10 BAFFLING Cork Slang Phrases Explained To English Speakers

10 Slang Phrases in Cork which make no logical sense but are widely understood in the Rebel County, Cork.

Corkonians have a very unique way of speaking. However, it’s not just their musical accents that set them apart.

They have some very specific phrases that find their way into everyday conversation and this can confuse people who aren’t familiar with these phrases.

The Cork accent and Cork phrases are famous around the country and instantly recognisable.

The Cork accent can be hard enough to decipher if you don’t speak the language so getting a grip on some of the Cork phrases will give you a conversational advantage.

Often when people move to Cork or live with somebody from the area, they will begin to pick up their phrases and colloquialisms without even realising it.

So here is a quick rundown of some of these phrases so you can keep up next time a person from Cork decides to strike up a conversation.

1. Your wan

Your wan is commonly used to refer to someone you don’t know. You could be in the pub and your Cork friend might say, “Look at your wan,” and they mean for you to turn around and look at the person they’re gesturing at. It’s just another way to refer to somebody.

2. Sure you know

Similar to the use of ‘Like’ sure you know, is used in nearly every single sentence. It constantly is used at the end of sentences in conversation in Cork but don’t worry.

When you first start hearing this phrase raised as a question at the end of most sentences you may feel the need to rapidly agree or disagree with what they’ve just said.

Rest assured, they’re not waiting for an answer. You don’t need to agree with the person after every, “sure you know,” it’s more of a rhetorical question.

3. Scran

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Scran means food.

4. Langers

This is a Cork word for being drunk. Us Irish are a great community of people as in we have a multitude of words to describe being drunk.

It’s always fun to explain them to someone who’s not from Ireland. A langer can also be used as a noun for someone who is acting like an idiot.

5. Bate

If your Cork friend says, “We’ll bate across the road,” he usually means we’ll go across the road.

6. I’m weak

This doesn’t mean the person is about to faint. Usually heard after a group of young women roar laughing. It’s a way of describing that you found something really funny, it’s basically a shortened way of saying I was weak laughing.

7. Allergic

It’s common to hear someone shriek, “I’m absolutely allergic”. It’s a strong expression of dislike: “I’m allergic to that fella” – meaning: I don’t like him.

If you see someone say this probably aren’t actually allergic to children’s movies or an annoying lad in their office. It’s a funny, slightly dramatic way of saying you don’t like something.

8. Like

‘Like’ peppers the speech of many Corkonians. It’s used as an interjection and has nothing at all to do with the usual meaning of the word. “D’ye know what I mean, like?” Once you start it’s nearly impossible to stop saying it in every second sentence and after a while, you won’t notice people saying it at all. It will just become an average way of speaking.

9. Massive

This means very good/beautiful. ‘The Christmas dinner was only massive.” If a woman or even worse a man calls you massive, don’t take it as an insult. It’s actually meant as a lovely compliment. They think you’re looking well. Maybe don’t try it out on someone outside Cork though!

10. Hey girl/Well lad

This is a very well known Cork greeting. You’ll always hear this around Cork, usually said in a happy upbeat tone.

Everyone in Cork is greeted by a “hey girl” or anything from a “well lad” to “well kid to “well bud”. Girl is also thrown into the conversation when you’re talking to your female friends.

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