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An Teaghlach (m) – the Family

happy family

The nouns that designate most of the basic family members act unusually in the genitive, so the genitive for those will be shown in the list.



Buill (m) an teaghlaich – members of the family


màthair (f) – mother

(na màthar)


athair (m) – father

(an athar)


piuthar (f) – sister

(na peathar)


bràthair (m) – brother

(a’ bhràthar)


nighean (f) – daughter

(na h-ighne)


mac (m) – son

(a’ mhic)


seanmhair (f) – grandmother

(na seanmhar)


seanair (m) – grandfather

(an t-seanar)


A common pet name for a grandfather is sean.


ogha (m) – grandchild [also used for grandson, with ban-ogha for granddaughter]

(an ogha, na ban-ogha)


iar-ogha (m) – great-grandchild


sinn-seanair (m) – great-grandfather


sinn-seanmhair (f) – great-grandmother



Caraidean eile – other relatives

Neach-dàimh (m) – relative

Luchd-dàimh – relatives


Traditionally, Gaelic has described the relationship between uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces more precisely than English, but borrowings of English terms are also in common use now.


bràthair mo mhàthar – my uncle (on my mother’s side)

bràthair m’ athar – my uncle (on my father’s side)

piuthar mo mhàthar – my aunt (on my mother’s side)

piuthar m’ athar – my aunt (on my father’s side)

mac mo pheathar – my nephew (son of my sister)

mac mo bhràthar – my nephew (son of my brother)

nighean mo pheathar – my niece (daughter of my sister)

nighean mo bhràthar – my niece (daughter of my brother)

ogha (m) – nephew

ban-ogha (f) -niece

co-ogha (m) – cousin

uncail (m) – uncle

antaidh (f) – aunt

cusan (m) – cousin


Còmhradh – Conversation

Cò leis thu? – to whom do you belong? [i.e. what are your family connections?]

’S i mo phiuthar – she is my sister

’S e mo bhràthair – he is my brother

Tha sinn nar n-oghaichean – we are (first) cousins

A bheil thu càirdeach do Mhairead? – are you related to Margaret?

Tha càirdeas againn – we are related

Tha dlùth chàirdeas againn – we are closely related

Tha càirdeas fad às agam dha – I am distantly related to him

Tha suaip aige ri taobh athar – he looks like his father’s side of the family

A bheil e pòsta aig Seonag? – is he married to Joanne?

Chan eil, ach tha gealladh-pòsaidh aige oirre – no, but he is engaged to her

Chuala mi gu bheil iad fo ghealladh-pòsaidh – I heard that they are engaged

Tha iad a’ dol a rèiteachadh – they’re going to get engaged

Nach eil iad dealaichte? – aren’t they separated?

Tha iad air sgaradh – they are divorced

Chan eil buntainneas agam ris a’ Ghàidhealtachd – I have no [family] connections with the Highlands

A bheil buntainn aice dhut? – is she related to you?

Tha dithis bhràithrean agam, is iad nan càraidean – I have two brothers, who are twins


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