Irish Slang

Have I told you some of the wonderful things people say over here? I think I may have told you a few, but I’ve decided to collect them all together in the one place so I don’t forget them all. It was inspired by a delightfully themed ‘Milk and Cookies’ evening in which the title was a fabulous Dublin phrase (which I’m leaving until the end of my list because its the best).

So, here they are. My top Irish slang phrases:

1) Craic. People actually say it (pronounce it ‘crack’). It sort of means ‘fun’. So you’ll hear people described as ‘good craic’ or a place as ‘good craic’. But you might also be asked, ‘What’s the craic?’ which basically means, ‘Hey, what’s going on?’

2) Deadly. This means something is good. I find this pretty amusing because its actually used by some young Indigenous Australian communities with the same meaning. I don’t know how both groups started to use the same slang, but there you have it. In the Irish context, think of anytime you would use the word ‘groovy’ in a 1970s film and then replace it with ‘deadly’. You can now accurately use the Irish term, ‘deadly’.

3) Ye. People actually say ‘ye’. Not as in hear ye, hear ye, but more like where an Australian would use ‘youse’. Its a plural. So, instead of ‘youse are so lucky that you got free tickets to the Big Day Out’, you would say, ‘ye are so lucky that you got free tickets to Oxygen’

4) The poor creature. Same as ‘you poor thing’. However, creature is pronounced something similar to ‘cray-ture’. I still haven’t gotten it quite right.

5) An old one. And old person. But, again, you pronounce old as ‘auld’.

6) Your man/your one. That person over there. May or may not actually have any connection or anything to do with you. Can cause confusion if you are not thinking hard about it. ‘What do you mean my one is so annoying? My what is so annoying?’

7) Grand. To be sure, to be sure, everything is grand. I’m grand, you’re grand, everything’s grand. Pretty self-explanatory I would have thought.

8) Hoor. A whore. Can be used for both men or women. However, a ‘cute hoor’ means someone that is crafty and gets away with things.

9) Langer. An idiot or stupid person. Possibly unattractive. Possibly drunk. Usually heard in context of, ‘Oi, get off ah me, ya langer!’

10) He’s a dote, he’s a right dote, he’s so dotey. He’s so cute!

11) He’s fit. He’s gorgeous.

12) Like. I have finished my sentence. I am adding emphasis to what I have just said. I’m not entirely sure how else to fill this silence. For example, ‘He’s really fit, like.’ ‘I’m from Cork, like.’ ‘Its really warm, like.’ Usually heard in Cork.

13) Wrecked. Can be used in the way it would be in Australia, as in, ‘I’m so tired,’ but also, ‘I’m so disappointed!’ ‘I’m so unhappy!’ ‘Oh, I’m absolutely wrecked I’ll miss the last episode of Masterchef Australia!’

14) Decent. Pronounced ‘Day-cent’. Normal meaning, but used more regularly than you’d hear back home, and its probably a bit more enthusiastic. ‘Ah, sure, she’s decent.’ Means maybe something like ‘True Blue’.

I’m sure there are more and I just can’t think of them. I might add more when I do remember. But, the absolute best is the one I heard tonight:

15) Scarleh’ yer ma’ for havin’ ye. Into a neutral accent it reads ‘Scarlet your mother for having you.’  By which they mean, ‘I’m embarrassed for your mother for giving birth to you.’ Most Excellent.


1 Comment

Filed under Ireland, Random

One response to “Irish Slang

  1. These are incredibly accurate! You pretty much nailed Irish slang in this post, and it’ll be a valuable asset for anyone who visits Ireland. My favourite Irish slang word is definitely “deadly” for sure.

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