+100 Irish Slang Words To Sound Like A Local
Although Ireland became a country that spoke English as its primary language around the turn of the 19th century, the English that is spoken there differs significantly from the original. Here are some terms you’ll need to know, whether you’re a first-time visitor or just trying to watch an Irish movie without needing subtitles.
After more than 400 comments, the following guide was created. Consider it to be somewhat of an Irish slang translator. Take a look below!
1–11: My favorite Irish slang expressions – Irish Slang Words
Every day, I use slang. Additionally, it occasionally tends to lead to some confusion. A lot of the time, when I’m speaking to someone who isn’t Irish, I forget that the words I’m using are actually slang.
Many of us in Ireland use slang terms so frequently that we forget they are slang. For instance, “Thanks a million” makes no sense to non-Irish people (at least, that’s what my non-Irish friends tell me!)
Here are a few Irish expressions that I frequently use.
When someone says “Sure look” in response to your question while you are conversing, they usually mean “it is what it is.” Nevertheless, it might also mean that the person you’re speaking to is either uninterested in what you’re saying or is unsure of how to react.
“Sure look, what can ye do?” is one example.
Grand (an iconic bit of Irish slang) (an iconic bit of Irish slang)
OK is grand. Most frequently, it is used in response to the questions “How’s it going” and “How are you feeling?” How are you doing today? ’. It’s important to remember that not everyone who describes themselves as “grand” actually is.
This Irish expression, which is overused and not unique to any one county, is used frequently. For instance, “Don’t worry about it; it’s great.”
Up to 90
Up to 90 means completely occupied with something. This one is frequently used as an answer to questions like, “How was work today?” It goes like this: “Ah, shtap – sure I’ve been up to 90 since half 7.”
There’s also the possibility of using this Irish proverb to describe someone who is bull-thick (aka angry).
For instance, “Since she got home and saw what the dog did to the couch in the living room, she’s been up to 90.”
Cut it some slack (one of my favourite Irish phrases)
Give it a lash has many different applications. Give it a lash basically means to try something out.
The car won’t start, for instance. Can you use your jumper cables to give it a lash? ‘ or ‘I’ve never tried that before, but I’ll definitely give it a lash.
To slag someone is to mock them. You’ll have a good idea of the kinds of slags that Irish people hurl at each other if you’ve read our comprehensive guide to Irish insults.
For instance, “I gave him a kick in the bollox because he was slagging me.”
Another lovely Irish expression is banjaxed. When something (or someone) is not functioning properly, it is said to be broken.
For instance, “Did you print it?”
The car won’t start again because the engine is banjaxed, or “No, the thing’s banjaxed sure.”
The toilet, or The Jacks
In an Irish bar anywhere in the world, if you hear someone say they’re “Going to the jacks” or ask you, “Where are the jacks,” they are referring to the restroom. ‘Sorry pal, can you tell me where the jacks is?’ is one example. ’
Leg it means to move quickly. Leg it to the shops, or leg it to meet one of the lads around the corner.
For instance, “Shite man, I’m late. Hold on for a moment, and I’ll pass it to you right away! ’
Giving out (I recently learned that this expression is an Irish one)
So, I actually believed that the term “giving out” was used widely. It wasn’t until after I used it in a sentence and a friend from the UK commented that he didn’t understand what I was talking about when we first met.
Giving out literally translates as to whine. ‘She’s up there giving out to Tony about something,’ for instance
Without a doubt, this is one of my favorite Irish proverbs. It refers to a bad situation or a bad person.
For instance, “I called over yesterday and he talked for an hour about his new tractor.” It wasn’t very fun.
Although I personally don’t use the word “feck,” it is one of my favorites because it is associated with the wonderful Father Ted series.
A nice way to say “f*ck” is “feck.” ‘Feck this, I’m not listening to him shitting on for any longer,’ or ‘That fecker was in here mooching about the place again this morning,’ for instance.
12–22: Jokes and slang from Ireland that my non–Irish friends didn’t understand when we first met – Irish Slang Words
At my previous job, I shared a building with about 250 individuals representing 34 nations.
I got my fair share of strange looks when I said certain things during my time there.
The following section delves into Irish idioms and slang terms that I’ve used in the past but that were completely lost on listeners.
Play the worm
When someone is “Acting the maggot,” they are dossing or messing around, which means they are not carrying out their intended task.
“That young lad was acting the maggot in here last night.”
Thank you so much.
This Irish proverb seemed to make perfect sense to me, but apparently not. Thank you so much is what “thanks a million” means.
Say, “There’s your change,” for instance. “Cheers, many thanks.”
Give it a try.
To try something out means to take a shot of it. Give me a try is an additional option. Actually, you could also use the word “lash” in this sentence, as in “Give me a lash of that.”
You could say, “Gimme a shot of that kettle there” when referring to “A shot.”
Donkey’s years is a term for a lengthy period of time. This is a phrase that is frequently used to indicate how long it has been since someone has been seen or something has been done.
I haven’t seen Tony in donkey’s years, for instance.
Play is fair
Irish people will say, “Fair play,” when they want to congratulate someone. For instance, “She ultimately passed her exams. She only needed four years. Ah, fatal. Well done, her.
a poor dose
This is a term that is frequently used in a crude manner, but it is also used in normal conversation.
When describing a severe case of something, one might say, “I’ve been lashing out on the tablets all week.” This has not been good at all. This Irish proverb is frequently used in a crude manner to describe someone who is feeling queasy, as in “I’ve had a bad dose of the shits all day.”
Hold the ball.
This Irish expression is used to request that someone wait for you or to pause what you are saying.
“Stall the ball chief, I’ll be there in 20,” or “Stall the ball a minute – what did he say?” are two examples.
Something that is dirty is referred to as manky. They have a filthy kitchen, for instance. You could eat in Jacks’ and feel safer.
Go bollox it up.
If you’re unfamiliar with the terms, “Bollox” or “Bollocks” refer to a man’s testicles in slang.
However, there are a few different ways you’ll hear it used more frequently:
There is absolutely no way that I am doing that. “Ah here – you can go and bollox if you think I’m doing that.”
“I’ve a pain in me bollox with you/listening to you” refers to annoyance with something or someone
This is yet another way to describe something that is filthy or in poor condition. ‘The hostel we’re staying in is a kip and a half, for instance! ’
It is referred to as a “yoke” to describe the object. In reality, it can describe anything. You could say, “Here, pass me that yoke there on the counter,” or you could call someone annoying, “That yoke over there.”
Irish people frequently refer to people or situations as “Gas.” Funny is referred to as “gas” in Irish slang. Say, “Ah, stop, that’s gas!” “, “Emma’s dog is gas,” etc. He does appear to be possessed, flying around the garden.
Common Irish proverbs that you hear every day from 23 to 36 – Irish Slang Words
The more frequent, everyday Irish sayings and phrases that frequently appear in conversation are covered in the following section.
Here are some more typical expressions using Irish slang words, from “the messages” to “jammy.”
For some strange reason, “the shopping” or “the groceries” are referred to as “the messages” in Ireland. Why? I don’t know, but it sounds like some Irish slang I’ve heard my entire life.
Like, “I’ll see you in 20.” I must first gather the messages.
‘Yer man’ is used to refer to a man, but it can also be used when you don’t know their name. You’ll hear this phrase frequently when people are describing people they don’t like.
For instance, “Your man was caught last week robbing the Superquinn till.”
Will I, indeed?
I will, yes.
‘ means “I most certainly won’t be doing that.” What’s up with that? ‘You’ll be getting off your hole and emptying the bins in 5 minutes,’ for instance. I will, yes. ’
One who resides in a far-off area of Ireland is referred to as a “culchie.” Anyone who lives outside of Dublin is typically referred to as “A culchie” by Dubliners.
For instance, “Last night, the pub was jam-packed with culchies.”
An Irish proverb that expresses approval of behavior is “nice one.” Such as, “Ah, nice one! ‘ Karen remarked as she took Kate’s bag of chips.
Jammy essentially means good fortune. For instance, “She won money down the bingo this week once more.” Jammy hoor! ’
A cute animal
A person who is able to shape circumstances to their advantage is referred to as “a cute hoor” because they are relatively crafty. He’s a cute hoor that fella, for instance, and he always manages to score a free ticket to the concerts in Phoenix Park.
Faffing is the act of doing something… but not actually doing it. My friend Mayo Declan is an expert in this field.
For instance, “Declan has been in there for the past hour looking around.”
devour the head
To “eat the head off” someone is to become extremely enraged with them. For instance, “I’m going in there right now and eating his head off! ’
To me, please
Two different things can be meant by the phrase “C’mere to me.” The first is to physically come to me, as in “C’mere to me and tell me what happened?”
The second time you might use this Irish proverb is to ask someone to pay attention to you, as in “C’mere to me for a minute and I’ll tell ya.”
hurl a gob
The term “lob the gob” refers to a kiss. For instance, “I observed you conversing with him for about four hours.” Did you throw up? ’
When describing something or someone who is in a bad situation, the phrase “in bits” is used. For instance, “Got food at that Indian restaurant. My stomach hurts so badly. The jacks’ is also.
This is yet another kissing-related Irish expression. ‘Sure, yer one was caught shifting yer man last week,’ for instance. ’
Do I f*ck?
In other words, I didn’t. “Did you do that thing for yer man?” is an example. Did I mess up?
There are many different ways to use the word “fine”: If you hear someone say “It’s fine,” they are saying “It’s OK.” When someone calls someone a “Fine thing,” it typically means they find them attractive.
Craic, the most misunderstood Irish slang (verses 37–40) – Irish Slang Words
Since there are so many different ways to use the word “craic,” I’m giving it its own section.
For the benefit of any American readers, let me clarify that when we say “Craic” in Ireland, we don’t mean either the substance you smoke on a street corner or the crack in your arse.
Although craic generally refers to fun, there are several other ways to use it, as with many Irish slang terms.
How’s the fun?
What’s the craic? can also be used as a salutation, as in “Ah, Tony.” How’s the fun? or when asking about a specific circumstance, such as “How’s that lad doing?” He and I haven’t spoken in ages.
Having a good time
A person who is “having the craic” is having fun, as in “Ah, man, I’m dying.” We returned from the pub at 2:00, but we continued to have fun until 7:00.
There was 90 craic.
The phrase “the craic was 90” is used to indicate a situation in which serious amusement was had. I still can’t believe we won that game, for instance. After that, we all returned to Sharon’s. It was 90′ fun.
When absolutely no fun was being had, it was said to be “minus craic,” which is the complete opposite of “having the craic.” For instance, “Last night, we went to the new club. It was completely lacking in fun.
Common Irish expressions to use when referring to someone you don’t like, from 41 to 56 – Irish Slang Words
In Ireland, there are literally countless ways to describe someone we don’t like. Use with caution as these Irish slang phrases can range from mild to offensive.
Tame. Usually only used informally among friends. ‘I clipped the wing mirror off the pillar yesterday,’ as an illustration. You’re a clown, they say.
Another relatively calm one. For instance, “That lad’s just a goon,”
Therefore, this is a particularly derogatory phrase that is used by women only. For instance, “Mrs. O’Tool assigned us enough math homework to last about seven weeks. What a complete jerk.
One more gentle one. And this is the one that the fantastic Father Ted series popularized. For instance, “She’s a terrible gobshite.”
This is yet another mild term for someone who is dense. For instance, “What an eejit, he used cooking oil on the lettuce thinking it was salad dressing.”
Someone who causes trouble. He may have taken us in a taxi to our destination and then hopped out without paying for it, for instance. He’s a sad little bugger.
used to describe a bothersome person. ‘That lad keeps texting me,’ for instance. He is an absolute melter.
Depending on the circumstance, this one might be offensive. insulting: “You’re just a bollox.” Saying, “Go and ask my bollox,” is less offensive.
a term from old Irish slang used to describe a chancer. Or a little shady. “Your man who I purchased the car from is a serious Gombeen,” I said. I only have it for a week and it’s gone to shit.
Another one for describing someone who is stupid is this. For instance, “Did you hear Bernie and Martin’s youngster cheated on the Garda exam.” That young man is the Gobdaw, if there ever was one.
Dope (a word my aul lad frequently uses in Irish slang!) – Irish Slang Words
For our American readers, let me clarify that when we say “dope” in Ireland, we don’t mean anything illegal. Dope is another word for a stupid person in Ireland.
For instance, “Last night, her new fella was here. Wow, what a dope.
Another gender-specific word that is somewhat offensive is this one. “His sister told his Mam about what happened,” for instance. She’s a terrible wagon.
a different term for eejit. He’s a gowl and a half that boy, for instance.
one who is uninteresting. For instance, “All those guys do is sit around and play Xbox.” They are two dryshitters.
someone who wastes things. He spends his day traveling between the bookies and the pub, for instance. The most useless scut I’ve ever seen.
I’m at a loss for words for this one. ‘Shamey Brannagin was once more caught stealing from Kerrigan’s, for instance. He’s a shnakey little shitehawk, that man.
This is yet another mild example of Irish slang for someone you don’t particularly like. ‘Did you see what she posted on Facebook?’ is an illustration. How useful! ’
Irish proverbs for describing the weather, pp. 58–63 – Irish Slang Words
In Ireland, we discuss the weather a lot.
It makes for a good conversation starter and is frequently up for discussion in both bars and retail establishments.
Here are some Irish slang terms for both favorable and unfavorable weather.
A wonderful day
The weather is fine. For instance, “Mary, what a wonderful day it is today.”
A good drying day
The weather is sunny. For instance, “Stop, I know. It’s finely stopped pissing down.” The day is suitable for drying.
It’s total shit.
The weather is wet. I’m going to call in sick, for instance. There is no way I would wait there for a bus. It’s complete shite.
It is disgusting.
Rainey weather type. For instance, “Ah, for god’s sake.” It is disgusting outside.
Rainey weather type. For instance, “Here. Invoke a taxi. It is pelting down.
Moderate precipitation. For instance, use your umbrella to ‘G’way out of that. Yes, it’s just spitting.
Rainey weather type. For instance, “Please let me know he canceled training.” The outside is rotten. Good God, it just occurred to me how many Irish proverbs there are for foul weather!
65-70: Irish slang and expressions for addressing people – Irish Slang Words
When people greet one another, a lot of crazy Irish slang words are frequently used. Depending on the county, greetings tend to differ quite a bit.
Such as, “Story horse?! I heard from Noley that you were attending to your hemorrhoids.
Hey, how are you doing?
For instance, “How are you doing, hey?” You’re coming out later for a few beers, right? ’
How are you doing?
For instance, “Oh well! How are things going? About ten years since I last saw you.
Where is the form?
‘Shane, how’s the form?’ is an example. You appear healthy. ’
For instance, “Oh, Kayla. Howsagoin?! Can’t stop, I’m sorry. I’ll speak with you later, okay? ’
She’s cutting how?
Such as, “Ross, ya pox! She’s cutting how?
71–79: Irish slang for excellent – Irish Slang Words
In Ireland, there are countless ways to describe something as great or good. Both “deadly” and “class” are not always used to describe a lesson.
Some of my favorites are listed below.
In Ireland, we use the adjective “deadly” to describe excellent or fantastic things. For instance, “That new pub on the corner is deaaaaadly!”
I got the job in the chipper, did you hear?
’ ‘Ah no. That is fatal. Burgers for free.
Not to be confused with deadly’s actual meaning of dangerous…
Ah, another Irish proverb that describes something brilliant with a word that is actually used to describe something dangerous.
Yes, “savage” is also slang for “good” in Ireland. ‘I got tickets to the Aslan concert,’ for instance. I thought they were sold out, Savage, man.
Bang on is another example of Irish slang for good and is typically used as a response. Bang on is a way to describe a person or a circumstance.
‘She was down here last Sunday,’ for instance. brought everything, including dessert. She’s right on” or “Last week, I fixed the bike in Riordain’s yard.” It was spot on and only cost ten pounds.
I frequently use this one. Say, “That chicken fillet roll was class,” for instance. The words “Class” and “Pure” are frequently used together. For instance, “That new full-back they’ve brought on is pure class.”
The word “unreal” typically refers to something that is imagined or illusory, but not in Ireland. When something is so incredible that it’s difficult to believe it, we use the adjective “unreal.” ‘D’ye see me new runners, for instance. They are not real.
During a trip to Northern Ireland, where we visited way too many pubs, I frequently heard the word “cracking” used. It’s definitely Irish slang once more. ‘That new car Jerry picked up is cracking, for instance. Shame the color is so awful.
This one hasn’t been used very frequently lately. However, I may be getting older and going out less as a result. ‘Sarah’s new fella was out last night,’ for example. ‘I know. Although he is from Malahide, he is spot on.
About 20 times a day, I use this. Probably more often than not, sound is used as an affirmative response, as in “Ah, sound.” Thank you for that.
But you may also hear people refer to someone as “Sound” when they are endorsing them, as in “That guy from around the corner fixed the engine.” He’s a good young man.
During my time in school, I used, and you can hear this one used. For instance, “Mam made you some dinner.” Later, I’ll drop it off. Quality, I see. I’m famished! ’
80–87: Irish slang for intoxicated – Irish Slang Words
There are many different Irish slang terms for drunk or for someone who has consumed excessive amounts of alcohol. Some of my favorites are listed below.
This term, which is pronounced “Flue-tered,” designates a person who has consumed more alcohol than 9 pints. Say, “Eh, is that Karen up there on that table?” She has consumed 17 vodkas. She has fluted.
This one, which is pronounced “Ban-jacks-d,” is also for someone who has overindulged significantly. For instance, “He’s banjxxed, sure he’s been on the pints all day.”
This one is typically used the morning following a strenuous session to explain why your head is pounding. “WHY did I have the second bottle of wine,” for instance. By half past ten, I had locked myself in bed.
In a hoop or heap
Another way to describe someone who is very intoxicated is with this phrase. For instance, “Oh man, my heads are in shambles. Last night, after Foley’s, I was in a hoop.
in ribbons or rag order
In recent years, I’ve heard much less of this one. Another one for extremely inebriated people. For instance, “She wants to be f****d out of the club.” She is arranged in rags.
Only friends from Drogheda that I am aware of use these words to describe intoxication. I need a barrel of Soudafed, for instance. I had a rotten drunken night.
Off your head or out of your tree
drunk and banned. likely to wake up the next day with a bad hangover. For instance, “Last night was a serious one, but I was out of it and ordered 7 bags of chips on the way home.”
a favorite of mine. ‘Ah, man, the heads are bouncing off of me,’ as an example. I had a wild night last night.
88-89: Irish slang for a woman or girl – Irish Slang Words
So, strangely enough, the most frequent email we’ve received since we first published this guide in early 2019 is from people looking for words and Irish slang for girl.
Here are a few slang terms that are employed to describe girls and women.
When referring to someone whose name you do not know or who you do not like, the phrase “Yer wan” or “Your one” is used. “D’ye see yer wan over there with the red hat?” is one example. ’
Young men and women are frequently referred to as “youngfellas” and “youngwans,” respectively. ‘Martina’s youngwan was in working with us for a few days last week,’ for instance.
I’ve never heard of the Irish slang between 90 and 93 – Irish Slang Words
A significant number of Irish slang words that I had never heard of were discovered by the Instagram post.
Here are a few (I’ll update this again later as new comments are submitted).
In other words, a messer. “Your Michael is a little hallion,” for instance. I would give him a solid kick up the hole if he were my own! ’
The term used to describe filthy or dung-filled people. For instance, “That car needs to be cleaned up well. There, it’s like a midden.
Lazy person is the correct translation. For instance, “He’s a terrible latchio.”
In other words, how are you? As in, “Bout ye, chief!” Like a pint? ’
Slang from Belfast, 94–101 – Irish Slang Words
Many of the words below were unfamiliar to me as well, but I’ve included them in a section specifically for slang used in Belfast.
Learn more? Please share your feedback in the box below.
In other words, face. Shut your bake, you clown, for instance.
Contextualized as embarrassed. ‘It was definitely Colin,’ for instance. See how he’s pulling a beamer.
Clean is a translation. ‘The smell off those runners,’ for instance. Surely your feet are dragging.
Translated: A stroll. For instance, “C’mon.” We should go outside and get some fresh air.
Someone who works for the police. For instance, “Shite, store the cans.” There are two peelers approaching from that direction.
Bring your wishes.
Translation: Quiet down. ‘HEY. Bring your wishes there. The radio is not audible to me. ’
Hence, a precarious situation. Do you recall the time Micky was busted moving the cow in the back of his Ford Focus, for instance? ‘ ‘Oh, I do. It was handled in an ogeous manner.
the highest doh
Translation: I’m ecstatic. For instance, “He had three bottles of Coke and a bag of Skittles an hour ago; he’s been on high doh ever since.”
Your personal dictionary for Irish slang
One of the most enjoyable posts I’ve written in a while was this one. I’m going to volunteer to translate Irish slang to keep it going and to make this guide as helpful as possible.
You can post any Irish slang you’re unsure of in the comments section below, and I’ll get back to you.
Topic: +100 Irish Slang Words To Sound Like A Local
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By: Travel Pixy