Celtic Holidays, Irish Traditions, Irish Wit & Wisdom, St. Patricks Day

Saint Patrick’s Day History and Tradition

As that old saying goes “Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day“. Saint Patrick’s Day is one of the most popular Irish holidays celebrated world wide by the Irish and non Irish a like. Saint Patrick’s Day is actually the Feast day of Ireland’s patron saint known as Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, also widely known as “the Day of the Festival of Patrick”). St. Patrick’s Day for the Irish is a popular cultural celebration as well as a religious celebration held on 17 March.  The feast day of St. Patrick is the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461). Saint Patrick is the foremost patron saint of Ireland.

Who was Saint Patrick? 

Saint Patrick was a Christian missionary and is regarded as the patron saint of Ireland. St. Patrick lived from AD 373–493, and ministered mostly in Northern Ireland from AD 433 until his death. Irish legend credits Patrick with banishing snakes from the island of Ireland although Ireland never actually had snakes. Let’s just chalk that up to some poetic license. It has however been suggested that snakes referred to the serpent symbolism of the pagans also called the Druids. Saint Patrick is also credited with teaching the Irish about the Holy Trinity by showing people the shamrock and a three-leaved clover. Legend also says St. Patrick, while preaching Christianity, drew a cross through a Celtic circle symbolic of the moon Goddess. Hence the Celtic cross was born. Today the circle of the cross is viewed as a of God’s endless love.

New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Irish-American immigrants brought Saint Patrick’s Day to the United States. The first civic and public celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day took place in Boston, Massachusetts in 1737. The first celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day in New York City was held at the Crown and Thistle Tavern in 1756. Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated by Irish and non-Irish alike. Regardless of ethnic background, everyone wears green-colored clothing and items. Traditionally, those who are caught not wearing green are pinched. The NYC St. Patrick’s Day parade has become the largest Saint Patrick’s Day parade in the world, outside Ireland. In 2006 more than 150,000 marchers participated in it, including Irish bands, Irish firefighters, Irish military and Irish police groups, county associations, Irish emigrant societies, Emerald Societies, and social and Irish cultural clubs, and it was watched by close to two million spectators lining the streets.

Why do we wear green on St Patrick’s Day?

Old Irish folklore says that wearing green makes one invisible to mischievous creatures like leprechauns, fairies who pinch those not wearing the green.  As a matter of superstition people began pinching anyone not wear green as a reminder that leprechauns were lurking about.

The origin of the “wearing of the green” dress code for St Patrick’s Day dates can be dated to the 1798 Irish Rebellion, the major uprising against the British in Ireland. It was during this rebellion when the shamrock, a three leaf clover became a symbol of Irish nationalism.

Today many people adorn themselves with lucky shamrock jewelry on St. Patrick’s Day. Saint Patrick’s Day jewelry such as Shamrock jewelry including shamrock earrings, and an Irish necklace like a shamrock necklace makes the perfect Irish accessory for the festive holiday.

Another symbol of Irish pride worn on St. Patrick’s Day is the Irish Harp. Irish harps are worn as Irish harp brooches and Irish harp necklaces. The Irish harp, although not as renowned as the shamrock is the official emblem of Ireland. The Irish harps status as the official insignia of Ireland dates centuries and the elegant instrument’s history tells much about the history of the Emerald Isle.

Celtic Legends, Ireland, Irish Wit & Wisdom

Six Fascinating Mysterious Celtic Women of Irish Folklore

Mysterious Celtic woman

Ancient Irish folklore has many stories of beautiful and strong Irish women of the past. Celtic women have often been depicted as holding positions of great importance, and highly valued in a very male dominated Celtic tribal society. Irish women have been venerated as a goddesses, saints, as warriors even royalty and at the same time they have been portrayed as someone to fear. I am sure the truth about ancient Irish women in Irish mythology and folklore lies somewhere between fantasy and reality.   

Grace O’Malley, the 16th Century Pirate Queen of Ireland…

Grace O’Malley was born in Ireland in around 1530. She was the daughter of Owen O’Malley. O’Malley was a wealthy nobleman and sea trader. When O’Malley died Grace inherited his large shipping and trading business. Grace O’Malley commanded a dozen ships and thousands of men. Grace’s vast empire of ships stretched from Connaught on the Irish coast to Africa. Through the daring of her piracy, Grace nearly bankrupted the English treasury-and her outright defiance brought embarrassment to Queen Elizabeth I.

International Talk Like a Pirate Day or ITLAPD is on September 19. It is a parodic holiday created in 1995 by John Baur (Ol’ Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap’n Slappy), of Albany, Oregon, U.S. Remember Grace O’Malley on September 19th, International Talk Like a Pirate Day and give her an Arghhhh!

Aoife, the Wife of King Lir and the Children of Lir….

The Children of Lir… Long ago there lived a King named Lir who lived with his four children, Fionnuale, Aodh, Fiachra and Conn and his beloved wife who would son die. After grieving for his wife King Lir married Aoife. Aoife was very jealous of King Lir’s love for his four children. She used her magic to turn the children into swans. As swans they were condemned to spend 300 years at Lough Derravaragh, 300 years at the Sea of Moye and 300 years on the waters of Irrus Domann. The only way to break the spell was a blessing from a monk. Finally, after 900 years of suffering they heard church bells and returned to shore. There the spell was finally broke by St. Patrick. Unfortunately, they were so old they died soon after the spell was broken and joined their parents in heaven. The story of the Children of Lir is one about the strength of the parental child bond.

The Legendary Irish Princess Isolde …

The Irish princess, Iseult of Ireland (also Iseult La Belle or Iseult la Blonde, “Iseult the Fair”), is the daughter of King Anguish of Ireland and Queen Iseult the Elder. She is a main character in the Tristan poems of Béroul, Thomas of Britain, and Gottfried von Strassburg and in the opera Tristan und Isolde by Richard Wagner. Iseult is first seen as a young Irish princess who heals Tristan from his wounds.

According to Arthurian legend, Iseult (also “Isolde”) was the adulterous lover of Sir Tristan. Sir Tristan was a handsome Knight of the Round Table. Iseult was an Irish Princess who fell hopelessly in love with Tristan. But Sir Tristan was sent on behalf the King of Cornwall to win Iseult’s hand in marriage for King Mark of Cornwall. This romantic tragedy was used as the basis of “Tristan and Isolde” by Richard Wagner, an acclaimed opera.

The Banshee …

The Banshee, bean-sidhe (woman of the fairy may be an ancestral spirit appointed to forewarn members of certain ancient Irish families of their time of death. According to tradition, the banshee can only cry for five major Irish families: the O’Neills, the O’Briens, the O’Connors, the O’Gradys and the Kavanaghs. Intermarriage has since extended this select list.


Whatever her origins, the banshee chiefly appears in one of three guises: a young woman, a stately matron, or a raddled old hag. These represent the triple aspects of the Celtic goddess of war and death, namely Badhbh, Macha and Mor-Rioghain.) She usually wears either a grey, hooded cloak or the winding sheet or grave robe of the unshriven dead. She may also appear as a washerwoman and is seen apparently washing the blood-stained clothes of those who are about to die. In this guise she is known as the bean-nighe (washing woman).
Although not always seen, her mourning call is heard, usually at night when someone is about to die.

The Two Brigids; the Saint and the Goddess

Saint Brigid – The Patron Saint of Ireland …

Saint Brigid was born Brigit, and shares her name with a Celtic goddess from whom many legends and folk customs are associated. St. Brigid, also known as “Mary of the Gael“, is a patroness Saint of Ireland. Born the daughter of a powerful Irish Chieftain St. Bridget or also spelled Brigid became a nun completely devoted to relieving the misery and hardship of the poor.

The Saint Brigid’s Cross

The traditional woven cross is said to have originated during a visit St. Bridget made to a dying Chieftain in which she wove it from rushes on the floor to show the significance of Christian faith. The woven rush cross has become synonymous with St. Bridget known as the Saint Brigid’s Cross.

Saint Brigid is also the Patron Saint of the LAOH. The LAOH stand for THE LADIES ANCIENT ORDER OF HIBERNIANS. The Ancient Order of Hibernians is an Irish order, and it was organized in The United States of America in New York City in the year of 1836. Her feast day, known as St. Brigid’s day is February first.

Celtic Goddess Brigid…

The Celtic Goddess Brigid is an Irish goddess of spring, dating back to pre- Christian Ireland.  She is a venerated deity whose name means exalted one derived from ancient Gaelic word brig.  Her name is also said as Brighid or Brighit. Brigid is the daughter of the Dagda, and therefore one of the Tuatha de Dannan. The Tuatha Dé Danann, the people of the Goddess Danu, also known by the earlier name Tuath Dé “tribe of the gods”, were one of the great ancient tribes of Ireland. She is known as the Goddess of Healers, Poets, Smiths, Childbirth, and is the Inspiration for the Goddess of Fire and Hearth and a patron of warfare or Briga. Brigid said to be gentle, yet she is extraordinarily strong and stern.  

Interesting Stories, Ireland, Irish Traditions, Irish Wit & Wisdom, News

Popular Irish Surnames, Gaelic Spelling and Meaning

Did you know that Ireland, the beautiful emerald isle, was one of the very first countries to adopt the use of surnames or better yet Irish surnames? Many the Irish surnames of come from the reign of Brian Boru and the clans of that time. Brian Boru was the High King of Ireland who was defeated protecting Ireland from a Vikings invasion.

Like many surnames, Irish surnames were started to identify a son separately from his father or a grandson from his grandfather but from them. Irish surnames you are familiar with like Murphy, Sweeny, Ryan, etc. come from the culture of the Gaels. The Celts that populated Ireland (and ultimately Scotland and the Isle of Man). The Gaels sailed from Iberia to Ireland. A group of kin or family in the Gaelic culture is known as a clan. The unique Gaelic (Gaedhilge) languages fall under the Celtic languages. Gaelic languages are considered endangered today. Gaelic is the language of ancient Ireland and the dialects that have established it, particularly those commonly recognized as Irish. Popular Gaelic phrases you might be familiar with are máthair meaning mother, mo anam cara meaning soul mate or sláinte meaning cheers. These Irish phrases have been popularized by Irish Jewelry and Celtic Jewelry inspired by their meaning.  

Gaelic or Irish surnames are “patronymics” which means, they indicate patrilineal descent such as “son of “. Frequently the Irish and Scottish used Gaelic prefixes with Irish surname meanings. Prefixes such as Mac or Mc, which is the Gaelic word for “son”. So, for the son Mac was attached to the father’s name or trade. Likewise, O is a word all by itself in Gaelic, for “grandson” when used before a grandfather’s name or trade. As Gaelic names became Anglicized, by the English sometimes they lost their prefixes:

List of popular Irish Surnames and Irish Surname Meaning

Brennan

This Irish surname was prevalent, settling in Fermanagh, Galway, Kerry, Kilkenny, and Westmeath. The Brennan surname in Ireland is now mostly found in County Sligo and the province of Leinster.

Irish spelling: Ó Braonáin/Ó Branáin
Meaning: Ó Braonáin means of the droplet while Ó Branáin means of the raven.

Brown or Browne

Common in both England and Ireland, the Irish Brown families are most found in the province of Connacht (specifically Galway and Mayo), as well as Kerry.

Meaning: It denotes the brown complexion of the skin or brown hair color.

Boyle

The O Boyles were chieftains in Donegal, ruling west Ulster with the O Donnells and the O Doughertys. Boyle descendants can also be found in Kildare and Offaly.

Irish spelling: Ó Baoill
Meaning: Vain pledge.

Burke

The Norman last name Burke originated from the borough of Caen in Normandy (de burg means “of the borough”). The Burkes have been in Ireland since the 12th century, settling mainly in the province of Connacht.

Meaning: refers to a ‘fortress’ or ‘castle.’

Byrne / Burns

The O Byrne (Ó Broin) family originally came from Kildare, until the Anglo-Normans arrived, and they were driven south to the Wicklow mountains. The Byrne surname is still quite common in Wicklow, as well as Dublin and Louth.

Irish spelling: O’Byrne’ or ‘Ó Broin

Meaning: descendant of Bran’ where Bran refers to a ‘raven

Callaghan

The Callaghans were a powerful family in the province of Munster. Individuals with the Irish surname Callaghan (also spelled Callahan) are most numerous in Clare and Cork.

Irish spelling: Ó Ceallacháin
Meaning: the Eoghanacht, descent from Ceallachan

Campbell

Campbell families are very prevalent in Donegal (most are descended from Scottish mercenary soldiers), as well as in Cavan. Campbell is a descriptive surname meaning “crooked mouth.”

Irish spelling: Mac Cailein
Meaning: Scottish Gaelic words referring to crooked mouth’ or ‘wry-mouthed

Carroll

The Carroll surname (and variants such as O’Carroll) can be found throughout Ireland, including Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Kerry, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan, and Offaly. There is also a MacCarroll family (anglicized to MacCarvill) from the province of Ulster.

Irish spelling:  Ó Cearbhaill

Meaning: hacking with a weapon

Clark(e)

One of the oldest surnames in Ireland, the O Clery surname (anglicized to Clarke) is most prevalent in Cavan.

Irish spelling: Ó Cleireigh(Clery)

Meaning: ‘clergy’ or ‘priest

Collins

The common Irish surname Collins originated in Limerick, though after the Norman invasion they fled to Cork. There are also Collin families from the province of Ulster, most of whom were probably English.

Irish spelling: Ó Coileáin
Meaning: Descendent of the young warrior/hound.

Connell / O’Connell

Three distinct O Connell clans, located in the provinces of Connacht, Ulster, and Munster, are the originators of many of the Connell families in Clare, Galway, Kerry.

Irish spelling:  Ó Conaill

Connolly

Originally an Irish clan from Galway, the Connolly families settled in Cork, Meath, and Monaghan.

Irish spelling: Ó Coingheallaigh

Meaning: nickname for ‘someone as valiant as a wolf’ and later evolved as a last name in Ireland.

Connor

In Irish Ó Conchobhair or Ó Conchúir, the Connor last name means “hero or champion.” The O Connor family was one of three royal Irish families; they are from Clare, Derry, Galway, Kerry, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo and the province of Ulster.

Irish spelling: Conchobhair

Meaning: Old Irish and means a ‘wolf’ or a ‘hound dog

Daly

The Irish Ó Dálaigh comes from dáil, meaning a place of assembly. Individuals with the Daly surname hail primarily from Clare, Cork, Galway, and Westmeath.

Irish spelling: Ó Dálaigh
Meaning: Of the assembly.

Doherty / Daugherty

The name in Irish (Ó Dochartaigh) means obstructive or hurtful. In the 4th century, the Dohertys settled around the Inishowen peninsula in Donegal, where they’ve primarily stayed. The Doherty surname is the most common in Derry. Also spelled Dougherty and Daugherty.

Irish spelling: Ó Dochartaigh

Meaning: meaning the ‘descendant of Dochartach.’ ‘Dochartach’ means ‘obstructive’ or ‘dangerous.’

Doyle

The Doyle last name comes from dubh ghall, the “dark foreigner,” and is thought to be Norse in origin. In the province of Ulster, they were known as Mac Dubghaill (MacDowell and MacDuggall). The greatest concentration of Doyles is in Leinster, Roscommon, Wexford, and Wicklow.

Irish spelling: Ó Dubhghaile
Meaning: Descendent of Dubhghal, meaning black valor.

Duffy

Ó Dubhthaigh, anglicized to Duffy, comes from an Irish name meaning black or swarthy. Their original homeland was Monaghan, where their surname is still the most common. They are also from Donegal and Roscommon.

Irish spelling: Ó Dufaigh/Ó Dubhthaigh
Meaning: Black.

Dunne/ Dunn

From the Irish for brown (donn), the original Irish name Ó Duinn has by now lost the O prefix. In the province of Ulster, the final e is omitted. Dunne is the most common surname in Laois, where the family originated. Also occasionally spelled Donne.

Irish spelling: Ó Doinn or Duinn

Meaning: Old English word for ‘dark’ or from ‘donn’ the Gaelic word for ‘brown.’

Farrell

The O Farrell chieftains were lords of Annaly near Longford and Westmeath. Farrell is a surname generally meaning “valiant warrior.”

Irish spelling: Ó Ferghail
Meaning: Man, of valor.

Fitzgerald

A Norman family who came to Ireland in 1170, the Fitzgeralds (spelled Mac Gearailt in parts of Ireland) claimed vast holdings in Cork, Kerry, Kildare, and Limerick. The surname Fitzgerald translates directly as “son of Gerald.”

Meaning: name ‘Gerald’ refers to ‘rule of the spear.’

Flynn

The Irish surname Ó Floinn is prevalent in the province of Ulster. However, the “F” is no longer pronounced, and the name is now Loinn or Lynn. The Flynn surname can also be found in Clare, Cork, Kerry, and Roscommon. It is a patronymic Irish surname meaning ‘son of Gerald.

Irish spelling: Ó Floinn

Meaning: name ‘Flann’ refers to ‘reddish’ or ‘scarlet’ in Gaelic.

Gallagher

The Gallagher clan has been in County Donegal since the 4th century and Gallagher is the most common surname in this area. Descendent of Gallchobhar, an Irish king. Gallagher is the anglicized form of ‘Ó Gallchobhair’ meaning a ‘descendant of Gallchobhar.’

Irish spelling: Ó Gallchobhair
Meaning: two Irish words ‘gall’ meaning ‘stranger’ and ‘cabhair’ meaning ‘help.’

Healy

The Healy surname is most found in Cork and Sligo.

Irish spelling: Ó hÉalaighthe

Meaning: referring to a ‘descendant of the claimant.’

Hughes

The Hughes surname, both Welsh and Irish in origin, is most numerous in three provinces Connacht, Leinster, and Ulster.

Irish spelling: Ó hAodha

Meaning: name ‘Aodh’ is derived from ‘Aed,’ an Old Irish word for ‘fire.’

Kelly

Kelly families of Irish origin come primarily from Derry, Galway, Kildare, Leitrim, Leix, Meath, Offaly, Roscommon, and Wicklow.

Irish spelling: Ó Ceallaigh
Meaning: ‘Ceallach’ refers to ‘bright-headed.’

Kennedy

The Kennedy surname, both Irish and Scottish in origin, hails from Clare, Kilkenny, Tipperary, and Wexford.

Irish spelling: Ó Cinnéide
Meaning: anglicized form of ‘Ó Cinnéidigh’ which means ‘descendant of Cennetig.’ ‘Cennetig’ is an Old Irish word referring to an ‘armored head’ or ‘misshapen head.’

Lynch

The Lynch families (Ó Loingsigh in Irish) were originally settled in Clare, Donegal, Limerick, Sligo, and Westmeath, where the Lynch surname is most common.

Irish spelling: Ó Loinsigh
Meaning: Descendent of Loingseach, a seaman. occupational surname referring to a ‘mariner.’

MacCarthy/ McCarthy

The MacCarthy surname originated primarily from Cork, Kerry, and Tipperary. Also spelled McCarthy.

Irish spelling: Mac Carthaigh
Meaning: Son of Cárthach, King of Munster (Ireland’s southern province).

Maguire

The Maguire surname is the most common in Fermanagh. Also spelled McGuire. Maguire is an Irish clan surname from the Gaelic Mac Uidhir, meaning “son of Odhar” or “son of the pale-colored one.”

Irish spelling: Mag Uidhir

Meaning: MacCarthy refers to a ‘son of Carthach’ and Carthach means ‘loving.’

Mahony

Munster was the territory of the Mahoney clan, with Mahonys (or Mahoneys) being most numerous in Cork. Brodceann O’Mahony was the eldest of the four sons of Mathghamain, known as “The Four Descendants”. The O’Mahonys were Cenél nÁeda princes of the ancient Eóganacht Raithlind.

Irish spelling: Ó Mathghamhna (modern spelling O’Mathúna)

Meaning: ‘bear’.

Martin

The Martin surname, common in both England and Ireland, can be found primarily in Galway, Tyrone, and Westmeath.

Irish spelling: Mac Giolla Mhartain

Meaning:

Moore

The ancient Irish Moores settled in Kildare, while most Moores are from Antrim and Dublin.

 Irish spelling: Ó Mordha, Muir, Moir
Meaning: Moir/Ó Mordha could mean of greatness or grandiose while Muir means sea.

Murphy

The most common of all Irish names, the Murphy surname can be found in all four provinces. Murphys are primarily from Antrim, Armagh, Carlow, Cork, Kerry, Roscommon, Sligo, Tyrone, and Wexford, however.

Irish spelling: Ó Murchadha
Meaning: Descendent of Murchadh, a sea warrior.

Murray

The Murray surname is especially prolific in Donegal.

Irish spelling: Ó Muireadhaigh
Meaning: Descendent of Muireadhaigh, a seaman. Muireadhach is a variant of ‘Muiredach’ referring to ‘lord’ in Irish.

Nolan

Nolan families have always been very numerous in Carlow, and can also be found in Fermanagh, Longford, Mayo, and Roscommon. It is an anglicized version of ‘Ó Nuallain’ referring to ‘descendant of Nuallan.

Irish spelling: Ó Nuallain

Meaning: Nuallan means ‘noble’ or ‘famous.’

O’Brien

One of Ireland’s leading aristocratic families, the O Briens are primarily from Clare, Limerick, Tipperary, and Waterford. It originates from ‘Ó Briain,’ which means ‘descendant of Brian.

Irish spelling: Ó Briain
Meaning: Descendent of Brian Boru, the High King of Ireland. Brian means ‘high’ or ‘noble.’

O’Donnell

The O Donnell clans originally settled in Clare and Galway, but today they are most numerous in County Donegal. Sometimes modified to O’Donnelly. It is the anglicized variant of ‘Ó Domhnaill’ which means ‘descendant of Domhnall.’

Irish spelling: Ó Domhnaill

Meaning: Domhnall is the Gaelic version of the phrase ‘ruler of the world.’

O’Neill

One of three royal Irish families, the O Neills are from Antrim, Armagh, Carlow, Clare, Cork, Down, Tipperary, Tyrone, and Waterford. This surname refers to ‘descendant of Neil.’

Irish spelling: Ó Néill
Meaning: Descendent of Niall Noigiallach, an Irish king. Neil comes from ‘Niall,’ a Gaelic word with several meanings, namely ‘cloud,’ ‘champion,’ or ‘passionate.’

Quinn

From Ceann, the Irish word for head, the name Ó Cuinn means intelligent. In general, Catholics spell the name with two ns, while Protestants spell it with one. The Quinns are primarily from Antrim, Clare, Longford, and Tyrone, where their surname is the most common. It is an anglicized version of ‘Ó Cuinn’ that means ‘descendant of Conn.’

Irish spelling: Ó Cuinn

Meaning: Conn refers to a ‘chief’ in Gaelic.

(O) Reilly

Descendants of the O Conor kings of Connacht, the Reillys are primarily from Cavan, Cork, Longford, and Meath.

Irish spelling: Ó Raghallaigh

Meaning:

Ryan

The Ó Riain and Ryan families of Ireland are primarily from Carlow and Tipperary, where Ryan is the most common surname. They can also be found in Limerick. This Irish surname is an anglicized version of ‘Ó Riain’ meaning ‘descendant of Rian.’

Irish spelling: Ó Riain
Meaning: Descendent of Riain, a king. Rian refers to ‘little king.’

Shea/ O’Shea

Originally the Shea family was from Kerry, though they later branched out to Tipperary during the 12th century and Kilkenny by the 15th century. Sometimes modified to Shay.

Irish spelling: Ó Séaghdha
Meaning: Descendent of the majestic.

Smith

The Smiths, both English and Irish, are primarily from Antrim, Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, and Sligo. Smith is the most common surname in Antrim.

Smith/McGowan
Irish spelling: Mac Gabhann
Meaning: Son of the blacksmith.

(O) Sullivan

Originally settled in County Tipperary, the Sullivan family spread into Kerry and Cork, where they are now most numerous, and their surname is the most common. It is an anglicized form of ‘Ó Súileabháin,’ meaning ‘descendant of Suileabhan.’

Irish spelling: Ó Suileabháin

Meaning: name ‘Suileabhan’ refers to the phrase ‘little dark eye.’

Sweeney

Sweeney families are found primarily in Cork, Donegal, and Kerry.

Irish spelling: Mac Suibhne
Meaning: Son of Suibhne, a Scottish lord whose grandson arrived to Ireland and brought the name with him.

Thompson

This English name is the second most common non-Irish name found in Ireland, especially in Ulster. The Thomson surname, without the “p,” is Scottish. Thomson is most common in Down.

Irish spelling: Mac Tomáis

Meaning:   son of Thom

Walsh

The name came into use to describe the Welsh people who came to Ireland during the Anglo-Norman invasions. Walsh families were very numerous throughout all four provinces of Ireland. Walsh is the most common surname in Mayo.

Irish spelling: Breathnach
Meaning: Welshman.

White

White families can be found in Ireland throughout Down, Limerick, Sligo, and Wexford. It is a descriptive name given to a person who was fair-haired or had a pale complexion, from the Middle English “whit,” meaningwhite.” Fionn mac Cumhail was a legendary Irish hero who became all-wise by eating an enchanted salmon. He fought against the giant Fomors with his son Oisín and grandson Oscar.

Irish spelling:  Fionn (older Irish finn)

Meaning: person who was fair-haired or had a pale complexion, meaning “fair” or “white“.

Celtic Holidays, Celtic Motherhood Jewelry, Interesting Stories, Irish Jewelry, Irish Traditions, Irish Wit & Wisdom, Mother's Day, News

Key Signs You Were Raised by an Irish Mom or Italian Mom

family, motherhood, children, parenthood and people concept – happy mother kissing her baby over green natural background

Many if our Irish American readers were probably raised by an Irish Mom or an Irish American Mom Irish, even an Italian mom if you Dad was the Irish one.  Irish Moms and Italian Moms are pretty much the same. It hard not to recognize those enduring traits that make them both great moms. They are both their children’s number fan. They are encouraging, caring, and show unconditional love and devotion for us in their own special ways. Both moms have the power to make you cry in fear object fear of a simple cooking utensil, known as the dreaded wooden spoon.

You know you were raised by either an Irish mom or an Italian mom if you know all the important Saints by heart.

Every time you lose something, and you searched high and low for it without success  and you just happen to mention it to mom she will undoubtedly say “Have you said a prayer to Saint Anthony yet?”. Rest assured, without fail good old St. Anthony usually comes through with finding your car keys. Every Irish mother or Italian mother has a favorite saint that they prayer too repeatable that they insist have never let them down.

Shop Irish gifts for mom

“I have eyes in the back of my head you know.”

Were we all just stupid kids but for years we really thought our mothers had eyes in the back of their heads? Mom ALWAYS knew when you were up to no good or lying.

“Don’t make me get the wooden spoon….”

Oh, those dreaded words… even the sound of the draw where it was kept opening was enough to put the fear of God in you. You ran at the sight of a wooden spoon. No matter what the issue was you were battling her over, just when you thought you had her she would start counting to three. Knew the wooden spoon was coming out next.

Mom always slipped you some extra money

If you had an Irish mom, she is good for about a spare 20 quid until you are about thirty. If you had an Italian mom, it was you cannot go out without any cash and you always left Nona’s side $20 richer. It was for candy or ice cream when you were a little kid and later as you got older is was probably gas money.

Let’s face it, motherhood is not easy, but mom always made it seem like it was her greats priority and we were her greatest achievement. Whether you had an Irish mom or an Italian mom her enduring love is a true testament to the enduring bond between a mother and child. Remember to honor her on Mother’s Day with a special Mother’s Day gift like a piece of motherhood Jewelry to show your appreciation for all she has done and continues to do for you. I mean really , what mom wouldn’t want a beautiful piece of mother’s jewelry from her baby.

Irish Traditions, Irish Wit & Wisdom

Erin Go Bragh

The meaning of phrase Erin Go Bragh comes from a Gaelic saying to pledge allegiance to Ireland. The most common modern translation is “Ireland Forever”. The combination of the green in the emerald cz representing the “Emerald Isle” with the shamrocks, the symbol of Ireland just screams “Ireland Forever”. You’ll be the envy of every Irish lass!

Erin_Go_Bragh

This Erin Go Bragh necklace is a true Irish charmer. Exclusively by The Irish Jewelry Company

Celtic Holidays, Interesting Stories, Irish Wit & Wisdom, Mother's Day

An Irish Mother’s Letter…..

Dear Son,
Just a few lines to let you know that I am still alive. I am writing this slowly because I know that you can’t read very fast.
You won’t know the house when you come home. We’ve moved.
About your father, he has got a lovely new job. He has 500 men under him. He cuts grass at the cemetery.
Your sister Mary had a baby this morning. I haven’t found out yet if it’s a boy or a girl, so I don’t know if you’re an aunt or an uncle.
I went to the doctors on Thursday and your father came with me. The doctor put a small tube in my mouth and told me not to talk for 10 minutes. Your father offered to buy it from him.
Your uncle Patrick drowned last week in a vat of Irish whiskey at the Dublin brewery. Some of his workmates tried to save him but he fought them off bravely. They cremated him and it took 3 days to put the fire out.
It only rained twice this week, first for 3 days and then for 4 days.
We had a letter from the undertaker. He said if the last payment on your grandmother’s plot wasn’t paid in 7 days, up she comes.
Your loving Mother,
P.S. I was going to send you 5 pounds, but I have already sealed the envelope.”


Shop Irish Gifts for MOTHERS DAY

What is the Celtic Motherhood Knot and Celtic Motherhood Symbol?

The Celtic symbol for motherhood, the  Celtic Motherhood Knot is a stylized Celtic knot depicting a parent and child embrace. It is representative of the Madonna and child. Combined with a Celtic knot it is a true testament to the enduring bond between a mother and child, faith and their Celtic heritage.

Celtic Holidays, Celtic Jewelry, Celtic Knot Meanings, Celtic Legends, Interesting Stories, Irish Blessings, Irish Jewelry, Irish Recipes, Irish Traditions, Irish Wit & Wisdom, News, Press Releases

About The Irish Jewelry Company

The Irish Jewelry Company is the best online Irish jeweler, the largest retailer and manufacturer of Irish Jewelry and Celtic Jewelry in the world.  The Irish Jewelry Company offers high quality, unique and stylish Irish Jewelry sold exclusively online at the TheIrishJewelryCompany.com or by approved retailers only. All of The Irish Jewelry Company’s designs are copyrighted and come with a certificate of authenticity. They sell a wide selection of Celtic Knot Pendants, Celtic Crosses, Irish Angels,  Claddagh Rings, Trinity Rings, Infinity Claddaghs, Trinity Knot Necklaces, Claddagh Pendants,and Shamrock Pendants including their signature exclusive collections the Celtic Mothers Knot, Mothers Claddagh and the Celtic Sister Knot. (Copyrighted) The Irish Jewelry Company offers high quality, best prices with a dedication to customer satisfaction like no other claddagh ring company. When shopping online with The Irish Jewelry Company us you know that you are getting quality Irish Jewelry direct from the manufacturer for overall best value from Ireland to the US. 

About us: The Irish Jewelry Company was founded by award-winning designer Jennifer Derrig.  The Irish Jewelry Company collection offers classic and contemporary Irish Jewelry including Claddagh rings, all handcrafted.

Explore The Irish Jewelry Company Claddagh ring collection today and start your own Irish tradition today.