We know, we know, we have some strange slang. Here is our ultimate cheat sheet with all of Ireland’s best slang words you need to know.
‘What’s the craic?’, a common Irish greeting, is not the only slang phrase that us Irish like to use daily. Believe it or not, most of our day to day conversations consist of Ireland’s best slang words that, funny enough, not everyone understands, even us Irish.
Slang words vary from county to county. Pair that with each county’s distinct accent, and you’ll be forgiven for not understanding what on earth we are trying to say. Don’t give up on trying to decipher the language of the leprechauns just yet, because here at Ireland Before You Die, we have created the ultimate cheat sheet, a guide to Ireland’s best slang words.
So, next time you head out to the local country pub, you can converse with the locals without a second thought. Some of these may make no sense, but hey, that’s the beauty of it, so let’s take a look at Ireland’s best slang words.
10. Yoke – “thing”
Next time someone asks you to pass the ‘yoke’ over there or asks what this ‘yoke’ is, you’ll quickly know that it’s not an egg they’re talking about.
9. Sound – “reliable”
The sentence may go a little like this, ‘Ah yer man over there, he’s a sound lad’. This is a positive comment meaning he is a good guy.
8. Bogger – “country folk”
Some similar examples from around the world may be hick/hillbilly/bogan. Still, In Ireland, if you’re from anywhere outside a city, you’re pretty much called a ‘Bogger’, possibly referring to the land of the bogs.
7. Yer Man/Yer Want – “the man/the woman”
This one may sound peculiar, but believe it or not, it is probably the most common of all. When speaking about someone, we generally start by saying ‘Ya see yer wan over there’ and continue on. It’s a way of talking about someone, regardless if it’s a man or a woman.
6. Gaff – “house”
Next time you’re invited to a ‘gaff’ party, you can relax, it just means in Irish slang that someone is having a party at their home, and you’re welcome. Gaff parties can be the best Irish parties you’ll ever find!
5. Plastered – “drunk”
Do you overhear Tom talking about how plastered John was at the gaff party last weekend? Do you wonder what kind of accident he got into? Well, ‘plastered’ is an Irish term for drunk, not injured, like you would imagine. So sure enough, Jack is grand now!
4. Craic – “fun, banter”
Interestingly, the word craic is Irish for ‘fun’, so you may see many bars with signs outside saying ‘craic agus ceoil’ (fun and music), so don’t be alarmed, it’s nothing illegal.
3. Gas – “hilarious”
Mary might say ‘Jack told us all a joke at work the other day, it was absolutely gas’. Mary thinks Jack’s joke-telling skills are pretty good, not that she believes he has some flatulence problem.
2. Jacks – “toilet”
You might be on a night out and one by one, people keep saying they’re ‘going to the jacks’. You might be confused and wondering who this jack guy is that people keep approaching, but it’s actually just a slang term for toilet. Some places may even have it written on the door, so have a lookout for it next time!
1. Grand – “fine, ok”
And at number one on our list of Ireland’s best slang words is grand. Grand is a word that is used by everyone, no matter what age or where they are from in the country. It purely means everything is fine or is all ok. “Sure, it’ll be grand” is something we all like to say, no matter the situation. We’re a nation full of optimists after all!
Now that we’ve reached the end of the Ireland’s best slang words, you may have had a few of those ‘ah-ha’ moments, reminiscing over that time you once heard the lad beside you talking about his bogger friend who came to the gaff party at the weekend and got absolutely plastered but everyone thought he was gas craic.
We may not have covered every slang word in the Irish language, but that’s even more reason to get out there today and try your hand at deciphering a few of those words we haven’t mentioned. No doubt, there will be many more of Ireland’s best slang words that you will come across, so get a head start! You’ll be sounding like one of us in no time.