Grandmother- máthair Chríona- Maimeó- máthair mhór-Mo’rai’

Fáilte (Welcome) Forums General Discussion (Irish and English) Grandmother- máthair Chríona- Maimeó- máthair mhór-Mo’rai’

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Author
  • #36668

    I am looking for a Gaelic way for my grandson to call me grandmother. I am Irish/Scots and want to bring back some of the culture lost through the generations.

    I found something that I like, but there is questions about it’s usage, that would be: máthair Chríona (MAW her KHREE un na) “mother of the heart”.

    I’ve been investigating it and wondered if perhaps the reason others found it odd is because of the spelling or grammer.

    Máthair =mother- I understand.

    I found Chrí=heart.

    óna = from or after? I think. (but in the phonetic spelling above, I think it should be o na instead of un na. Would I be correct?)

    Now can mo=my be added and

    can Maimeó be used instead of Máthair? Is Maimeó the same as Máthair?

    Is Mo’rai’ used also and what does it mean?

    What is the actual translation of máthair mhór?

    And how exactly would I put it together and pronounce it? Is it even close?
    Maimeó mo chrí óna? (“from my heart?”)

    Maybe I would like to say, grandson(child) from my heart? or mother of the heart?
    I don’t know what would be the easiest to say either.

    I’m sorry but I did not connect to Seanmháthair.

    What about Grand Father? I haven’t researched it yet =) Help, please.

    Any help is welcome. I’d like to be at least close to the right translation and pronunciation.
    Thank you,

    Héilics Órbhuí

    Críonna (you have it misspelled) is one word, not two. It has nothing to do with the word “croí” (heart). It means usually “wise” but sometimes “old”. You needd the “h” after “c” in this case since “máthair” is feminine.

    “Mamó” (sometimes spelled different ways, depending on dialect) is the most common way of saying “grandma” (i.e. informal and affectionate). “Seánmháthair” is the most literal way of saying it.

    For grandfather you have appropriately “Daideo”, “seanathair” and “athair críonna” (note there is no “h” in “críónna” this time).


    my family have always spoken some Irish at home, but we’re not fluent – English has been our main language ..

    my kids called my parents “seanmháthair” and “seanathair”

    my grandchildren, and sons-in-law, all call me “Mamó” .. it started as Maimeo, but there’s a lovely series of books in Irish about a feisty Mamó, so I changed!

    my sisters kids (in England) call her “sean-mamma” .. it’s made-up, but I think it’s lovely

    also, do you want to be something like “grandmamma” (formal) or “granny”

    le dea ghuí, eadaoin


    Thank you, both.

    Trying to get away from the “old” thing.
    Don’t need to be reminded of that and I’m not sure how “wise” I am.

    How would you say ” mother of the heart” then?

    Also, please, if you could give a regular spelling and a phonetic spelling it would be helpful.
    What is the phonetic spelling of “Daideo”?

    Héilics Órbhuí

    “Mother of the heart” wouldn’t make any sense in this context, I think. If you’re desiring to be authentic at all, you have basically the three choices I mentioned plus “máthair mhór” which again denotes age or seniority, even though mór usually means “big” or “great”.

    You can make up other things, but at that point you don’t need the help of someone who speaks Irish.

    “Daideo” is pronounced like the English word “dad” with “o” on the end. In addition you need to slenderize the second “d”, which is done by very lightly touching it to your alveolar ridge rather than fully pressing it against the ridge or the back of the teeth as you ordinarily would for “d”. Really, you should find a site that has an audio file, because otherwise you risk not doing it right. This is a sound that doesn’t exist in English.


    Móraí is another possibility. Informal, sometimes used by younger children.


    Hello Denise!

    I seem to have read somewhere that “máthair mhór” is mostly used in Ulster and “máthair chríonna” in Munster. So, if your family hails from either of those provinces, you might base your choice on that. As far as I know, the word “seanmháthair” has no regional colouring.

    In case you prefer the informal term, you could opt for “mamó” (“granny”), sometimes also pronounced as “maimeo”.

    For more information, have a look at this:


    I’ve seen Móraí before, what would be the direct translation and is it phonetically said (Moree)?
    Thank you


    I could be mistaken, but I think that’s an Ulster word as well, I suppose derived from “mathair mhor” (can’t do diacritics here, sorry). Hard to say how the pronunciation should be rendered in English, perhaps Mawree?


    Thank you all have been very helpful I will post what we decide when he gets here. I will be back to learn more as time permits. I love the sound of the language, but I don’t understand much yet. Your sounds are so different.
    I have ancestors who hail from those parts. But not all the genealogy is done yet.

    Callaway or Gallaway married Cullen.

    Then we know Grant from Scotland.

    That is the most direct part on my áthairs side. My maiden name is Cullen.

    Bain, Shelton, Mitchell, and Purh are all I know of my máthairs side. Her maiden name was Bain.

    I’d love to say thank you in Irish ,but I don’t know how yet. So
    Thank you

    Bríd Mhór

    This is how we address our parents and grandparents in Connemara (Conamara).

    Recorded in this order –

    Mama = Mammy
    Deaide = Daddy
    Mamó = Grandma, Nan
    Daideo= Grandad

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Daltaí na Gaeilge