For any newcomers to Ireland, there's a veritable glossary of terms with which they'll need to be equipped, especially if they want to blend in with the locals. We don't just speak English, and sadly very few of us speak in our native Gaelic tongue, but what we do speak is a sort of Irish-English, replete with colloquialisms that are unique only to us. So, whether you want to brush up on your own local vocabulary, or you share this with someone who's about to make their first visit to our Emerald shores, behold; the ultimate guide to Irishisms.

I'll 'insert any word here' you now in a minute.

Used to demonstrate one's shortening fuse. Used in a conversation, it would go like this: "Mary, would you ever straighten that mirror on the wall" - John. "I'll straighten you now in a minute!" - Mary, frustrated.

Get away ourrah that.
You can't be serious.

Acting the maggot.
Behaving idiotically, perhaps knowingly.

Oh she's real cute now, isn't she?
She's clever and she's impressed the mother in law.

He 'writ' that himself.
Supposed to be 'wrote' but particularly in Dublin, 'writ' is preferred. "He writ that song himself in all in anyways"

In all in anyways.
A completely useless appendage on many a sentence, spoken by an Irish person.

I'll be kilt.
I will be killed, not literally, if I do not go home for my dinner soon.

I'll bleedin' burst ye.
I will kill you, not literally, if you don't come home for your dinner soon. Bloodshed does not feature. Wooden spoons might.

'Lads, lads, lads!'
Often chanted by men, refers to the male of the species in group scenarios.

Women (though Irish women do not like this).

A bit of a party, usually involving live music.

That's desperate.
Often said about the weather, or used as a random throw-away comment among Irish gossipers. Pronounced like this: 'You're not serious, Mary; that's desprish!"

A deep inhalation of 'yeah yeah yeah's.
When an Irish man or woman is so emphatically in agreement with what the person next to them is saying, they can't quite catch their breath.

This can mean anything from fantastic to mediocre. We don't say 'fine', we say 'grand'.

Not actually deadly, but very wonderful. Or also just grand.

How are you?

How's she cuttin'?
How are you/how is she?

Yer ma.
Your mother. Most often said in response to a request when somebody is unwilling to respond accordingly.

Say naaaatin.
Keep it to yourself now.

Sh*t storm.
A disaster that could probably have been avoided.

Comere 'til I tell ya.
I have news for you.

Comere 'til we have a lookatcha.
I would like to inspect you before you leave the house and question where the rest of your outfit is.

Tell me this and tell me no more.
I want to know something but I really don't want you to start yabbering on.


Go on, go on, go on, go on.
Drink the tea, or fear her wrath.

Oops, darn, goddammit.

I will in me hole.
I will not partake.

Get up the yard.
I disagree, go away.

Get the boat.
I disagree, go away.

Sound as a pound.
A pleasant person.

Bang on.
A pleasant person.

A foolish person.

Beyond repair.

Will ye shift me mate?
My friend would like to become acquainted with you but it must start with a horrendously awkward kiss and he'll probably have just eaten his mother's homemade coddle, God love you.

A staple Irish dinner, featuring pale, boiled sausages. 

Referring to the Irish desire to double check everything, several times.

Yer wan, yer man.
Her, him.

Oul wan, oulfella.
Mother, father.

'Tis fierce windy outside.
It's very windy.

There's great drying in that weather.
It's a dry, sunny day.

It's poxy outside.
It's a wet, windy day.

I haven't a rashers.
One without a clue.

See her there now, she has 'notions'.
Irish people should always remain humble and never think or behave above their station.

You all look terrible; a defensive term when one is on the receiving end of stick.

A playful ribbing.

Sure you'd think you were in Spain.
It's sunny outside and we Irish have never ventured further than Torremolinos; therefore it is our only point of reference.

Scarleh for yer ma for havin' ya.
Surely your mother must be embarrassed to have produced a child capable of such embarrassment.

Ugly, dirty.

A very attractive person.

The most positive adjective used to describe one's aesthetic. Not to be confused with the literal meaning of the word.

Stall the ball.
Come hither.

Just the one.
I will probably imbibe five or six alcoholic beverages.

A few scoops.
A few drinks.

Howiye horse.
Hello, friend.

Are you for real?
Are you telling the truth right now? Because what you are saying is incredulous, darling.

Yiz, youse, yizzer.
Come downstairs, your dinner is ready. Plural.


A cup of scald.
We say 'a cup' but what we mean is a gallon or two of tea.

In need of doing up, a bit grotty.

What are ya? Answer: A goose.
You're a silly billy.

You're a big eejit.
You're slightly foolish but we still love you.

Potatoes; if Irish folks don't eat potatoes with at least four out of their seven dinners of the week, they will endure an upset stomach and may be at risk of developing notions.

Having the craic.
Not to be confused with what it sounds like, this is Ireland's favourite phrase, referring to enjoying one's self. Have the craic with Maltesers and Fred Cooke and tag the person who craics you up the most on Facebook or Twitter to be entered into the daily draw to win one of a host of prizes which include tickets to the Craic Up Comedy Night on June 10th, or the ultimate prize of a trip to the home of comedy the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 5th–29th August 2016!