but if you don’t mix in a few of these words into your sentence structure your will sound like any GobShite
Every country, every neighborhood has it slang and unique cuss words. But Ireland has a unique way of saying things, that I hope you Enjoy.
Acting the Maggot – Fooling and messing around.
An Lár – (Irish – ‘On Larr’) – City Centre (An Lar is written on the front of Dublin buses to confuse tourists!)
Áras an Uachtaráin – (Irish – ‘Arr Iss On Ook TarAwn’) – Home of the President i.e. Located in the Phoenix Park in Dublin
Bad dose – Severe illness
Bags (To make a bags of something) – a botched job
Bang on – Correct. Accurate
Banjaxed – Broken
Batch Bread – Thick bread, sometimes sliced already
Biteen – Little bit
Black Stuff – Guinness
Bogball – Gaelic Football
Bogger – A person from the countryside
Bowsie – A useless good for nothing usually a male
Boyo – Male juvenile delinquent
Bazzer -A haircut (Cork)
Brutal – Terrible or awful
Bucketing down – Raining
Bulmers – Legendary Irish cider, called ‘Magners’ abroad
Bunk Off – To skip school
Chancer – Someone who’d try anything i.e. ‘chance their arm’
Chiseler – A child (Dublin slang)
Ciotóg- A left handed preson (irish- Kithogue)
Cod/Codding ya – To pull someone’s leg
College – University
Craic – Fun; gossip i.e. “What’s/How’s the craic?” means “tell me your news/gossip”
Crack on -Continue on
Crocked – Broken
Croker – Croke Park in Dublin (main GAA stadium)
Culchie – A person from the countryside (i.e. outside Dublin) from agricultural
Cute hoor – A sly person, someone who quietly engineers things to his own advantage.
Dekko- Look at or inspect
Delira and Excira – ‘Delighted and Excited’ (Dublin slang)
Dub – A Dubliner. A ‘True Blue Dub’ is praise.
Dubes – Short for Dubarry (A brand of shoe favoured by Rugger Buggers)
Dublin 4 / D4 – A Dublin postcode, but usually refers to a posh person (even if they’re from another Dublin postcode)
Deadly – Fantastic, Wonderful
Dense – stupid or thick
Desperate – terrible (isn’t she/he so/just so Desperate) awful (Irish Roscommon etc slang)
Donkey’s years – For a very very long time
Dosser – Someone who is not working at their job
Eat the head off – To give out to someone
Eejit – Complete fool
Earwiging- Listening in to a private conversation
Effin’ and blindin’ – Swearing, cursing
Eff off – polite swear word
Fair play! – Well done
Feck Off – Go away.
Fella – A guy. Particularly as in ‘Me Fella’ or ‘My boyfriend / husband / partner’ (Dublin slang)
Fierce – Very
Fine thing – Good looking man or woman
Floozie – Woman of dubious moral attributes
Fluthered – Very drunk
Fool eegit – Idiot (Cork slang)
Fooster – fiddling about
Football – Soccer
GAA – Gaelic Athletics Association (Organisation responsible for Hurling and Gaelic Football). Sometimes referred to as ‘Gah’ instead of the G.A.A.
Gaa – same as the GAA pronounced as as a single syllable GAH
Gaff – Home. ‘To have a free gaff’ means you’re home alone
Gammy – crooked or funny looking; as in “he has a gammy leg”
Gander – A quick glance
Garrison Game – Football / soccer
Gas – Funny or amusing
Gawk – To stare rudely
Gaybo Famous Irish T.V and Radio personality Gay Byrne
Get Outta That Garden – affectionate phrase generally thrown into a conversation to encourage laughter, example: “ah would ya get outta that garden!”
Give out – To have a go / chew someone out e.g. I gave out to him
Glass (A Glass of ) a half pint Beer/Cider/Guinness
Gobshite – Socially inept person and / or complete fool
Gouger – aggressive male
Guff – excuses and lies
Gurrier – Hooligan
Hames/Haymes- Complete mess e.g. to make a complete haymes of something
Hardchaw – Tough Guy
Harpic – as in “a pint of harpic”, reference to Harp, a former brand of lager beer
Hockeyed – Heavily defeated
Holy Joe – Self righteous person
Holy show – Disgrace
How’s she cutting? – ‘Hi’
Howya – ‘Hi’ or a person from a rough area of Dublin
Hurl – To play hurling. A hurley stick. To vomit. Or to throw.
Jackeen – A rural person’s name for a Dubliner and it’s not nice.
Jacks – toilet
Jo Maxi – Taxi. Shortened to simply ‘Joer’ (pronounced: jo-er)
Joy (The) – Mountjoy Prison in Dublin
Kip – a dump. e.g.: “The hotel was a complete kip.” Or to have a sleep.
Knacker Drinking – To drink outside illegaly
Knackered – Very tired or broken beyond repair
Langer – A cork name for an unliked person (male)
Langers- Very drunk
Lash – To rain. e.g.: “It lashed out of the heavens the whole time.” Also verb : ‘give it a lash – to make an attempt at something or ‘to go on the lash’ – to out drinking
Leg it – To run away quickly
Locked – Very drunk
Manky – Filthy dirty or disgusting
Mi Daza (Cork) Means excellent, brilliant, fantastic. Pronounced (mee-dah-za)
Mineral- a soft drink
Mitch – To skip school
Moran – A fool
Mortified (or morto, e.g. I was morto!) – Highly embarrassed
Mot – Girlfriend (Dublin slang). From ‘maith’, Gaelic for ‘good’.
Murder – Very difficult. e.g.: “Trying to find a taxi was murder.” Or else to really want to do something e.g. ‘I could murder a pint.’
Naggin – A small bottle of alcohol, particularly vodka
Nip (in the) – nude
Nixer – job done for cash to avoid tax
Norn Iron – Northern Ireland
Not the full shilling – not fully sane
Now your sucking diesel You have solved or understand a problem
On the tear – To go out drinking
Ossified – Very drunk
Oul Fella – Your Father (Dublin slang)
Oul Dear / Oul Wan – Your Mother (Dublin slang)
Oul Doll – Girlfriend (Pronounced: Owl-Doll)
Paralytic – Very drunk
Pictures – To go to the movies i.e. I went to the pictures last night
Plain – Guinness, as in Flann O’Brien’s “a pint of plain is your only man”, or similar black stout
Plastered – Very drunk
Puss (To have a puss on you) – Sulky face
Rugger Bugger – Person who’s posh loud and likes rugby (usually from Dublin)
Rugger Hugger – Girl who’s posh and goes out with rugby players (usually from Dublin). Can also be called a ‘Rugger Bugger’.
Savage – brilliant, great e.g I went to see a savage match yesterday
Scarlet – To be very embarrassed e.g. ‘I was scarlet’
School – Primary or Secondary School / Elementary, Junior High or Senior High School
Senior Cup – Major schools rugby trophy played for by schools mainly in Dublin.
Shattered – Very tired
Sheila – a pet name for a promiscuous girl.
Shinner – Someone who supports Sinn Fein
Shite – something that’s bad quality, as in “the car was a pile of shite”
Shower of savages – Ignorant group of people
Slag – To make fun of someone in a nice way ,nb to be used as a verb, if not has the same meaning as elsewhere ie ‘a common prostitute’.
Sleeveen – Devious and sly person, usually referring to someone from outside Dublin
Sliced Pan – Bread bought already cut into thinnish slices
Sorry- means Sorry, also used instead of excuse me or pardon me. If you want to get to the bar say Sorry !
Story? (What’s the) – ‘Hi’
Suckin’ diesel (Now you’re) – Now you’re talking. Now you’re doing well
Tánaiste – (Irish – ‘Tawn Ish Teh’) – Deputy Prime Minister
Taoiseach – (Irish – ‘Tee Shock’) – Prime Minister
Tayto – Legendary Irish brand of crisps (US ‘chips’)
The Pale – Anywhere inside the Dublin region
Thick – Extremely stupid
Throw shapes – To show off, sometimes aggressively
Touched – Someone who hasn’t their full mental capacities i.e. He’s touched
Town – City Centre or even the local town!
Tricolour – Irish flag
Trinners – Trinity College Dublin
Uachtarán na hÉireann – (Irish – ‘Ook Tar Awn Na Hair In’) – President (Of Ireland)
Weak as a kitten – Very tired
Waster – Someone who’s completely useless i.e. ‘Yer man’s an awful waster altogether’
Work away – Continue what you are doing
Yoke – An object or thing i.e. ‘That’s a strange looking yoke, what is it?’
Young Fella (male) or Young One (female) – Young man or Young woman (Dublin slang)
Your Man (male) or Your Woman (female) – referring to someone you are talking about (not boy or girl friend/wife etc.)
Your only man – Something that you can rely on e.g. If you’re hungry, a burger’s your only man (a burger will alleviate your hunger), see Plain above
I grew up in WNY with a mother who was a direct Irish import. I fondly recall many of these wonderful slang Irish expressions expressed either by my mother or my Irish relatives, who had immigrated to Canada after WWII.
Brian, we share similar roots, I live in Lancaster NY and Immigrated from Ireland to stay with relatives that came her after WWII
I’m astonished how many of these I know and use often (sometimes raising a querying eyebrow from friends who don’t share my heritage.) My great-great-grandmother came to America sometime before the Civil War, and her daughter, my great-grandmother, married a nice German schoolteacher; you’d think by now the culture would have been diluted right out of our family, but no. Words and phrases like hurl, guff, puss, murder, gander, and guff–quite common in my family, but outside it, I haven’t heard most of them in donkey’s years. Good article, thanks.
Great selection there Kevin, well done! I had to add a glossary at the back of my memoir about growing up in Donegal, since our sayings up there had so much slang (even the curses needed translating!) that I didn’t want anything lost in translation.