We Irish are a pretty humble bunch, and we often find it difficult to take a compliment. So, here are ten typically Irish responses to compliments (to prepare you for World Compliment Day).
Humility is a valued trait in Ireland, and all too often, we can take this a little bit too seriously. Hence our inability to take a compliment. But fret not, for we have compiled a list of typically Irish responses to compliments to prepare you for World Compliment Day.
World Compliment Day falls on 1 March each year, and it’s the perfect day to pay those around you a kind word of encouragement – whether that be a friend, a family member, or the person who serves you in the shop.
After all, there’s no better way to make someone’s day than paying them a compliment and giving them that well-needed confidence boost. However, in Ireland, we aren’t always the best at taking those well-meaning compliments.
So, to prepare you for World Compliment Day, here are ten typically Irish responses to compliments that you can use on the big day.
10. Deflection – “Ah, stop it you”
One of the most typically Irish ways to respond to a compliment is to completely refuse to acknowledge it.
Take, for example, that someone tells you that your hair looks good today, an Irish person will not simply say, “thank you”, but rather, say something along the lines of “Ah, would you stop?” or “shut up you”.
9. Making a joke – we don’t take ourselves too seriously
Often, when you compliment an Irish person, their automatic response will be to bring humour to the conversation.
We are known for our wit, and we often resort to humour to get ourselves out of uncomfortable situations, compliments being no exception.
For example, someone may say, “Have you lost weight?” and we will reply, “No, I’m just further away.”
8. We play it down – “Ahh, this old thing? I just threw it on”
Playing it down is a common response when someone pays us a compliment on our outfit.
Picture it now: you knew a big event was coming up, you spent weeks and weeks fretting over what to wear, trying on hundreds of different outfits to find the one that works just right.
You head to the aforementioned event, and someone says, “Oh, I love your outfit. Where did you get it?”
Automatically, our brain just conveniently forgets about all the effort that went into preparing said outfit, and we instead reply, “Oh, this old thing. I just threw it on.”
7. Paying the bill – we will never let you pay
An Irish person takes you out for a meal at a restaurant, and to say thanks for their hospitality, you offer to pay the bill.
Don’t take their response the wrong way… even if it may come off as a threat.
You may hear them say something along the lines of “I swear to God, if you try to pay for this, I will never see you again” or “Sure you can get me another time.”
6. Community spirit – nothing is an inconvenience
You call up your Irish friend when you need a hand with something, and no matter the time of day, they will be happy to help.
To thank them for their help, you offer to do something for them in return. Expect a response something like, “Sure, if friends can’t help each other, who can they help?”
5. Attributing it to luck or a fluke – we refuse to accept we can actually be good at things
One of the typically Irish responses to compliments about our abilities is to attribute our success to good luck or a fluke.
For example, you play well in the game, and someone says so, you will likely respond with something like, “I wouldn’t have been able to perform without the lads.” Or, “I was just in the right place at the right time.”
4. Saying anyone could have done it – again, refusing to believe in ourselves
You’re having a dinner party, and someone compliments your cooking after enjoying the delightful meal you spent hours preparing.
Something inside your head tells you that they don’t really mean it, or they’ll expect you to always make such delicious food.
You respond, “Oh, anyone could have made that!”
3. With an insult – we insult those we love
A common trait is that we are known to throw Irish insults around more often than we do a compliment; that’s probably part of the reason we hate compliments so much!
Irish people only insult those they love, so we question a person’s sincerity when they decide to compliment us.
If someone tells an Irish person that they look good today, a common reply maybe something along the lines of “It’s a shame the same can’t be said for you”.
2. Our favourite word – you fecker
Similar to our reflex response of insulting the person who paid us a compliment, we might just resort to name-calling.
No matter the compliment, a simple response of “you fecker” will always be an appropriate response in Ireland.
1. A watered-down compliment – “not bad”
In Ireland, we seem to have trouble with simply and matter-of-factly showing our appreciation for things. Instead of saying “It’s good”, we’ll say, “Aye, it’s not the worst”.
So, if you pay an Irish person a compliment, you may get a response something along the lines of, “Awk, aye, yer not so bad yerself”.
So, make sure to keep these typically Irish responses to compliments hand to use this World Compliment Day.