Irish Slang

Irish Slang

Moving to a new country, there are obviously going to be a few cultural differences, but at the same time, there aren’t as many as I thought there would be here. Although, I had thought I was going to impart great wisdom unto my new Irish friends about the way we do things in Canada, the way we live and the things we say, and although I was able to share and offer explanations on some of the differences we have between nations, I didn’t bank on them already knowing so much about us already.

The biggest reason why: globalization. Or rather, we watch the same television shows. Oops.

Every time I learn something new about Ireland in comparison to what I’ve always known, I try to explain how it’s different in Canada. But most people already know what I’m trying to spell out for them because they’ve seen it on television. They know how our school systems work, that we call them the hood and trunk of our cars instead of the boot and bonnet, not to mention pretty much everything else there is to know about the daily life of a North American (Thank You, Friends and Trailer Park Boys). So, mostly, I’ve been the one being taught most of the lessons here; but really, things aren’t so different.

However, there are some things that take me a minute or two to catch onto, and the ones that get me the most are the way the Irish say certain things. To keep it straight (because I’ve actually needed to), I’ve compiled a list of Irish words and slang that I’ve come across during my time here. Although I’m sure I’ll discover many more, these are the ones that I’ve noticed so far (and have also caught myself using at times). Now, some of these words may not be exclusively Irish, but for those of you looking for a craic, here’s my list of Irish Slang:

Irish – Canadian

Acting the maggot – Being foolish
Ad – Commercial
Arseways – To make a mess of
Bloodsucker – Mosquitos
Bobin – Hair elastic
Bold – Naughty
Bolloxed – Extremely drunk
Bonnet – Hood of a car
Boot – Trunk of a car
“Call in” – To visit
Camp – Gay
“Carrying on” – Argument/Noise
Cheeky – Smart Ass/Sassy
Chipper – Fish and Chip Shop
Chips – Fries
Class – “That’s class” – Fantastic/Great
Class – “Third Class” – Grade
Craic – (Pronounce “Crack”) – Good Time
Crisps – Chips
Culchie – Country Folk
Deadly – “That’s deadly” – Hilarious/Cool
Fag – Cigarette
Fair play – Well Done
Feck – Mundane use of “Fuck”
Feek – Extremely Attractive Girl
Filum – Movie
Footpath – Sidewalk
Freshers – Freshmen
Gas – “That’s gas” – Funny
“Give Out” – Complain About/Scold
Gob – (Shut your…) – Mouth
Gobshite – Idiot/Dufus
Grand – “It’ll be grand” – Great/Lovely
Garda – RCMP
Guard – Police
Gurrier – Asshole
Holliers – Holidays
Hot Press – Drying cupboard
Jacks – Toilet
Junior Infants/Senior Infants – Kindergarten
Knobs – Boobs
Ladybird – Ladybug
Lashing – Hard Rain
“Letting on” – Pretending
Like – “You know what I mean, like?” – used at the end of a sentence
Lift – Elevator
Lollies – Suckers
Milling – Fighting
Pants – Underwear
Plait – Braid
Pram – Stroller
Press – Closet/Cupboard
Program – Show
Quid – “20 quid” – Bucks/Dollars
Rubber – Eraser
Runners – Sneakers
Sambo – Sandwhich
Sca – Scandal
Sceal – Story
Scuttered – Seriously intoxicated
Shift, Meet, Feek – Kiss
Slapper – Slut
So – “Go on, so” – used at the end of a sentence
Sound – Really nice/Dependable
Spade – Shovel
Spanner – Idiot
Spuds – Potatoes
Story – “What’s the story?” – What’s up?/What’s new/ What’s happening
Telly – Television
Trousers – Pants
Wellies – Rain boots
Whingeing – Complaining
Wrecked – Tired
“Yer man” – “Yer man gave me a good deal” – This Guy/Some Guy
Yoke – Thing/Object/Person
“You didn’t lick that off the floor” – You’ve inherited a specific trait from your parents

Did we miss any ? Leave your own Irish slang in the comments below !

Need help becoming more Irish? Click here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *