10 Irish EXPRESSIONS that will have you speaking like a LOCAL

Irish expressions are a part of the culture, and if you want to blend in, here are some of the most common ones to memorize.

10 IRISH EXPRESSIONS that will have you speaking like a local.

One thing that makes Irish people so unique is the way they speak, and we don’t just mean the accent, although there are plenty of them for such a small country.

Irish people have a way with words, which is apparent in their expressions, which may or may not make sense to everyone, but that’s what makes it so captivating. 

Let’s look at ten Irish expressions that will have you speaking like a local – and let’s just begin by saying ‘Top of the mornin’ to ya’ is not one of them.

Ah jaysus is one of the Irish expressions that will have you speaking like a local.
Credit: Flickr / Alex Proimos

For a once very religious country, blasphemy is alive and well. You will almost always hear locals across the island saying expressions containing the word Jesus or Jaysus, which is the norm for Irish people.

It can be used in virtually any situation, from ‘Ah jaysus, you’re looking great’ to ‘Ah jaysus, it’s bloody lashing (raining) again’.

9. ‘It’s grand’ − one of the most flexible Irish expressions

One of the most flexible Irish expressions.
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A surefire way of telling someone is from Ireland is if the word ‘grand’ is thrown into a sentence, and it is among some of the top Irish slang words you need to know.

If you learn to use grand in your daily conversations with Irish people, you will start to sound like a local, and even though it’s just one word, it holds a lot of meaning in Ireland. Start with saying, ‘I’m grand, thanks’ if someone asks how you are.

8. ‘Bloody’ − adding drama to a sentence

Bloody is one of the Irish expressions that will have you speaking like a local.
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Another word ‘expression’ Irish people always use is ‘bloody’, and the best part is it can be used for any situation like ‘grand’ or ‘Jaysus’.

You can say things like ‘The bloody bus is running late again’ or ‘You’re a bloody eejit’, which is certainly one to get you sounding even more like a local.

7. ‘They are sound’ − when you are fond of someone

When you are fond of someone.

The word sound in Ireland is always used positively, one of the top expressions that will have you speaking like a local in no time.

When talking about someone you are fond of, perhaps a new friend or a new colleague, you can say ‘He or she is sound’, to show that they’re good craic and good to have around.

6. ‘Giving out’ − getting shouted at

When you're getting shouted at.

Anyone who grew up in Ireland will have often used this expression when they got in trouble. It is an expression that means they got shouted at or told off by their parents or teachers at school.

You can use this expression when talking about someone who got angry with you, and since ‘giving out’ is a typical Irish thing to say, you will undoubtedly sound local.

5. ‘On the lash’ − out on the town

'On the lash' is one of the Irish expressions that will have you speaking like a local.
Credit: Flickr / Colm MacCárthaigh

One of the best Irish expressions that will have you speaking like a local is ‘on the lash’, which essentially means going out on the town to get blind drunk.

You can use this popular Irish expression whenever you make crazy plans with friends and intend to go out and have the craic.

Lash is one of the top 80 Irish slang words used in daily life.

4. ‘Your wan/Your man’ − when talking about someone

When you're talking about someone.
Credit: Pixabay / Surprising_Shots

One of the best ways to sound like a local in Ireland is to adapt this simple expression when talking about other people.

If you are referring to a woman, you can say ‘Yer wan’; when speaking about a man, you simply say ‘Yer man’, followed by the story.

For example, you might say, ‘Yer wan in the shop was rude’ or ‘Look at yer man over there stumbling out of the pub’.

3. ‘Acting the maggot’ − creating mischief

'Acting the maggot' is one of the Irish expressions that will have you speaking like a local.
Credit: Pixabay / Pezibear

This is one of the strangest Irish expressions, which might make no sense, but once you start using it, you will instantly notice that you will fit in with the locals.

Acting the maggot refers to someone making a fool of themselves or creating mischief and is an expression the Irish commonly use. It’s sort of an Irish insult, but not really.

2. ‘I will, yeah’ − it’s a hard no

This actually means no.
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One of the best ways to sound local in Ireland is to catch on to the sarcasm, which is widely used.

Many Irish phrases and expressions mean the opposite of what you might think, including ‘I will yeah’, which essentially means ‘yeah right, not a chance’.

1. ‘What’s the craic?’ − how are you?

'What's the craic' is one of the Irish expressions that will have you speaking like a local.
Credit: Vanity Fair

‘What’s the craic’ has to be one of the best Irish expressions to have you speaking like a local from the get-go.

To learn more about this phrase, read our article Craic: the history, meanings and origin of ‘craic’.

This is a perfectly acceptable way to greet someone you know while sounding genuinely Irish, and if you are in Dublin, you can always try saying ‘What’s the story’ to your mates.

So, if you want to sound as Irish as possible, keep these Irish expressions in your back pocket to be used whenever the situation arises.

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On the hunt for the ultimate hotel for your Irish adventure? Explore a curated selection ranging from the charming heritage of boutique accommodations in Dublin's vibrant heart to the tranquil luxury of rural retreats and the captivating coastal vistas. Start your search below to find the perfect stay with our trusted hotel partner.



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