How to Pronounce the Irish Prime Minister’s Tongue-tying, Proper Gaelic Title

Figure it out before Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar's meeting with President Donald Trump.

Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The Prime Minister of Ireland has a Gaelic title that may require some pronunciation practice, especially since he's in the U.S. for a traditional White House St. Patrick's Day celebration.

Leo Varadkar is the Taoiseach of Ireland, a Gaelic term that means Prime Minister. The word is among several Gaelic terms and phrases that stump non-Irish newscasters and Americans, who can sometimes struggle to pronounce Irish names.

The proper pronunciation of Taoiseach sounds something like "TEE-shock" in English, according to a BBC report on pronouncing Irish political terms. A pronunciation guide on YouTube says "tee-shocks" or "tee-shock" are appropriate ways to say the word.

Still, the word trips people up when the encounter it live. In one memorable example, a newscaster incorrectly pronounced Taoiseach so it rhymed with the word milkshake.

As Varadkar meets with President Trump on his visit to the U.S. to commemorate St. Patrick's Day and with the holiday right around the corner, it's worth knowing how to say his proper title.

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