The “Dia” Page - Divine Expressions


Whether you’re a Críostaí, a Págánach, or an Aindiachaí - whether you conceive of Him/Her/It/Them as Hairy Thunderer or Cosmic Muffin - whether or not you even notice you’re saying it - it’s hard to rattle on in Irish for very long without using the D-word.

Here are some of the more common occurences. If you happen to be especially picky, orthodox, or outspokenly PC in a faith where “Dia” just won’t do, merely substitute Dharma (or Karma as needed), Shiva, Bandia, Bríd, Yemanja, Lugh, Allah, Elohim, etc. For the ultra-PC Aindiachaí, the challenge is greater. I recommend either total abstention or substituting “42” in the following:

Irish Literal Translation Translation
Dia duit! [God to-you] “Hello!”
Dia sa teach! [God in-the house] “Hello, everyone here!”
Dia linn! [God with-us] “God bless!”(when someone sneezes)
Buíochas le Dia. [thanks with God] “Thank God!”(especially useful in discussing the weather, and how it could be worse)
Le cúnamh Dé! [With help of-God] “God willing!”
As ucht Dé! [for sake of-God] “For heaven’s sake!”
Go bhfóire Dia orainn! [that may-aid God on-us] “God help us!”
Nár lige Dia! [that-not may-allow God] “Heaven forbid!”
A Dhia! [O God] “My God!”

Also, when mentioning the recently deceased, it’s traditional to add a pious wish such as:

Ar dheis Dé go raibh sé/sí. [on right of-God that may-be (s)he] “May he/she be at the right hand of God.”

There are many, many other expressions similar to the ones above. Now here are three proverbs to finish off with:

Tá Dia láidir agus tá máthair mhaith aige. [is God strong and is mother good at-him] “God is strong and has a good mother.”(i.e. “Rely on God.”)
Is maith le Dia cúnamh. [tis good with God help] “God helps those who help themselves.”
Duine á rá agus Dia á dhéanamh. [man saying it and God doing it] “Man proposes and God disposes.”
2009-08-04 CPD