Fun with Gaelic: Thalla Gu Taigh Na Galla

Fun with Gaelic: Thalla Gu Taigh Na Galla

It’s been a hot minute since I shared any Gaelic with ya’ll, so we’re overdue.

And what do I do when I’m overdue?

Tell you how to curse in Gaelic, apparently.

Thalla gu taigh na galla is a full Gaelic phrase, and it means “go to hell”—or literally: “go to the house of the bitch”. Gaelic don’t mess around.

Thalla is a word you might be familiar with if you do Gaelic Duolingo. I’ve seen it pop up there a few times in later lessons. Thalla on its own means “go away”.

Taigh is another common Gaelic word—and, again, you’ve probably heard it in Gaelic Duolingo. It’s the word for “house”.

So from thalla and taigh, you can see where we get the “go” and “house” in the statement: go to the house of the bitch. I bet you can guess which word means “bitch”!

Now, if you don’t familiarity with Gaelic, I’ll show you how to pronounce this.

Thalla is pronounced “hal-la”, as though the th makes more of an h sound. Gu is pronounced “goo”, but shorter; don’t hold the “oo” sound too long. Taigh is pronounced like “tie” or “Thai”, but the “i” sound at the end is just a bit softer; add a soft “h” to the end create that “gh” sound and soften the “i”. Na is self-explanatory. Galla is pronounced like “ga-la”.

This is a very simplistic way of writing out how to say this phrase; it doesn’t get into the intricacies of Gaelic pronunciation. The best way to learn proper Gaelic pronunciation is by learning Gaelic.


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