Some of the best Irish phrases can be heard around Christmastime in Ireland. Here are the top 10.
The Irish are creatures of habit and renowned for their quirky turns of phrase. But at Christmastime in Ireland, you will hear some very unique sayings, so make sure to listen out for them.
From the weather to the consumption of alcohol, Christmastime in Ireland can prompt lots of comments. It is a time of great celebration and family reunions that often go hand in hand with craic and banter.
Here are 10 phrases we are sure you will hear during Christmastime in Ireland.
10. “Where did the year go?” – asked in a surprised tone every single year
This is a classic phrase heard around Christmastime in Ireland. The year is coming to an end, and it begins to dawn on everyone how fast it went. Attend any Christmas get-together, and you are sure to be asked this question at least once.
The common response to this phrase is simply “I just don’t know” or “I can’t believe it’s Christmas again already!” with a look of disbelief on your face.
9. “Do you think we’ll get snow for Christmas?” – because who doesn’t dream of a white Christmas?
Christmastime in Ireland is usually cold, with the threat of snow a popular topic of conversation. With so much rain falling throughout the year, most Irish people welcome snow during winter months.
Not to mention that a white Christmas leaves everything looking even prettier and gives the children something to do during their school holidays (build snowmen!).
8. “What’s Santy bringing you?” – the best thing about Christmas in Ireland
Christmas in Ireland is all about Santa Clause and what he will leave under the tree for you. Children get very excited about writing their list, sending it off to the North Pole, and hoping they get everything they’ve asked for.
The question “what’s Santy bringing you?” can be heard all over Ireland during Christmastime, with children reciting reams of gifts they hope to get.
7. “Are you getting a turkey this year?” – a ridiculous question asked every year
Turkey is the traditional meat eaten on Christmas day in Ireland, and every year people will queue up to order one large enough to feed a small army. Household chefs will spend the entire morning of December 25 trying to squeeze the enormous bird into the oven and the next six hours basting it.
Despite Irish families eating turkey on Christmas day for centuries, people will still ask friends whether they plan to buy one. Arguments will be raised about the price, the size, and the trouble to roast the perfect turkey. And yet most Irish households will find themselves eating turkey sandwiches well into January.
6. “It’s getting very nippy out” – an understatement
If an Irish person tells you it is getting “nippy out,” it usually means the temperature outside has reached sub-zero and it is absolutely freezing.
Winter tends to arrive very quickly around Christmas time in Ireland, meaning the run-up to the holidays is very cold, especially at night.
5. “I’m not drinking much over Christmas” – we’ll see about that!
The Irish are known as a sociable lot, but very often they will vow to curb the amount of alcohol they consume. This is usually due to the remnants of a particularly bad hangover still fresh in their memory.
Plenty of partygoers will approach Christmas with good intentions but get carried away with the festivities and overdo it. It’s not called the ‘Silly Season’ for nothing!
4. “I’m doing Dry January” – sure, if you say so!
Christmastime in Ireland is all about eating, drinking, and celebrating with friends so many of us can overindulge, leaving us feeling less healthy as January approaches.
This is when Dry January comes in handy, and we can make ourselves feel better by committing to a month without alcohol once all the parties are over. Now that is worth celebrating!
3. “Santy’s watching” – the classic Irish threat
Irish parenting is often based on the belief that someone is watching out for naughty behaviour. This could be anyone from the fairies to holy God, depending on what works best.
From late October, however, Santy is the main character to star in Irish households. Children are worried that “Santy’s watching” their bad behaviour and that if they carry on, they will get a bag of coal on Christmas day.
2. “Don’t go near town… It’s mobbed!” – simply translated, “there are lots of people in town”
Christmas shopping in Ireland is huge. Any town or city in the country will be very busy all through December, and people will warn you to avoid it.
The ironic thing is they usually give the advice on their return from town with bags full of goodies, reminding you just how much shopping you have left to do.
1. “Did you get me a present?” – the penultimate question
Christmastime in Ireland isn’t all about giving. Receiving gifts is also held in very high importance and can make or break new relationships.
We may all try to stay calm and demure in the run-up to Christmas Day, but sometimes curiosity will get the better of us, at which time we just need to ask the penultimate question: “Did you get me a present?” The ultimate question is obviously: “What is it?”