A selection of some of the beautifully descriptive words for wild animals which are found in the Irish language. You can find a similar blog post on Ireland’s wild birds here.
Starting off with a favourite. Jellyfish is known as ‘Smugairle Róin’, which translates as ‘Seal Snot‘.
Bats have a few names in Irish including, ‘Sciathán Leathair‘, literally ‘Leather Wings‘, or more sinisterly, ‘Bás Dorcha‘, which translates as ‘Black Death‘.
The Irish name of the pine marten reflects the animal’s preference for woodland habitats, it is known as ‘Cat Crainn‘, or in English ‘The Tree Cat‘.
The Irish name for the wolf is ‘Mactíre‘ which rather poetically translates as ‘Son of the Land’.
In Irish the diminutive shrew is known as ‘Dallóg Fhéir‘ or ‘Little Blind One of the Grass‘.
One of the Irish names for a stoat is ‘an Bheainín Uasal‘ or ‘the Little Lady‘.
An old Irish name for a hare is ‘Mìl maige‘ or in English: ‘Animal of the Plains/open spaces‘.
Another old Irish name for the wild boar is ‘Fíaclach Coilleadh‘ which roughly translates as ‘Tusked one of the Forests‘ (source).
One of the Irish names for the rabbit is ‘Preabaire Poill‘ or the ‘Bouncer/Hopper of the Holes‘.
In Irish the porpoise is know as ‘Muc Mhara‘ or ‘Pig of the Sea‘ and also ‘Torc na Tuinne‘ or ‘Boar of the Waves‘.(source).
Another Irish name for the seal is ‘Lao Mara‘ or ‘Calf of the Sea‘.
The native Irish lizard is know as ‘Earc Luachra’, which roughly translates as the the ‘Speckled one of the Rushes‘.
And finally…. The old Irish for an otter is ‘Doburchù‘ or in English ‘Water Hound‘ (source).