The Irish Gaelic Tattoo Handbook by Audrey NicholThe Irish Gaelic Tattoo Handbook by Audrey Nichol

The Irish Gaelic Tattoo Handbook

byAudrey Nichol

Paperback | June 1, 2017

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Are you planning an Irish-language tattoo or inscription? What could possibly go wrong? Quite a lot, if you depend on the internet for an Irish translation. Avoid a tattoo nightmare and learn how to incorporate Irish words into a design that honours the Celtic language and culture of Ireland. This book features a glossary of over 400 authentic Irish-language words, phrases, and sayings, illustrations of real-life Irish tattoos gone wrong, and tips on how to use the internet to your advantage when designing your tattoo, jewelry, crafts, or artwork.
Audrey Nickel is an Irish speaker, teacher, and singer who shares her home near Santa Cruz, CA, with her husband, her daughter, Wiley the Irish-speaking poodle, four harps, and about 40 tin whistles. Follow her writing about the Irish language as "The Geeky Gaeilgeoir" at
Title:The Irish Gaelic Tattoo HandbookFormat:PaperbackDimensions:104 pages, 8 × 5 × 68 inPublished:June 1, 2017Publisher:Bradan PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:099509988X

ISBN - 13:9780995099883

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

The reason for this book 2

Where’s the artwork? 2

Chapter 1: What is Irish Gaelic? 3

Irish, Gaelic, or Irish Gaelic? 3 

A brief history of the Irish language 5

The decline of Irish under English rule 6

The status of the Irish language today 7

Irish dialect differences 8

The traditional dialects 9

The Official Standard 9

Urban Irish 9

Interesting features of the Irish language 10

The verb comes first 10

Words can change… a lot 11

New beginnings 11

“No” doesn’t mean no 12

Conclusion 12

Chapter 2: Irish Writing and Symbols 13

Traditional Irish writing 13

Ogham 14

Celtic knotwork 15

Other popular symbols 16

Chapter 3: Tattoo Translation “Fails” 17

Drug-free disaster 17

The girl made sorrowful by a bad translation 18

My soul what? 20

Daddy’s little who? 22

Don’t be a meme 24

Chapter 4: Translation Issues and Advice 25

Translation issues 25

“Simple” isn’t always so simple 26

First step in translation: what do you mean? 26

Which word works best? 27

When it works but it doesn’t 27

Song lyrics and poetry 28

Translation advice 28

Glossary translations: the three big “don’ts” 28

Adapting translations or finding new ones 29

Cultural cautions 31

Bottom line: your tattoo, your responsibility 32

Chapter 5: The Irish Tattoo Glossary 33

How to use the glossary 33

The Irish tattoo glossary 38

Place, identity and heritage 38

Family 40

Love and friendship 50

In memoriam 55

Religious and spiritual 57

Courage, honour, and service 66

Work, activities, and identities 69

Emotions, qualities, and concepts 71

Personal mottos and sayings 74

Quotes from movies, TV, and literature 78

Traditional Irish sayings and proverbs 80

Glossary Index 83

Resources 91

Editorial Reviews

“If you (or a friend or family member) are considering getting an Irish Gaelic tattoo, buy this book first. Don't be one of the many people who had their heart in the right place but got the wrong phrase inked. If it's in line with your values, getting an Irish Gaelic tattoo is a fantastic way of making a real connection with your Irish heritage. If you're getting an Irish [language] tattoo, do it right!”  —Eoin Ó Conchúir, Founder, Bitesize Irish Gaelic