Irish Language Blog

Coiníní Óga sa Nead: Describing Rabbits in Irish Posted by on Jun 6, 2017 in Irish Language

(le Róislín)















Some of you may already know the word “coinín,” which means “rabbit,” “bunny,” or “bunny-rabbit.”  In today’s blogpost, we’ll look at some ways to describe “na coiníní gleoite atá sa nead” in the picture above and we’ll also consider “giorriacha.”

First, the word for rabbit itself:

coinín, a rabbit

an coinín, the rabbit

coinín, of a rabbit (eireaball coinín, a rabbit’s tail)

an choinín, of the rabbit (eireaball an choinín, the tail of the rabbit)

coiníní, rabbits

na coiníní, the rabbits

coiníní, of rabbits (neadacha coiníní, rabbits’ nests)

na gcoiníní, of the rabbits (neadacha na gcoiníní, the nests of the rabbits)


And now for some specific descriptions:

cluasa fada an choinín, the long ears of the rabbit

cluasa fada na gcoiníní, the long ears of the rabbits


fionnadh donn an choinín, the brown fur of the rabbit

fionnadh donn na gcoiníní, the brown fur of the rabbits


lapaí beaga an choinín, the little paws of the rabbit

lapaí beaga na gcoiníní, the little paws of the rabbits


eireaball bán an choinín, the rabbit’s white tail

eireabaill bhána na gcoiníní, the white tails of the rabbit


cluasa gleoite, sróinín gleoite, lapaí gleoite, agus eireaball gleoite an choinín, the cute ears, cute little nose, cute paws and cute tail of the rabbit

cluasa gleoite, sróiníní gleoite, lapaí gleoite, agus eireabaill ghleoite na gcoiníní, the cute ears, cute little noses, cute paws and cute tails of the rabbits

So much for the bunnies, and their cuteness.  A hare, of course, is a horse of a different color, species-wise and vocabulary-wise.  The Irish word and its related terms are:

giorria, a hare

an giorria, the hare

giorria, of a hare (cosa láidre giorria, a hare’s powerful legs)

an ghiorria, of the hare (cosa láidre an ghiorria, the powerful legs of the hare).  Remember that the “g” sound completely disappears with “ghi” and the initial sound is like “yuh”

giorriacha, hares

na giorriacha, the hares

giorriacha, of hares (cosa láidre giorriacha, powerful legs of hares)

na ngiorriacha, of the hares (cosa láidre na ngiorriacha, the powerful legs of the hares)

And if you’d like some more “gleoiteacht,” you might like to try the Irish translation of Tomhais Méid Mo Ghrá Duit [Guess How Much I Love You] in the Nutbrown Hares series by Samuel McBratney.  The Irish version finally came out in 2012, although translations in many other languages had come out soon after the original publication date (1994).  If you really want a Celtic language work out, you might like to also try the Gaelic version (Cho Mòr is a Tha Mo Ghaol Ort, 1999).  The Gaelic word for “hare” (geàrr) is similar to the Irish (giorria), which makes life a little easier translation-wise.

So , who could resist them, the rabbits and the hares, agus an méid gleoiteachta a bhaineann leo!  SGF  — Róislín

P.S. One last translation challenge, which might be interesting if disconcerting, follows.  The answers will be found below the following notes.

(a) cos theasctha an choinín ar shlabhra eochracha a bhfuil dath mar bhándearg gléineach nó neon-uaine inti, í mar ortha ádhúil (ach gan a bheith ádhúil don choinín)

(b) cosa teasctha na gcoiníní ar shlabhraí eochracha a bhfuil dathanna mar bhándearg gléineach nó neon-uaine iontu, iad mar orthaí ádhúla (ach gan a bheith ádhúil do na coiníní)


  1. a) the disembodied rabbit’s foot on a keychain, dyed bright pink or neon-green, as a lucky charm (but not lucky for the rabbit!)
  2. b) the disembodied rabbits’ feet on keychains dyed bright pink or neon-green, as lucky charms (but not lucky for the rabbits!)
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Keep learning Irish with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

Leave a comment: