The Meaning Behind the Shamrock
The word shamrock comes from the Irish word ‘seamair óg’ or young clover. There is still no agreement as to the precise botanical species of clover which is the ‘true shamrock’. The phrase usually refers to either the species, Trifolium dubium or Trifolium repens. What we colloquially know as the shamrock refers to the sprig and leaves of clover, of which there are 3.
Originally, the shamrock was associated with the Celtic goddess Ana or Anu. The three leaves represented her status as the maiden, mother and crone of Ireland. The Celts placed a special significance on the number 3 and knew it as the perfect number. To this day, some believe that the shamrock can predict an oncoming storm by turning up its leaves.