If you’re planning a trip to Ireland, or just a jaunt to an Irish enclave in your city, knowing some Irish words and phrases can do a lot to increase your popularity (or give you a head’s up on what the Irish natives are saying!)
Just keep your cool and bide your time. You don’t want to be deemed “thick as a plank” or "not the full shilling" (as in stupid), or called a “glunterpeck” (Irish slang for an idiot.)
In fact, if you jump in too fast without knowing how it’s done, the locals might just “slag” you. No, they won’t be throwing gravel at you. Slagging is a form of light mockery. They’d just be making fun of you, but don’t take it to heart. They mean well. They're merely messing with your head.
The Irish are known for their sense of humor, and if you spend much time around them, you’ll discover it for yourself. Just sit back and enjoy the "craic" (fun, good times).
If an Irishman agrees with your opinions or actions, he'll wish "fair play to you." If all is going very well, you will be "suckin diesel."
These are just some of the fun Irish words and phrases you can pick up if you keep your ear to the ground.
Stout, whiskey and ale are the Irish drinks of choice. But don’t overindulge, or the bar patrons might think you’re “fluthered.” That’s when you can’t keep your butt on your bar stool.
Want a pint of great stout? Don’t ask for a glass. Tell the bartender you’re in the market for a pint of “the black stuff.” That’s the local Guinness stout of which the Irish are so fond.
A night on the town, with a substantial measure of bar hopping, is known as being “on the rip" or "on the razzle.”
If you’re really sloshed, you could be "as full as a bingo bus," "bladdered," or “langered.” If you’re under the table, the locals will say you’re “steamin'," "two sheets to the wind,” or “plastered.”
Sometimes it’s best to forego the booze, and have a “mineral” (a soda). Your head will thank you tomorrow.
If you’d rather have a shot of vodka in your Coke, ask for a “volvo.” That’s how the Irishmen ask for their vodka/Coke drinks.
The Irish have a huge variety of words from which to choose to colorfully describe alcoholic overindulgence!
Want to avoid food poisoning or bedbugs? Stay out of any local hostelry that the Irish consider to be "manky" or "a kip.” Listen carefully, though, a "kip" can also mean a nap/sleep.
On the other hand, if a restaurant serves superb food, it’s “me daza,” or, in other words, it’s excellent. That’s a slang term particular to the Cork area.
You may also hear that a pub or a night out was "deadly" or "class," meaning fantastic.
Take your umbrella with you if it’s “lashing” out, or if you forgot it, just “leg it” (meaning run quickly).
If you meet a friend who talks about his parents, you may not understand the lingo. An “oul fella” is Dad, and Mom is the “oul dear” or the “oul wan.” However, if he introduced you to his parents, he would just call them "da" and "ma."
In Ireland, you’d be going to the “pictures” if you want to see a movie. While you're out watch out for a “sleeveen,” a sly person you have to keep your eye on, or anyone "acting the maggot," that's someone being foolish or messing around.
After all that running around, you might be a bit “shattered” (tired). But you've probably had a "grand" (good, lovely) time.
Keep your ears open, and you’re likely to hear even more fun Irish words and phrases.