearment relate anyone to vegetables or eggs, perhaps the Irish got off lightly. A more bizarre form of address might be calling someone a “Chou” (cabbage), the French equivalent of “sweetheart”, or “Tamago gata no kao” (Egg with eyes) which is apparently a great compliment for a woman in Japan and last but not least “ma puce” (my flea) which is roughly the equivalent to “sweetie” in English.
*Origially published in 2013.