How to Say ‘I Love You’ in Irish… Without Words - ShanOre Irish Jewlery

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How to Say ‘I Love You’ in Irish… Without Words

The Irish language isn’t easy to master, but you can tell your beloved how you feel in Irish without saying a word.  We have a rich language of symbols that represent love and romance.

claddaghThe Claddagh ring is the most widely recognized and popular Irish symbols of love.  The iconic design of a heart held by two hands with a crown above it represents love, friendship and loyalty, the essential elements of a happy relationship.  Claddagh rings have long been worn to celebrate love and friendship as well as to show one’s feelings about Ireland.  They can be used as a wedding ring or just as a gorgeous piece of jewelry, depending on how they are worn.

claddagh weddingWorn on the left hand ring finger with the tip of heart pointed inwards indicates it is a wedding ring, while wearing it on that same finger with the bottom of the heart pointed away from your hand says you are engaged.  Wearing on the right hand ring finger pointed inward means you are dating, while reversing it so that the crown is toward your hand and the tip of the heart points away tells those in the know that you are single and searching.

by John Shortland
by John Shortland

While the Claddagh is a beautiful Irish love symbol, it isn’t the only way to communicate your feelings Celtic-style.  Irish art and jewelry is full of other symbols of romance and love, some more obvious than others.  You can find Irish jewelry designs to indicate every stage of love from giddy, new adventure to undying commitment that transcends time itself.  Some are Irish takes on more universal symbols and others are quintessentially Celtic.

Beyond the Claddagh

butterflyThe feeling of having butterflies in your stomach when you see that amazing person you have a crush on is hardly unique, but if one of you is Irish, your butterflies might have some elegant Celtic knot work on their fluttering wings.

The same goes for hearts.  Yes, we all have them, but they are still all unique.  And if part of your heart’s unique make up is being Irish, well, you might have a swirling, knotted feeling in it when you are falling in love.  Falling in love with an Irish person can also inspire the same beautiful feeling.

Much Celtic knot work shares a rich symbolism; the lines of the knot have no beginning or end.  This symbolizes eternity.  Crushes come and go; dating is hazardous to your heart.  Infatuation is not infinite, but true love is.  Celtic knots illustrate that feeling of timeless, unlimited, unending love and devotion.

You can tell your beloved how you feel with various Celtic symbols, but sometimes you just want to say it with different words.  Every language has terms of endearment, and if you aren’t fluent in a language it isn’t always obvious if it a term used by parents referring to their children, friends referring to each other or those in love.  In Irish, you call your soulmate ‘mo anam cara’.

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