What Does Grandma Mean in Gaelic?

Maimeó is the Gaelic term for grandmother (MAM-o). Mamó and Mahmó are alternate spellings. “Granny” is another possible translation. Móra is another Gaelic expression of affection for a grandmother (MO-ree).

The names maimeó and móra are both used to address a grandmother personally and informally. Seanmháthair is the Gaelic term for grandma (shan a WAW her). This phrase is also spelled seanmhair, seanmathair, and seanmathair. This phrase literally means “old mother,” and it is rarely used to refer to a grandma. Máthair mhór (MAW her aWOR) and máthair chrona (MAW her KHREE un na) are two alternative terms for grandmothers, which mean “great mother” and “wise mother,” respectively. Like seanmháthair, máthair mhór and máthair chrona are more formal phrases. Sin-seanmháthair is the Gaelic word for great grandmother.

The term móra is often used by Gaelic children to refer to their grandfathers. Daideó is another casual word for granddad (DADJ-oh). Seanathair is the formal title for grandfather. Children are typically named after their grandparents in Irish culture. Grandparents have a significant impact on their grandchildren’s life.

Although Irish children still refer to their grandparents in Gaelic words, the phrase has not gone outside Gaelic culture in the same way that other terms, such as the Italian Nonna or the German Oma, have. This is most likely owing to the difficulty in pronouncing the word.

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