Visiting Ireland? Over 80 slangs & phrases you might want to know
This article covers:
New to Ireland? If you constantly feel lost in the middle of a conversation, we’re here to help with the lingo.
Famous for Guinness, black pudding and green hills, the beautiful country of Ireland is known for the amazing countryside, stunning cities and – sometimes – its gregarious natives.
So, if you’re trying to pick up accents and Irish slangs from television shows or movies, just a little reminder that the accent varies from region to region.
So, stall the ball, guys, a hape of common Irish slangs are coming your way.
Food & Beverage Terms
Fish and chip shop
Beer or alcohol
Shopping or groceries
On the tear
Scuttered, Ossified, Mouldy, Buckled
To be drunk
A dodgy or risky character
Young child (Dublin slang)
A person from a rural/agricultural area
Someone not working or messing about, up to no good
Listening in on a private conversation
Used for your guy, as in ‘Me Fella’ partner/husband/boyfriend
Good looking man or woman
Flamboyant; also, very generous
A self-righteous person
A person afraid to try new things
A person who is very annoying
Oul‘ Dear / Oul‘ Wan
Someone who is posh, loud and loves Rugby
Show off, sometimes aggressively
Weather, Location & Vehicles
Home, to have a ‘free gaff’ means you are home alone
Used to refer to sleep; a dirty or unpleasant place
The word has the following meanings:
1. To rain hard
1. To make an attempt at something
1. To go out drinking
An extra or irregular job, the income from which is not declared for taxation purposes
Anywhere in the region of Dublin
Trinity College Dublin
A long time
A type of Irish bus
Common Irish Phrases
A whale of a time
If someone says they are having a whale of a time they mean they’re enjoying themselves very much
Cheese on your chin
Do the washing
Doing (or speaking) nineteen to the dozen
Going (or speaking) very fast
A very, very long time
Down the swanie
Down the drain
Eat the head off
Annoyed or to scold someone
Go way outta that
Has several meanings including exclamation of disbelief or don’t be silly or it’s no trouble
It simply means to be happy
Haven’t a baldies
When you are unsure of an answer to a question
How’s he / she cuttin’?
Used to ask ‘How are you?’ or ‘What’s the news?’
I will yea
A sarcastic way of saying that someone will definitely not do something
I’m gonna head on
Going to leave
Like hen’s teeth
Extremely rare or impossible to obtain
Put the heart crossways
To give someone a fright
Sell ya the eye out of your head
Acon man who will sell anything
Stall the ball
Slow down or stop.
Sure, look it
It is what it is, whatever happens, happens
That’s a fret
An exclamation used to react to something unbelievable yet not completely impossible
The dose is goin‘ round
Used to refer to a viral illness
Wet the tea
Put teabags in boiling water
You couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with a banjo
An uncoordinated person
Your head’s a marley
One is foolish or stupid
Well, that was quite a list, but we don’t claim to have covered every phrase and slang from the vast Irish treasure trove. You may have come across a few that are not on our list. So, do let us know in the comments if we have missed out on any Irish phrases, words or slang. We will surely put them in our list.
You Might Also Want To Read: Moving To Canada? Here Are 75 Canadian English Slangs & Phrases You Must Know
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