Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Erin go bragh

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is Erin go bragh. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

Erin go bragh is an Irish phrase that means “Ireland forever.”

// The crowd proudly shouted “Erin go bragh” in celebration of their Irish heritage.

ERIN GO BRAGH in Context

“This St. Patrick’s Day, I will celebrate alone. … I will fix a plate of corned beef and cabbage, buy a loaf of Irish soda bread and drink a mild beverage, raising a toast to family and love and to Ireland. It was not always ‘easy being green,’ but it was worth it. Erin Go Bragh.” — Kathleen O’Neil, The San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Mar. 2022

Did You Know?

March 17th is the feast day of the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick. In the United States, it is also the day of shamrocksleprechauns, and green beer (and green everything else). Blue was once the color traditionally associated with St. Patrick, but the color green has several links to Ireland, including its use on Ireland’s flag in the form of a stripe, its symbolism of Irish nationalism and the country’s religious history, and its connection to Ireland’s nickname, The Emerald Isle. On St. Patrick’s Day, people turn to their dictionary to look up Erin go bragh, which means “Ireland forever.” The original Irish phrase was Erin go brách (or go bráth), which translates literally as “Ireland till doomsday.” It’s an expression of loyalty and devotion that first appeared in English during the late 18th-century Irish rebellion against the British.

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