Surviving Ireland, my guide to Irish slang

photos from plane (3) Donegal, Ireland (13) Donegal, Ireland (16)

People say we talk funny.  Personally I don’t hear it but I also don’t get why the American’s butchered the English language.  I mean colour is spelled with a U, and I could go on but I wont. Here are some words and expressions I have to translate on a regular basis and when I moved back to Ireland with my American born son these are the things I had to teach him so that he could at least understand the locals as quickly as possible while he concentrated on learning how to spell properly so that he would not fail English at school. We have spent hours laughing at the hysteria of his blank stares when people spoke to him and he had no clue what they were saying.  The flip side is he has now lost his southern drawl which came from being raised in Texas and Atlanta until the age of twelve.  He now talks really fast and speaks Irish slang fluently.  ‘Hey Y’all’ has been replaced by ‘well lad’.

Whats the craic? = what’s happening,

Where’s the craic? = where’s the fun? its not drugs, get over it!

Eegit = fool

Culchie = anyone not from Dublin

Jackeen = anyone from Dublin

Dirty Dubs = anyone from Dublin

Langer = idiot, used in Cork

A load of bollocks = nonsense, its not true.

Go on lads, give it a lash = give it a go, try!

Wet the tea = put the water in and let it settle before drinking

Go way outta that = I don’t believe what your saying.

Ah here! = that’s stupid

The press = cupboard

Arseways = messed it all up

Alright Bud? or Story Bud? or Well?= hello 

Brilliant = good.

Call = visit

Ring = call you on the telephone

Come here to me = Listen

Conkers = Horse chestnuts fallen from a tree

Deadly = Great

Massive = brilliant

Desperate = bad

Donkey’s Years = A long time.

Fair play = Good job.

Give out = Complain

Go on = Yes please

Grand fine 

Gutted = Upset

Half Nine = Nine Thirty 

How are you keeping? = How are you?

How’s the form? = How are you?

How’s she cutting? = How are you doing?

In good form = Doing well.

I Will Yeah = Not a hope

I’m at the end of by wick = I’m at my wit’s end.

In bits = Very upset 

Match = Sports game 

Pictures = Movies

Film = Movie, pronounced Filim

In stitches = laughing heartily

Kip = Nap or and dump of a place

Knackered = exhausted

Lay off = Give me a break

Lie in = Sleeping late

Lift = Elevator

Well Lad = hello

Ah Sham = you big fool

Gobshite = fool  

Pog mo Thoin = Kiss my ass!

Massive – in Dublin this means fabulous or great.  

Ah here = that is so stupid

Alright Bud? or Story Bud? = Hello.

Brilliant = Rather good.

Call = In-person visit
Craic = fun
or Come here or Com’ere now = Listen
Come here to me = Listen to me

Deadly = Great
Desperate = Bad
Donkey’s Years 
or Ages = A long time.
Fair play to you. 
(or just Fair play.) = Good job.
Give out = Complain, vent, 
or rant
Go on = OK I will
Good, super, fine, or great 
Gutted = upset 

Half Nine = Nine Thirty 

How are you keeping? = How are you?
How’s the form? = How are you?
How’s she cutting? = How’s are you?
In good form = Doing well.
I Will Yeah = No way, but can’t bear to say no to your face.
I’m at the end of my wick = At the end of my rope 
or I’m at my wit’s end.
In bits = Very upset

In stitches = laughing
Kip = Nap
Knackered = exhausted

Lay off = Give me a break
Lie in = Sleeping late 

Lift = Elevator
Match = Game of sports (such as hurling soccer, or Irish football)
Pictures = Movies or Cinema
or Made redundant = Corporate/company lay-offs
Ring = Telephone call
Snaps = Photographs
(rhymes with Cow) = Fight
State = Bad condition
, eg. ”Look at the state of her” or ”She was in a right state.”
Telly = Television
That’s cat = Awful
Wrecked = Very tired

Torrential Rain = Unrelenting. Falling rapidly and with force, in copious quantities.
Lashing Rain = Diagonal hard rain
 (think hurricane weather)
Sheets of Rain = Seems like walls of rain coming down.
Heavens Opened = Sudden onset of strong solid flow of rain.
Bucketing Rain = Out in this rain you feel like you’re instantly soaked.
Pissing Rain = Vertical hard rain
 (not as much wind as Lashing Rain)
Wet Rain = Not necessarily a heavy rain, but one that dampens you and soaks your clothes
Trying to Rain = The clouds have some in them but it’s not quite coming down with consistency.
Sun Shower = Raining while sunny out. Perfect rainbow weather!
Soft day = Cloudy weather with soft mist or drizzle
 (typical Irish weather)
Grand Soft Day = A humid day with a fine, light drizzle.
Dry Rain =
 Mist that doesn’t get you wet even though it’s technically raining

Shopping & Apparel
Are you ok there? Can I help you?
Byro or Biro = pen 

Buggy = Stroller for baby
Dear = Expensive
Dummy or Soother = Pacifier for baby
Fairy lights = Christmas tree lights
Fiver = Five Euro bill
Jumper = Pullover sweater
Messages = Shopping errands
Odds = Loose change
Off-license = Liquor store 
or carry out
Queue = Line of people waiting
Quid = Bucks
 (cash term)
Wellies = Rain boots or Wellington boots
Trainers or Runners = Sneakers, running shoes
Trackies – Track Suit bottom’s or sweat pants

Tenner = Ten Euro Bill
Wool = Knitting/Crochet Yarn

Afters = Dessert
Aubergine = Eggplant
Bap = Small Bread Roll

Bangers = Sausage
Biscuit = Cookie
Black pudding = Blood sausage

Chipper = Fish & chips take away 

Chips = French fries
Coriander = Cilantro
Courgette = Zucchini
Crisps = Potato chips
Doorstep = Thick Bread usually the heel
Drasheen = Liver sausage 
(similar to Haggis in its reputation and localization or popularity)
Fry up = Fried Irish breakfast
Jam = Preserves or Jelly
Jelly = Jell-O
Mash = Mashed potatoes
Minerals = Soda, pop, soft drinks
(savory) = Sausage 
(black pudding is made with blood)
Rashers = Bacon not streaky

Spuds = Potatoes
Still water = natural water
Sweets = Candy
Toastie = Toasted Sandwich
Veg = Vegetables

The Drink & Nightlife
Craic = Fun 
Fag = Cigarette
Flaming = Drunk
Bevvies = Drinks
 (usually involving alcohol)
Glass = Half-pint of beer or cider
Local = 
pub you mostly hang out in
Lock in = A pub locks up and shuts down to appear closed from the outside, but people are still drinking and enjoying the craic inside.

Locked = Drunk

Off-License = Liquor store
Offy = Off-License
On the pig’s back = everythings going right 

Pint = Twenty ounces of beer or cider 

Pissed = Drunk
Plastered = Drunk
Poteen = Moonshine

Places, Travel & Getting Around
Dodgy = Rough (as in crime)

Return = Round-trip

Ride = Sex.

Strand = Beach

Sea Side = Beach

Slán Abhaile = Safe travels home 

Thanks for the lift. = Thanks for driving me, don’t say thanks for the ride

Thanks for the spin. = Thanks for driving me 

Referring to People
Bold = causing trouble
Culchie(s) = Anyone not from 
Cute hoor = A sly or shrewd person
Hard case = Tough nut to crack 

Jackeen(s) =
 anyone from Dublin – not a compliment
Mad = Crazy
On the dole = On social welfare security
Pioneer = Someone who does not drink alcoholic beverage

Red neck = anyone not from Dublin
Tinker(s) = member of the Irish Traveling community

Turf accountant = OTB, off-track betting or bookie
Yoke = A thing or person

Irish Slang, hope your set!!

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About Sandra

Just a girl from Ireland who wants to live everywhere. Not a planner, a winger when it comes to travel. I don't even like people who plan too much. Without spontaneity there is no depth. A jack of all trades. A great friend, loyal and passionate and I expect the same in return. Always ready for the next adventure at a moments notice.
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