Go raibh mile maith agat

Home Page


Irish-English terms

"Thanks a million" in Irish English

Though normal in international English, the phrase "thanks a million" is conspicuous in Irish English. It's ubiquitous.

It's real Irish, sort of. It's the translation of a Gaelic phrase. It's a generous translation. The original phrase offers only a thousand.

As Gaeilge:

If speaking to one person:

If speaking to more than one person:

Go raibh míle maith agat

Go raibh míle maith agaibh

(Guh RAV mee-lə MAH a-gut) (Guh RAV mee-lə MAH a-guv)

The Irish word míle means "thousand" and sounds like "million." "Thanks a million" rolls off the tongue, in English — euphonious* and convivial.

__   ___   __

*Shakespeare was happy enough with the term "thousand thanks," using it in several plays. (He also mirrors cead mile failte in Coriolanus: "A hundred thousand welcomes.")

  ↑ Return to "euphonious" ...