Want to learn a little Irish?

Happy St. Paddy’s week!

As you well know, later this week, everybody’s about to be Irish for a day! So I thought I’d share a few fun phrases for you to whip out to prove you’re the real deal!

If you’ve read my Hearts Out of Water series, you’ve probably noticed the chapter titles in Irish. They were translated by two of my friends who are native Irish speakers.

The parts of Ireland where the language is still spoken is called the Gaeltacht. Learning the language is also part of the school curriculum for Irish kids all over the country, but most of my Irish friends are about as proficient as I was in high-school Spanish. 😉

Irish is a beautiful language, and many of us have Irish roots, so let’s spread it a little farther, shall we?

Irish language

What do you think? Confusing, huh? Especially those pronunciations!

I better get back to writing now. Slán go fóill! Goodbye for now!

Annie Cosby





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Would you do this Leap Day tradition?

Irish Leap Day tradition

Have you heard of the Irish Leap Year tradition? The tradition says that on February 29 women can propose to men instead of the traditional reverse. (You may have heard about it in a terrible 2010 movie called Leap Year.)

The (dubious) legend says the tradition was negotiated by St. Brigid, who was annoyed by convention and begged St. Patrick to let women take the wheel every once in a while.

The tradition even jumped over to Scotland, where a law was established and men had to pay fines for each woman they rejected on Leap Day. In some European places, this fine was a gift of gloves for the woman—to hide her ring-less finger, of course.

Thankfully, it’s the 21st century and women can propose any day they want. (And only wear gloves when it’s cold out.) You can read more about the bizarre tradition here, or you can celebrate modernity with a little freebie:

Learning to Swim by Annie Cosby

Learning to Swim will be free until tomorrow! Tell your friends and ask them to leave a review!

By the way, have I mentioned that the last book in the Hearts Out of Water series will be out this summer?!

Talk soon!

Annie Cosby




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Mini Lessons in the Irish language

My upcoming YA Learning to Swim incorporates magical Celtic mythology via some Irish characters, so I figured, why not give you guys a little taste of the Irish language?

Now there are different dialects in Irish as well as variations between regions and even cities. Not to mention the different accents!

But I have friends in high places, specifically Connemara, where they still speak Irish as a first language.

So: below I’ve provided the approximate translation of some choice phrases (I went for direct meaning instead of direct translations – you know, things someone speaking Irish might actually say) and the nearest pronunciation my American ears could handle . [Read more…]

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8 Tips for Visiting the Great Blasket Island

The terrible beauty of the Blasket Islands is a must-see. But it also requires a bit of preparation.

When I visited with my parents and my brother, it was by chance that it all worked out. But it could have easily gone wrong. Here are my tips for a smooth sailing to the Great Blasket (literally).

1. Read up. Part of the mystique of the islands is the life that was lived there – and the tragic way it ended. So before you go, do some Googling.


And make sure to look up the weather forecast and ferry times before going. You have to be flexible, because ferry times are subject to change (or be cancelled) due to weather.

The boatman told us that the previous August, they’d only been able to make the crossing 9 of the 31 days due to dangerous weather. So be prepared to reschedule if need be!


[Read more…]

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A Terrible Beauty: The Blasket Islands

Yesterday marked the 60th anniversary of the government-assisted evacuation of the Blasket Islands in southwest Ireland.

To this day, they remain the most gorgeous place I’ve ever seen. So why were they evacuated?

The 6 clustered islands are located off the coast of the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, one of the most picturesque, breath-taking spots in Ireland.

Blasket Islands

Some Dingle coast.

[Read more…]

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