How many of the Armagh slang phrases below do you know? Read on to speak like the locals.
When it comes to slang, county Armagh is notorious for its quirks and flares. Everyone who has met a person from Armagh has heard at least some of these colloquialisms.
Plus, you have probably had a hard time understanding them. If you know a local or you are visiting the area, here is your dictionary for Armagh slang phrases.
20. Ritt off − “tonight we are getting ritt off.”
This phrase is based off the term “write-off” in the motor insurance world, when a vehicle is damaged beyond financial repair and is written off as no longer being roadworthy.
Armagh locals mispronounce the past tense phrase as “ritt”. When you hear a local using this phrase, it means someone is drunk to the point that they are hardly able to function.
19. Don’t be at it – stop that
Easy enough to translate, this is a way of asking someone to stop or not to continue. Often uttered in response to an outlandish suggestion from someone else.
18. Childer − “watch out for the childer.”
A local way of saying the word “children”. We are not really sure why this word is used in lieu of the original word, as it has the same amount of syllabus, so it’s not a way of shortening a longer word.
But it does sound homely to say, like a grandparent talking about their “grandchilder”.
17. Hi − “what’s the craic, hi?”
Not so much a greeting but more of a punctuation for ending sentences. This word has little meaning but is rarely absent from Armagh speech.
Every phrase on this list should end with a “hi” if a true orchard county resident is speaking, hi.
16. Rulya − “He’s going pure rulya.”
“Mad” or “angry” is what this phrase means. With the terms “mad” and “crazy” facing criticism for their problematic links to mental health, perhaps we should take a leaf from the book of Armagh slang phrases and substitute “rulya” into our own speech.
15. Whist − “Whist, hold on a second”
This onomatopoeia is the sound locals make when they are shocked or surprised. Used in a similar way to “shhh” to quieten people.
14. On the rip – “tonight we are heading out on the rip.”
Like many Armagh slang phrases, this one is connected to drinking alcohol. If one is going “on the rip”, they are going to consume alcohol and potentially get drunk.
13. Gason − “look at yon wee gason.”
A “gason” is a young boy. This probably comes from the Irish word for ‘boy’, “gasúr”, pronounced ‘gas-son’.
12. Gesha − “Look at yon wee gesha.”
Similar to the above, “gesha” is a young girl. This, too, probably comes from the Irish word for girl, “girseach”, which is pronounced ‘gir-sa’.
11. Cowpe − “We’re going to cowpe over.”
To “cowpe” means to fall over, collapse or topple.
10. Rank − “their food is rank.”
This word means “gross” or “nasty”. “Rank” is often used as a playful insult or indication of disapproval.
9. Skeet − “That fella is a skeet.”
Usually describing someone from an urban area, like a town or city, a person, often male, that wears tracksuits and has a very short haircut.
8. Vit − “we need to call the vit for the cow.”
A local way of pronouncing the word “vet”.
7. Cowld − “it’s awful cowld these days.”
This is an accent variation, in this case, the word “cold”. Multiple words feature an alternative pronunciation of vowels, such as “cowld”.
6. Idear − “I have a great idear.”
This is how many residents in county Armagh pronounce the word “idea”. We aren’t too sure why they add an ‘r’ to the end of the word.
5. Quare − “that’s a quare hat you have on.”
Potentially a local pronunciation of the word “queer”, as in uncommon or different. The adjective “quare” is often used to acknowledge or compliment something.
4. That’s a tara – expressing empathy
This is how locals express empathy in discontent or dissatisfaction. We could guess that the word “tara” is a mispronunciation of the word “terror”.
3. Munya – “this place is munya.”
An endorsement of interest or love. Used in a similar way to great or fantastic.
2. Beur − “that beur lives next door.”
A woman or girl who is often attractive. It is pronounced ‘be-your’.
1. Fein − “I know that fein from school.”
A man or boy. Pronounced like the word “fiend” without the ‘d’ on the end, it potentially comes from the Irish word “fein”, which means “own” or “self”.
For more, check out our article on 32 mad phrases for every county in Ireland.