Irish slang words you will want to know

Between English and Irish

If you are planning to visit Ireland, you should know that English is the most common language in the country. However, this was not always the case. The Irish language, sometimes called Gaelic, is also a popular language, though not many people speak it in public. As with any culture, there are certain words or phrases that are used in everyday conversation. We have made a list of 10 phrases and words that we think will help you know what people are referring to when they speak. If you are feeling bold, try and use some of these during your time here as well! 

  1. “What’s the craic?”, “Any craic?” or “How’s the craic?”
    • To ask “What’s going on?”- commonly used as a substitute for the word “fun”
  2. “Sure look it”
    • This is an acceptable response to any question, statement, or comment. It means something like ”God only knows!”. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re not sure what to say, just answer “Sure look it!” and you should be fine!
  3. “Cut to the onions/bone”
    • To be fed up or tired of something: “I’m cut to the onions with (something).”
  4. “Mad as a box of frogs”
    • Crazy: “He’s mad as a box of frogs.”
  5. “What a ride!”
    • Super sexy: “Would you look at that girl, what a ride!”

Here are some words that are used on a daily basis: 

    1. “Cheers”
      • Instead of “thank you”
    2. “Grand”
      • It means “good”, “okay”, or “fine”
    3. “A jumper”
      • a sweater
    4. “Jacks”
      • other names for toilets- “Fir jacks” for girls and“Ban jacks” for boys
    5. “Pint of Gat”
      • another name for a pint of Guinness


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