This lesson is part of Unit 3 of WikiBooks Irish, a comprehensive open-source course in the Irish language. Lessons in Unit 3 are intended for the advanced Irish learner and contain specialized vocabulary and language notes for specific subject areas.

Talking About AnimalsEdit

animal ainmhí pronunciation

When discussing ainmhí (animals) as gaeilge, bear in mind the following:


Because Irish has no neutral pronouns, animals take the pronoun appropriate to the grammatical gender of the word in question. Most general names for animal species are masculine.

Eating AnimalsEdit

As in English, in some cases different words are used for the animal's meat when used as food than when discussing the living animal. These words will be considered separately in the Unit 3 lesson on food.


peata pet pronunciation

cat cat
dog madra
kitten puisín
puppy coileán

Ainmhithe na hÉireannEdit

bird éan
butterfly féileacán
deer fia
duck lacha
mouse luch
owl ulchabhán
spider damhán alla
rabbit coinín
rat francach
seal rón
turtle turtar

Ainmhithe na feirmeEdit

feirme farm pronunciation
calf lao, gamhain
foal searrach
goat gabhar
hen cearc
horse capall
pig muc
lamb uan
sheep caora

Ainmhithe an zúEdit

zoo pronunciation
giraffe sioráf
crocodile crogall
bear béar
elephant eilifint
hippopotamus dobhareach
kangaroo cangarú
wolf mac tíre
zebra séabra
koala cóála
lion leon
monkey moncaí
panda panda
penguin piongain
tiger tíogar

Ainmhithe uisceachEdit

cod trosc
crab portán
dolphin deilf (f)
fish iasc
lobster gliomach
salmon bradán
shark siorc
whale míol mór

See alsoEdit

Other Unit 3 lessons relevant to animals may include:

  • Food (culinary names for animals' meat)
  • Sport (terms related to horse and dog racing)