Heading to Cork soon? Make sure to take note of these phrases if you want to fit into the ‘rebel county’.
Language is a beautiful thing. It’s what connects a group of people. It’s part of a place’s culture and identity. Cork slang is part of what makes people from the ‘rebel county’.
Even though English is the predominantly spoken language in Ireland, Irish is still recognised as Ireland’s official and first language.
So, if you’re planning on visiting Cork and you can speak English and maybe a bit of Irish, you think you’re sorted, right? Wrong.
The people of Cork have their own adopted language with various sayings and slang that even Irish people struggle to understand.
To survive in Cork, you’re going to have to learn how to speak like the locals. This means knowing that when someone says they are weak, they aren’t actually about to faint.
Here is our guide to Cork slang and how to speak like you’re from Cork.
Ireland Before You Die’s fun facts about Irish slang:
- Lots of Irish slang words have been borrowed from the Irish language – for example, craic.
- Slang in Ireland differs throughout the country. For example, Dublin slang is completely different to the Cork slang below.
- Thanks to iconic Irish TV shows like Father Ted and Derry Girls, hilarious Irish slang continues to spread around the world.
- Irish slang massively reflects the humour of Irish people – fun, witty, and very sarcastic!
20. Away for slates
This means to do well or be successful. You might say, “He’s away for slates now after getting his new job”. You’ll be ‘away for slates’ in Cork after reading this article!
19. Ball hopper
A ball hopper is someone who is a joker or a mischievously humorous person. An example of this would be, “Ah, he’s some ball hopper. He had us all laughing”.
This is the word used to describe a haircut. So, if someone says to you that they got “some bazzer”, they are referring to a haircut they got.
17. Lasher and flah
‘Lasher’ is a term used to describe a girl if she is attractive, “She’s some lasher”. ‘Flah’ is a term used to describe an attractive boy.
So, if you get called either of these, take it as a compliment.
16. Berries/The berries
This term is used to describe something that is the best. For example, “Your homemade cake was the berries”.
15. Bulb off (someone)
If someone is said to be the ‘bulb off someone’, it means they look very like them. For example, someone might say, “You’re the bulb off your sister”.
This word means to have worth or value. ‘Meas’ is the Irish word for ‘judgement’ or ‘regard’. You might say, “I’ve mass on that.”, if it were something of value to you.
13. Oul’ doll
This is an affectionate term used for a wife or a girlfriend. For example, “I’m bringing the oul’ doll for dinner”. This refers to someone’s partner, not a toy doll.
Rake means a lot of something. For example, “I had a rake of pints last night”. Not to be confused with the rake you use for clearing leaves.
This word is used to describe a very crowded place. You might hear, “The pub was jointed last night”.
There’s no hint in this word at all to what it could be. Scran means food. For example, “I’d love some scran, I’m starving”.
Getting this right will definitely help you learn how to speak like you’re from Cork.
This word means to be lucky. Someone might say, “She was haunted to pass that test as she did not study”. You’re not haunted by ghosts, don’t worry.
READ MORE: IB4UD’s guide to speaking like a Corkonian
So, you don’t want to be called this. This word is used to describe someone who is a silly, unpleasant person. “Don’t listen to him. He’s a gowl anyway”.
Telling someone where to go would be an acceptable response to being called a ‘gowl’. As far as Irish insults go, this is a common one in Cork.
To go gatting in Cork means to go drinking. For example, “I’m going gatting with some of the guys later, do you want to come?”.
6. Chalk it down
If you say something and someone replies with “chalk it down”, it means they absolutely agree with you. You may hear this a lot after saying something, so it’s important to understand.
5. Be doggy wide
If someone says this to you, they are telling you to keep alert or be careful. An example would be, “Be doggy wide of that man. He’s dangerous”. Very important to know.
This word means clothes, so you might hear, “You’ve lovely clobber on you”. In English, this translates to, “Your clothes are lovely”.
3. Take a sconce there
So, this means to have a look. Someone could ask you to “take a sconce there at the menu”. They are asking you to look at the menu.
2. I’m weak
If someone says this, it doesn’t actually mean they are feeling weak or weak in strength. It actually means that they are laughing or finding something funny.
For example, “I’m weak watching you trying to dance”. This phrase will help you learn how to speak like you’re from Cork.
1. Langer and langers
Lastly, the most notable Cork slang word is ‘langer’. This word is used to describe someone who is an obnoxious or annoying person.
Similarly, ‘langers’ is used to describe someone who is drunk. An example is, “He was langers in the pub”. It’s important to get these two right.
RELATED: 20 Irish slang words that mean drunk
That was your Irish slang translator for today. If you speak with an Irish accent using these phrases, could you pass for someone from Cork?!
Other notable mentions
Bawlk the robber: To dress scruffily.
Doing a line: To be in a relationship.
Echo boys: The men selling the paper.
Gawk: To feel sick or ill.
Allergic: To really dislike something or someone.
The jakes: In Ireland, going to ‘the jakes’ means going to the toilet. Apparently, it comes from the 16th-century term.
Your questions answered about Cork slang
If you still have questions, we have you covered! In this section, we’ve compiled some of our readers’ most frequently asked questions and popular questions that have been asked online about this topic.
What’s the slang term for people from Cork?
Some people might call those who hail from County Cork ‘Corkonians’.
How would describe a Cork accent?
The Cork accent is very quick. Also, words tend to run into the next when speaking with an accent from Cork. It might be a tricky one for tourists to grasp quickly.
What is the most common Cork slang word?
‘Rasa’ is a slang word people use every day in Cork. It refers to someone who is lazy or easy-going.