Every city, no matter where it is in the world, has its little quirks and customs that make it “home” to its residents. Dublin is no exception.
Regardless of which part of the city we’re from, all of us Dubliners seem to accept certain things as the status quo, even if they’re often left unspoken. Here are the top 10 things only Dubliners will understand.
10. Beshoffs versus Burdocks – the ultimate rivalry
Dublin city residents will be more than familiar with the rivalry between these two traditional “chippers” (a colloquial term for a fish-and-chips shop). Both have equally dense histories that date back decades and firmly establish them as key players in the Irish community.
While some people choose to switch it up from time to time, others swear their die-hard loyalty to one over the other.
9. A night at Copper – a rite of passage
Another thing only Dubliners will understand is the significance of Copper Face Jacks. Although it may seem like just another gross nightclub aimed at young adults, boozed up and looking to meet a mate, it is essentially a rite of passage in Dublin.
The vast majority of Dubliners can say they’ve spent at least one night within Copper’s walls.
8. The Central Bank – a cesspool of teenage angst
Any person living or working in Dublin will know at first glance exactly what this means. The plaza in front of the old Central Bank (which is currently under renovation) will forever be remembered as the prime hangout spot for angsty young adolescents.
In particular, it was a cesspool of skateboard-bearing, pierced teens who wore a lot of black, and in some weird way, it will be forever missed.
7. 8th December – the worst day to shop
Every year, 8th December draws record numbers of shoppers to the centre of Dublin. In fact, the date can be colloquially known as “farmers day,” as it is a popular day for those from “down the country” (see #3 and #5) to come up and do their one day of shopping in the capital city.
Top tip: Avoid the city like the plague on this day, due to the sheer masses!
6. Christmas Day swims – an essential tradition
Christmas Day in Dublin wouldn’t be, well, Christmas Day in Dublin if you didn’t witness or hear about the hordes of brave souls who took part in the annual holiday swim.
The top spots for this event include Howth Beach on the Northside of Dublin and the Forty Foot in Dún Laoghaire on the Southside.
5. “Down” – anywhere outside of Dublin
No matter the location of the place you are going, if it is outside of Dublin, then it is considered “down.” Moreover, when you are outside of the capital city and returning to it, you call it “up.”
Example 1 (when in Dublin): “I’m going down to Mayo for a wedding.”
Example 2 (when in Mayo): “I’m going up to Dublin on Thursday.”
4. Doughnuts – our delicious obsession
Doughnuts seem to be having a moment in Dublin, and in Ireland as a whole. More and more shops are selling the delicious treats.
But one of the things only Dubliners understand is that this trend started a long time ago on O’Connell Street, in a little kiosk called The Rolling Donut. The kiosk is still thriving, continuing to feed our obsession.
3. “The country” – everywhere outside of Dublin
No matter where you’ve gone, if you take one step outside of Dublin, then you’re in “the country.” Where exactly this colloquialism spawned from we’re not all that sure, but one thing we do know is that it’s part of the status quo.
2. “Real-time” bus info – predictably unpredictable
The frustrating nature of the Dublin Bus is another one of the top things only Dubliners will understand. It may, in fact, be one of the most infuriating aspects of living in the capital.
However, once you’ve gotten the hang of it, its random patterns can become somewhat predictable, in an unpredictable kind of way.
For example, if the so-called “real-time” info says the bus will arrive in four minutes, that probably means it is due now. If it says eight minutes, it will probably never come. And you’re likely to see a couple of buses that are not even scheduled fly past in between.
Overall, the Dublin Bus is an irregular nightmare.
1. Kissing slang – “meeting” or “scoring,” not “shifting”
Slang terms that mean “kiss someone” differ depending on where you are in Ireland, and they range from “shift” and “pull” to “hook up with.” In Dublin, there are only two ways to put it: “meet” or “score.”
Example 1: “I scored some lad last night.”
Example 2: “Will ye meet my mate?”
Every Dubliner, of course, has been on the giving or receiving end of that last statement.