Do you want to know how to say good morning in Irish? Want to know how to respond if someone says it to you? Then you’re in the right place. Learn exactly how to say good morning in Irish, other greetings, and responses right here.
If you are planning a trip to Ireland and want to know how do you say ‘Good Morning’ in Irish so you can greet the locals, especially in Gaeltacht areas in the likes of Kerry, Galway or Donegal, then you’ll find this really helpful.
In this post you will learn how to say good morning in Irish, other greetings for good morning in Gaelic Irish (and some in English), and other greetings that might come in handy while you are on the Emerald Isle.
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How to say good morning in Irish and other useful greetings
The first thing we should get clear is that, contrary to popular belief, the Irish do not greet each other or visitors with “top o’ the morning to ya”.
Despite this being portrayed in films, the Irish do not say this. If they do, it is in jest, and they might mean it rudely. And if the Irish hear it, you shouldn’t be surprised if it is greeted with a roll of the eyes and a grimace.
It’s just not how we say good morning to each other! So don’t do it.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s look at how you say good morning in Irish.
How to say good morning in Irish
So, what is good morning in Irish?
The Irish for good morning is maidin mhaith, pronounced in a few ways depending on the dialect and area of Ireland you are in.
Maidin mhaith is pronounced: either ma-jin w-ha or maidin v-ha.
In Dublin, we often pronounce it wrongly as ma-jin m-ah, but this is incorrect as the h between the m and a of maith (meaning good) changes the pronunciation of maith (m-aah) because morning is a feminine word in Irish and so requires the additional ‘h’.
Now, this is not often heard as some purist Irish believe it is too much of a direct translation from English and is often referred to as Béarlachas meaning the Anglicised version of the language.
But if you choose to say this, you will be understood and better received than if you had said top o’ the morning to ya!
How do the Irish say good morning?
The more common way the Irish say good morning is Dia dhuit or Dia daoibh. Dia dhuit is pronounced: dee-a gwitch, dee-a ditch, or jee-a gwitch. And dia daoibh is pronounced: dee-a d-eve, dee-a d-weeve, or jee-a d-eve(d-weeve). In Dublin, or certainly in my area of the city, we say dee-a ditch.
The duit can be pronounced as ditch or gwitch depending on what part of the country you are in and the accent in the area. Most common is gwitch. And the daoibh can be pronounced d-eve or d-weeve. The daoibh denotes the plural you.
Dia dhuit meaning
Dia dhuit means God to you or God be with you. It is a standard Irish greeting and reflects the country’s religious history.
The Irish will also say Dia dhuit ar maidin which is pronounced: dee-a gwitch air ma-jin or dee-a gwitch air ma-djin meaning (literally) God to you this morning, or in other words good morning to you. Note that you can use daoibh here instead of dhuit if you are addressing more than one person as in the example above. See how it is pronounced by an Irish person in this Youtube video.
Dia dhuit is the most common way to say hello in Irish, whether you are in a Gaeltacht area or not.
And last but not least, another version of dia dhuit is Dia is Muire duit, pronounced: dee-a iss Mwir-ah ditch or dee-a iss Mwir-ah gwitch, literally meaning God and Mary to you, or God and Mary be with you. You will hear this often spoken by a priest in response to dia dhuit.
How do you say good day in Irish?
If you want to know how to say good day in Irish, it is lá maith, pronounced: laaw m-aah. It is the literal translation of good day but is not as commonly used as a greeting in Irish.
Other ways to say hello in Irish
If you want to know how to say have a good day in Irish it is Bíodh lá maith agat, pronounced: bee-agg laaw m-aah aa-gut, with the ‘agg’ of bíodh as quite a guttural sound. It’s literal translation is be good day at you.
Another way to greet someone in Irish is with Bail ó Dhia ort, pronounced: baid-o ee-a urt or bile-o ee-a urt, meaning God Bless you.
And finally, a variation of good morning that is said to be the origin of the saying ‘top o’ the morning to ya’ is Móra na maidine duit, pronounced: mor na ma-din-a ditch or mor-a na maa-djin-a gwitch. Again, you can use Móra na maidine daoibh if you are addressing more than one person.
The literal translation is big morning to you, which is why it is believed to be where ‘top o’ the morning’ comes from.
If you would simply like to ask, How are you? then you can say Conas atá tú? pronounced: cu-nass a-taa too. You may hear Tá me go maith, pronounced: taw may guh m-aah or taw may guh mwah, meaning I am well, or I am good.
How to greet an Irish person in English
You can greet an Irish person in English in any number of ways.
Good morning, how are you, nice to meet you are all perfectly acceptable. However, if you want to feel more like a local you can use one of the following which are widely used among the Irish.
- What’s the craic? – meaning what’s up?
- Story? – meaning what’s the story/what’s up? (very common in Dublin)
- Howya? – A shortened version of how are you?
- Hiya -Hello
- How’s it going? – How are you?
- How are things?
- What about ye? – Commonly heard in Northern Ireland and in particular, Belfast.
Other greetings you may hear among Irish people are:
- How’s the form?
- Alright there Bud?
- How’s she cutting?
- Alright head the ball? (meaning alright you lunatic)
- Alright boyo?
- Alright mucker?
Ways to greet an Irish person without words
The Irish generally greet one another with a handshake, particularly if they are meeting for the first time or not very well acquainted. Family and friends will often greet one another with a friendly hug.
Family may greet one another with a kiss on the cheek but this is not as common as on the continent. The Irish do not greet one another like the Portuguese, Spanish, or French with kisses on the cheeks. And typically, it is generally only women who will kiss friends and family, not men.
Now that you know how to say good morning in Irish and other ways to greet an Irish person, you should be well equipped to surprise them. Try one of the Irish greetings on the barman in the next Irish pub you venture into, whether it’s a non-tourist pub in Dublin or a local down the country. You will be sounding like a local in no time!
Cath is an Irish expat now living in Portugal. She regularly returns to Ireland to explore more of the wonderful island with her family.