Irish language

How many friends are enough and do you want or need more?

FRIENDS: It’d be hard to get through life if we didn’t have friends, whether they are family members or just people who circumstance has thrown onto the same life journey we are on
Robert McMIllen

GO mBEANNAÍ Dia daoibh and welcome to an exceptionally friendly Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

This is the time of year when we get a little bit closer to family but also to cairde - friends.

Of course, there are many kinds of friend.

Dlúthchara is a close friend as is cara mór.

A nice phrase, if you are addressing someone you are very close to, is 

a chara na gcarad - dearest friend. 

Cara cléibh is a bosom friend and cara rúin - a confidante.

Of course, not all friendships are that close. We all have superficial friendships - with comhghleacaithe - colleagues at work or people we meet in the street or ex-classmates for example.

The Bluffer is the kind of person who always likes to make new friendships. 

Some people say “I have enough friends” but how many is enough?

How many close friendships do you have, dear reader? Is that enough.

Tá mó sháith cairde agam - I have enough friends and to be honest two to six good friends is probably all you would need, but, hey, the more the merrier.

You might only consider people taobh amuigh den teaghlach - outside the family as friends but some families are very close and members could be considered as friends in that case.

We, of course, are hurtling towards the season of cóisireacha Nollag - Christmas parties which fill some of you with orgasmic delight while put the fear of God into others.

Ní maith liom cóisireacha nuair nach bhfuil aithne agam ar dhuine ar bith - I don’t like parties where I don’t know anyone is a sentence for all you wallflowers out there.

Other people of course are dab hands at having conversations with anyone they meet. 

Is breá liom cóisireacha ar a bhfuil cuid mhór daoine - I love parties where there are lots of people.

Work outings can be hit or miss. Sometimes, colleagues find they have nothing to talk about seachas - apart from work and the chat inevitably gets round to how awful the boss is, while others stare into their turkey and ham and the bubbles die in their prosecco.

Or worse, they manoeuvre you into a corner to tell you about their recent bout of deir - shingles or how Greta Thunberg is really the Anti-Christ or how their spouses are ar mire le héad - madly jealous and rarely let them out of the house – as they place their hand in your thigh. 

So maybe a better option is for you to organise a party in your own home – by invitation only to people who are guaranteed fantastic craic and company.

Whichever you choose, hopefully friendships will be cemented and new ones formed over this festive period and beyond. Friends aren’t just for Christmas, you  know.

The Bluffer is blessed with a small number of but close friends and family members,, others aren’t so lucky.

Real friendships rarely die so, if you have seanchairde - old friends that you haven’t seen in a while, why not give them a buzz, send them a text and ask them out for a coffee and a catch-up.

It’s always good to talk.


cairde (carja) - friends

dlúthchara (dlookhara) - a close friend

cara mór (cara more) - a close friend

a chara na gcarad (a khara ne garad) - dearest friend 

cara cléibh (cara clayv) - a bosom buddy

cara rúin (cara roon) - a confidante

comhghleacaithe (coe-ylaceehe) - colleagues

Tá mó sháith cairde agam (taa maw hih karja ugum) - I have enough friends

taobh amuigh den teaghlach (teev amwee den chaowlakh) - outside the family

cóisireacha Nollag (coeshiraha nullag) - Christmas parties

Ní maith liom cóisireacha nuair nach bhfuil aithne agam ar dhuine ar bith (nee myh lum coeshiraha noor nakh wil iyhnya ugum er ginya er bee) 

- I don’t like parties where I don’t know anyone () 

is breá liom cóisireacha ar a bhfuil cuid mhór daoine (is bra lum coeshiraha er a wil cudge wore deenee) - I love parties where there are lots of people 

seachas (shakhiss) - apart from

deir (jer) - shingles 

ar mire le héad (er mire e hayd) - madly jealous

seanchairde (shankharja) - old friends


Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe from just £1 to get full access



Irish language