LAOIS LINGO, PLACE NAMES EDITION - Your guide to pronouncing Laois towns and villages

Rory Delaney


Rory Delaney


LAOIS LINGO - PLACE NAMES EDITION  - Your guide to pronouncing Laois towns and villages

Prominent Laois landmark, De Rockadunamaze

We're a complex bunch in Laois, and perhaps this best comes across in how we pronounce the very places we live. A's can becomes O's, T's and D's dissappear, and sometimes, a Y will be parachuted in from nowhere. It may seem odd, but shur dah's juss deway we do tings in Leesh. Yanoyurself.

Portlaoise - 'Pour-leesh' is the common pronunciation. Among the older generation, sometimes called either 'Portleix' or 'Marboro'. Generally referred to as 'Town', or 'The Town' for the GAA leaning natives.

Portarlington - 'Port'. That's it. Well, occasionally, if you're talking to someone from outside the county, you can pronounce it 'Por-harlin-hun'. But that's the only scenario you'd ever try to pronounce the full name.

Rathdowney - 'Rah-downey' or 'Rah-howney', depending on how attached you are to the letter D.

Abbeyleix - 'Abbeylakes', or, the odd time, you might hear an 'Abbey-lace' thrown about.

Clough - 'Clock', or 'Cluck', take your pick.

Camross - 'Cumruss' is probably the most common of a few variations knocking around.

Stradbally - Generally deemed too long to be pronounced in full, so it's usually just shortened to 'Strabbly'.

Ballinakill - Very important to add a 'y' to this one, thus making it 'Ballinyakill'.

Crettyard - Two potential ways of pronouncing this, either sub out the 'e' for an 'i', thus making it 'Critty-ard', or you can try to condense the whole thing so it is pronounced 'Cretcherd'.

Bally - Any place in Laois with 'Bally' at the beginning of the name is automatically changed to 'Balla', eg Ballalinan, Ballaroan, Ballabrittas etc. There is, however, one notable exception, listed below.

Ballyfin - The 'a' is subbed out for an 'o', and the 'y' is dropped for an 'a', thus making it 'Bollafin'.

And the rest...

Mountrath - Moun-rah

Mountmellick - Moun-mellick

Emo - Aymo

Durrow - Durra

The Heath - De Hayt

Ratheniska - Ra-hin-eska

Colt - Cowlt

Kilcotton - Kil-coh-en

Borris-in-Ossory - either Buris, or Burisnosry

Arles - Arliss

Courtwood - Coor-twud

Clonaslee - Clunaslee

Rosenallis - Roznalice

Graiguecullen - Graigue. No 'cullen'. Ever.

Monasterevin - Only included because of the woman on Winning Streak years ago who kept pronouncing it 'Monster-heaven'. Insert your own Kildare jokes here.