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Thread: Scottish Gaelic word for Griffin or Gryphon

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Scottish Gaelic word for Griffin or Gryphon

    Hello, I have received a school assignment to research my name as it relates to my family ancestry.
    So, my name is Griffin and my mother's family has been traced to Scotland. I have searched the internet and found the Scottish Gaelic for the word Griffin (Gryphon) is "Griobh".
    Each student must make a short presentation but I have no idea how to pronounce Griobh. Can anybody help? Thanks so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Scotland - Scots and English
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    Re: Scottish Gaelic word for Griffin or Gryphon

    It is pronounced something like 'Greev'. However, your surname is not of Gaelic origin, it is of French origin. Griffons are not a part of Gaelic culture or folklore, griobh is just a translation from the French.

  3. #3
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    May 2007
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    Re: Scottish Gaelic word for Griffin or Gryphon

    Hi Amy,
    Welcome to the forum. Although I do speak Irish, I wouldn't pretend to tell you how to pronounce it properly. Just speak it with confidence, your class mates will not know any different.

    The genalogy of Griffin isn't as straight forward as Copperknickers suggests it to be. This is a surname of at least three distinct origins, English, Irish &/or Welsh.
    Since you mention Scottish Gaelic origins, then the Irish branch of the family is the most likely to be of interest to you. (Wikipedia has a nice map clearly showing this.)
    Griffin = Ó Gríobhtha, Ó Gríofa (modern Irish spelling). There are two Gaelic Griffin surnames native to Ireland, these surnames can be traced back over 1000 years (4th century). This is prior to the arrival of Welsh-Norman planters of the name Griffiths whom have changed there name to Griffin since first arriving in Ireland. Source : Common Irish surnames
    The GRIFFIN-etc Surname Project is another interesting on-line resource.

    Good luck.
    John Henry Newman : "We demand strict proof for opinions we dislike, but are satisfied with mere hints for what we’re inclined to accept."

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Re: Scottish Gaelic word for Griffin or Gryphon

    Hello L'irlandais and Cooperknickers,
    Thank you so much for your replies!
    My name is a little confusing. People always think Amy is my first name but it is Griffin. My last name (surname) is Amy . . . a little strange. My dad has traced "Amy" back several generations to "Emich" which came from Germany. His mom's side of the family is the Scottish side. Her last name was Fullerton...which appears to come from Ayr in Scotland but I haven't been able to find the direct connection yet. The assignment was to pronounce your given first name as it relates to your family history. That's why I wanted to look at the Scottish Gaelic for Griffin (Griobh). So, do you think I could just say "Greev" and smile? To make sure, is that said Grr-eve (like grieve)? This is very fun and makes me want to dive into more of my Scottish side! Thanks again!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Re: Scottish Gaelic word for Griffin or Gryphon

    Quote Originally Posted by griffinamy View Post
    The assignment was to pronounce your given first name as it relates to your family history. That's why I wanted to look at the Scottish Gaelic for Griffin (Griobh). So, do you think I could just say "Greev" and smile? To make sure, is that said Grr-eve (like grieve)? This is very fun and makes me want to dive into more of my Scottish side! Thanks again!
    I see. Well if its your first name, then we can forget the debacle over the surname origin (though I must apologise, I made an incorrect assumption: it seems the word was probably borrowed from Latin rather than French, and does have a history as a Gaelic surname). If all you want to do is find the Scottish version of 'Griffin' (and you don't want to simply use a Scottish accent, which is admittedly less exciting and less likely since most Americans are descended from Highlanders) then 'griobh', pronounced as you say, would be fine.

    There are numerous different accents of Scottish Gaelic. I'm not a native speaker of it, so I'm not saying my version is completely correct, however it is a pronounciation that follows the basic rules of Gaelic pronounciation, so is better than just making it up completely.

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