The 10 worst habits Irish people have

For the outsider to Ireland, the Irish, while friendly, can seem like a strange bunch. This is perhaps thanks to some of the worst habits Irish people have.

The Irish are certainly a unique bunch. Ireland is full of people who are full of little quirks and habits that make them stand out from other nations. A lot of the habits that Irish people have are both good and bad, and these habits can often be difficult for people outside of Ireland to understand.     

In this article, we will list our choices for the top ten worst habits Irish people have.

10. Obsession with tea – stick on the kettle

An obsession with tea is one of the worst habits Irish people have.

It’s not an understatement to say that the Irish are obsessed with tea, in fact, if you enter any Irish household you will almost always be sure to be offered a cup or two and looked at strangely if you refuse.

9. Bad parking – laziness or lousy driving?

Bad car parking is another top 10 worst habits Irish people have.

We’re not sure if this is laziness or just bad drivers, but cars taking up multiple parking spots has to be one of the worst habits Irish people have. It’s undoubtedly one of the most infuriating ones!

This problem becomes even worse in rural towns and villages where every parking space is precious as there are so little.

8. Making up words – when ordinary words won’t do

The Irish love to make up words, another of our top 10 worst habits Irish people have.

The Irish have always been wordsmiths, so perhaps it’s no surprise that they regularly create their own words and add them to their vocabulary. Some popular favourites would be terms such as “yokes” and “thingamajig”.

While everyone in Ireland has come to understand what these terms mean, they may sound like gibberish to outsiders.

7. Not wearing a raincoat – despite the many warnings

No matter how many times we were told by our mothers, we still don't wear raincoats. It's truly one of the worst habits Irish people have.

Despite how many times our mothers warned us to not go outside without wearing our coat, Irish people still do it, even though we know how unpredictable and painful the Irish weather can be. Will we ever learn? Probably not.

6. Saying bye on the phone repeatedly – bye, bye, bye

Saying good-bye on the phone numerous times is one of the worst habits Irish people have.

While this is primarily an issue with Irish mammies, all Irish people have been guilty of this at one time or another. You know how it is, you’re trying to end a phone call, but a simple “bye” won’t do. No, it has to be “bye, bye, bye, good luck now, bye-bye”, and so on.

5. Conversations about the weather – some day, isn’t it?

Us Irish love the weather, and we love talking about it, one of the worst habits Irish people have.

Is there any nation that loves to talk about the weather more than the Emerald Isle? We don’t think so, as talking about the weather is the old reliable conversation topic up every Irish person’s sleeve.

4. Timekeeping – lack of punctuality

The Irish are awful timekeepers, it's one of our worst habits.

A sense of time is a looser concept in Ireland, something that can frustrate people from more punctual nations. This relaxed approach to timekeeping most likely comes from the fact that Irish people are so laid back, meaning we often take a proposed time as more of a suggestion than a definite time.

Being five to ten minutes late is considered “on time” and it’s commonplace to say “I’m on the way” when you haven’t even left the house yet!

3. Saying the opposite of what we mean – go away will ya! (actually means “come to me”)

The Irish say the opposite of what we mean frequently when in conversation with one another, another bad habit.
Credit: Jilbert Ebrahimi / Unsplash

Again, similar to our fondness for making up words, the Irish can often be found saying the opposite of what they mean. For instance, when asked to do something they would rather not do, an Irish person may reply with something along the lines of “I will, yeah!” which means they definitely won’t.

While this makes perfect sense to people in Ireland, it can seem like we are sending mixed messages to the outsider.

2. Begrudgery – bitterness towards success

The Irish can act begrudgingly towards those who achieve success, but really we're proud of them.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez / Unsplash

Don’t get us wrong, the Irish like to see each other do well, but not too well it seems. We tend to consider anyone who becomes successful as having notions about themselves. You can often hear these successful people referred to as being “lucky” despite the fact they may very well have worked hard for their achievements.

1. Not accepting compliments – thanks, Penneys hun

The Irish are modest and find it difficult to take compliments even if people genuinely mean it.

We challenge you to find an Irish person who can actually take a compliment – us Irish are an inherently modest bunch. An Irish person may be wearing their most expensive clothing, but if you offer them a compliment they will nearly always reply with something along the lines of “Oh, this old thing, got it in Penney’s reduced”.

Are there any other worst habits Irish people have that you think deserve on this list?