Welcome to the Home of the “Geeky Gaeilgeoir”

Roadside view in Glenfin, Co. Donegal, Ireland

Geek –  A person who is very interested in and knows a lot about a particular field or activity (Source: Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary).

Gaeilgeoir – 1. Irish speaker, 2. A learner of Irish (Source: Ó Dónaill, Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla).  3. An obnoxious twat who goes around quoting grammar rules, correcting native speakers, and generally making him or herself annoying (Source: numerous  Gaeltacht residents after spending the summer shepherding enthusiastic language learners around the village).

Hi! My name is Audrey, and I’m a geeky Gaeilgeoir  (or Gaeilge Geek, if you prefer).

Some of my Irish-speaking friends (especially those who have just spent a summer dealing with over-enthusiastic learners)  may consider “geeky Gaeilgeoir” to be redundant. I guess that would be true if you’re thinking in terms of definition number three above. But while I definitely fall under definition one, and will always be definition two, I try very hard to avoid definition three!

I have no qualms, however, about claiming the title of “geek,” especially when it comes to Irish! (You call it an affliction; I call it a title. Semantics)

I’ve spent the greater part of the past 14 years learning the Irish language, and I love it passionately. I love speaking it and teaching it. I love to sing in it. I love its quirky but elegant grammar and its unique way of expressing things. I love to talk about it (that’s the geek in me!), to share my experiences (and opinions!), and to help others who are interested in learning this ancient and living language.

That’s why I started this blog. After all, if you can’t be a geek on the internet, where else? I have a lot to share and (always!) a lot to learn. If you’re interested in Irish too (even if you’re not quite as geeky about it as I am), come along for the ride!

Header image: St. Columba’s Church (Church of Ireland), Glencolmcille, Co. Donegal, Ireland. © 2008, by Audrey Nickel.

Featured image: Roadside view in the parish of Glenfin, Co. Donegal, Ireland. © 2013 by Audrey Nickel

In addition to being “The Geeky Gaeilgeoir,” Audrey Nickel is the author of  The Irish Gaelic Tattoo Handbook,” published by Bradan Press, Nova Scotia, Canada.  For information about the book, including where to buy it, please visit http://www.bradanpress.com/irish-tattoo-handbook/

Please note that Audrey does not do personal translations, either via this website or via email. If you’re interested in a translation, please seek out a professional translator, if possible. If that is not possible, please visit The Irish Language Forum (www.irishlanguageforum.com) and post your query on the main forum (“An Fóram Mór”).

13 thoughts on “Welcome to the Home of the “Geeky Gaeilgeoir””

  1. Wow a chailín ! Tá tú ina chomhairleoir ardnósach chun teanga Gaeilge. Bionn mise ag an Gaeilge 30 bliana fos ach níl feidir liom an Ghaeilge a labhairt… I read some where that we Irish had so much trama twisting our tongues into English we need another trama to twist our tongues back to Irisn B’fheidir an ‘Wankers’ might ironical bring it about….Is mise le meas Donnchadh as Liverpool Sasana.


  2. I’m so excited to find this page! I’ve just started learning Irish and this page is really helpful to give some context to what I’ve been learning! Do you think you could check my translation on a phrase?


  3. Hi Audrey,
    In searching for advice on Irish translations, your name rose to the top of my list as an expert resource. I have a question about a certain phrase which I sent to you via Messenger on Facebook. Any help that you can offer would be very well received.
    Many thanks,


  4. Hi Audrey,
    I love your commentary on the t-shirt and it brought back memories of when I was about 6 or 7 years old at the tail end of the sixties.
    There were 8 of us children at the time (two more followed in the early 70’s) and I was the youngest. We had one black and white TV and it was my job to ask Granny if we could watch TV. I used to be pushed into the kitchen and the door closed so that I couldn’t get out. The rest stood outside the door. She would be sitting in front of the fire saying her prayers I suspect.
    I would ask Granny if we could turn on the TV. I thought she was ancient. I thought she used to say to me “Tabhair dom póg” but my mind might be playing tricks with me. One kiss later and the television was on. The rest would pile in the door and slag me about kissing Granny (she felt ancient at the time and she was hardly 70) and I always maintained that I didn’t touch her but I just made a big puckering sound. They never believed me!
    I think I might get a new t-shirt made for all my siblings. It will require a fair bit of material now but I might get the grammar right.

    Maith thú. Bím ag deanamh iarracht Gaelige a labhairt arís ach nil mé ró-mhaith.


  5. Hello, I’m looking for a real translation of the phrase, “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; Love leaves a memory no one can steal.” This is for a memorial tattoo and it’s extremely important that I get it right. Could you point me in the direction of an accurate translator?

    Thank you,

    Sarah Greenbank


  6. What an amazing post!! I absolutely loved reading through this. I am looking to find a real translation for the phrase “I am enough”. I’ve gotten so many different ways of saying it. Can you tell me the proper way to say this?


    1. Hi Britney! I’m glad you’re enjoying the site!

      Unfortunately, as the disclaimer at the bottom of the page says, I don’t do translations. This is for your own protection. With a language as different from English, both in syntax and idiom, it’s vitally important that you get input from more than one person, unless that person is a paid professional translator, which I am not.

      Please take your request to The Irish Language Forum (www.irishlanguageforum.com) and post your query on the main forum (“An Fóram Mór”). You have to register, but it’s free. Be sure to tell them it’s for a tattoo, and let them know what other translations you may have gotten already (they can tell you if they’re OK or, if not, what’s wrong with them). Most importantly, please wait for at least three people there to agree on a translation (and, if they decide that more than one translation is possible, ask them to explain the differences between them).

      Good luck!


  7. Hi Audrey, I edit a small poetry magazine. I can’t find any help in the Oxford Style Manual or Judith Butcher’s Copy Editing, so wonder if you can tell me whether it is correct to put fadas on capital letters, please?


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