Motherfoclóir: Dispatches from a not so dead language

Darach Ó Séaghdha / Non-Fiction

Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year 2017 - Irish Book Awards

Book cover

UK Publisher

Head of Zeus

Date Published

September 7th, 2017

‘Motherfoclóir’ [focloir means ‘dictionary’ and is pronounced like a rather more vulgar English epithet] is a book based on the popular Twitter account @theirishfor.

As the title suggests, ‘Motherfoclóir’ takes an irreverent, pun-friendly and contemporary approach to the Irish language. The translations are expanded on and arranged into broad categories that allow interesting connections to be made, and sprinkled with anecdotes and observations about Irish and Ireland itself, as well as language in general. The author includes stories about his own relationship with Irish, and how it fits in with the most important events in his life.

This is a book for all lovers of the quirks of language.


Almost alone among the many books I’ve read that have talked about the decline of the language, or its place in Irish history, it was this one that came up with the most arresting description of how it went terminal

- National Review

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