We don’t have dictionaries of slang, but this list of Irish slang words you need to know is the closest you’ll get.
If you come to Ireland, I wouldn’t blame you for feeling like an eejit for not knowing what every wee fella and bure is talking about. But don’t worry because you’ve come to the right place to save yourself from feeling absolutely scundered as we have made a list of 25 Irish slang words you need to know:
25. Wee – a word used to describe everything
Technically, wee is supposed to refer to small things, but in Ireland, that is not always the case. Instead, the word ‘wee’ is used to describe absolutely everything.
Example: ‘Would you like a wee bag with that?’
24. Craic – fun
Probably the most used and most well-known Irish slang term. It generally refers to ‘fun’ but can be used in several ways:
Examples: ‘What’s the craic?’ – How are you?
‘The craic was 90’ – That was a lot of fun.
‘Having the craic’ – Having a good time.
23. Culchie – someone from the countryside
Anyone who lives in a rural area is usually described as a culchie. Anyone who lives in Dublin usually refers to everyone from outside of Dublin as culchies.
Example: ‘I went to the GAA. It was packed with culchies.’
22. Eejit – a fool
The word eejit is an Irish insult used to describe someone as a fool or an idiot and is often preceded by the word ‘buck’.
Example: ‘Tommy fell into the pond yesterday. He’s a buck eejit.’
21. Fella/Bure – boy/girl
In Ireland, when someone is talking about a boy or girl, they will often refer to them as a fella or a bure.
Example: ‘I met this nice wee fella in the pub last night’. ‘I saw this bure on the bus yesterday. She was stunning.’
20. Grand – good
Grand tends to be used in place of words like ‘good’ or ‘fine’.
Example: ‘How was work today?’ ‘It was grand.’
19. Quare – very
You’ll hear the word quare when someone is really trying to emphasise what they’re saying.
Example: ‘We had a quare laugh last night.’
18. Yoke – literally anything
The word yoke can be used to refer to absolutely anything. Usually something you can’t remember the actual name of.
Example: ‘Where’s the wee yoke for changing the TV channel?’
17. Cat – awful
No, we are not referring to the animal here (although it does mean that in Ireland too). The word cat is often used in Ireland to describe something or someone awful.
Example: ‘What did you think of the film last night?’ ‘It was cat.’
16. Gammy – useless
Can be used to describe something useless, injured, or broken.
Example: ‘I fell when I was skiing. Now I have a gammy knee.’
15. Jammy – lucky
Jammy is often used to describe someone lucky.
Example: ‘John won £50 in the lottery, jammy b*stard.’
14. Scundered – embarrassed
When an Irish person does something embarrassing, you will often hear them say they are ‘scundered’ about it.
Example: ‘I can’t believe what I did last night. I’m absolutely scundered.’
13. Dander – a stroll
Dander is an Irish slang word used to describe walking or strolling.
Example: ‘Do you want to come for a dander round the park?’
12. Faffin’ – messing about
Faffin’ is the word used to describe doing something, but not really doing anything.
Example: ‘What took you so long?’ ‘Ah, I was faffin’ about.’
11. Hallion – someone who messes about
Hallion is often used to describe a rascal, someone who messes about, or is up to no good, specifically children.
Example: ‘James was getting on like a hallion at the party yesterday.’
10. Banjaxed – broken
Banjaxed can be used to describe something that is broken or someone tired or drunk.
Example: ‘I got home from work and felt banjaxed’.
9. Shift – kiss
Shift is used to describe making out with someone.
Example: ‘How was your date? Did you shift?’
8. Dote – cute
Dote can be used to describe someone or something cute or adorable.
Example: ‘Have you met Sarah’s wee one? He’s a wee dote.’
7. Plastered/Steamin’ – drunk
There are many Irish slang phrases to describe someone drunk, but two of the most common are plastered and steamin’.
Example: ‘I was plastered/steamin’ last night.’
6. Baltic – cold
Baltic can often be heard when describing the weather in Ireland.
Example: ‘You don’t want to go out in that. It’s baltic out there.’
5. Geg – funny
Geg can be used to refer to someone who is funny or someone who says something funny.
Example: ‘Have you met Stacey? She’s a geg.’
4. Slagging – insulting
Slagging is used to refer to insulting someone or talking bad about them.
Example: ‘Why are you slagging me?’
3. Kip – sleep
Kip is used to say you are going to sleep.
Example: ‘I’m feeling pretty tired, so I’m away for a kip.’
2. Poke – ice cream
Poke is used to describe ice cream, specifically a cone from the ice cream van.
Example: ‘Mummy, can I get a poke from the poke van?’
1. Melter – an annoying person
Melter is used to describe someone annoying or getting on your nerves.
Example: ‘He is a melter recently.’