Focal an Lae #271
The Word of the Day in Irish

Word: máthair (MAW-hihr) [maːhər′]

Meaning: máthair = mother


History: Old Irish “máthair” comes from Indo-European *māter- (mother). Cognates in English include “mother” as well as borrowings such as “maternal” from Latin “mater” (mother). Most Indo-European languages also have familiar words such as “ma”, “mama”, “maman”, “mom”. The Old Irish equivalent, “muime”, means “foster mother” rather than “mother”, striking evidence of the importance of the institution of fosterage in early Irish society, and the closeness of the bond between foster parents and fosterchildren.

Scottish Gaelic: màthair

2008-06-19 CPD