Forty Irish Phrases That Confuse Everyone Else

04/01/2016 17:19 GMT | Updated 04/01/2017 10:12 GMT


Sometimes in Ireland we use some strange words and phrases. These don't always translate very well outside of our little island. Here's 40 of my favourite such phrases.

1) Yer man : Pretty much any man that we are referring to for the purpose of a story. For example, "Yer man behind the counter.". We do not mean that the man BELONGS to you. He's simply yer man over there. The female equivalent is "yer one".

2)Yoke: Thingy. For example, "Where's that yoke gone?" simply means "Where has that thing gone that I was looking for?". Yoke can also refer to a person that you are horrified by. eg. "some f*in yoke sat beside me on the bus".

3) Scarlet for ya : How embarrassing for you. The long version is "scarlet for your ma for having ya". That basically means that you did something EXTREMELY embarrassing and should probably be disowned.

4) Grand: Our most used response to any question. Contrary to popular belief this does not mean "great" or anything nearly as enthusiastic. Grand means "OK" or "fine". Example, "Tara, I'm going to the shop", and I would reply "grand".

5) I gave out to him: This is not sexual! This simply means "I told him off", or "I scolded him". Many a time I have used this phrase only to be met with confused faces asking me what exactly I gave the person.

6) Bleedin: Used descriptively but not literally. Can basically be shoved into a sentence anywhere. Example. "where's me bleedin phone?" or "That film was bleedin deadly".

7) All over the shop: A state or a mess. Used descriptively. For example, "Me hair is all over the shop.".

8) He's gone for his tea: Often used when watching a film and a character dies. Someone will usually exclaim, "Well, he's gone for his tea".

9) He scared the bejaysus/bejesus out of me: Bejaysus basically means shit/hell/f*ck here.

10) Sickner for ya: This pretty much means, "That sucks" or "How unfortunate for you". For example, a friend might say "I was smoking down the lanes and then me ma caught me" and one could respond "Awww sickner".

11) Spicebag: A mystical bag of chips and crispy chicken/chicken balls with a mysterious blend of spices all wrapped up in a paper or foil bag. Popular after a night out.

12) Sliced Pan: Loaf of bread that has been sliced.

13) The messages: Groceries or food shopping. Example, "I'm going to Tesco for the messages."

14) The press: The cupboard, usually where you store the messages.

15) Naggin: 200ml of some kind of spirit, often stashed in bras or bags on the way into nightclubs/festivals.

16) Minerals: Soft/fizzy drinks. They don't actually contain any literal minerals. They are in no way healthy.

17) Geebag: Translated literally it means a bag of vaginas. Usually meant as an insult. For example, She's a f*in Geebag. Try it, it sounds hilarious.

18) Gobshite: Gob means mouth... and well, you know what shite means. This is often used affectionately when referring to simple yet harmless friends and family. It can also be used in an unaffectionate way.....

19) Poxy: Something or someone that is bad or terrible. Used as an adjective....kind of. Example "You're a poxy bleedin liar", or "That poxy yoke over there".

20) The f*kin head on him/her : Look at him, he/she looks wrecked. Can also be said as "The bleedin state of him/her".

21) Shitehawk: One I heard in my childhood a lot. If my sister and I were acting up we were "little shitehawks". A lot of insults can be used affectionately in Ireland.

22) She's a f*in weapon/wagon: She's a mad bitch, pretty much.

23) Did you get the shift?: Did you kiss anyone?

24) Did you get the ride?: Did you have sexual intercourse with anyone?

25) I was absolutely locked/hammered/smashed/legless/paralytic: I was extremely drunk.

26) I'm going on the lash: I'm going out to get hammered/locked etc.

27) Gee-Eyed: Literally it should mean vagina-eyed...... but, in fact, it means DRUNK. One might say "I was absolutely gee-eyed last night".

28) I'm knackered: I'm extremely tired.

29) Me Mot/Motzer: My girlfriend. You can also refer to a group of females as "mots". For example, "This places is full of mots".

30) You're the image of massive: You look great! Can also be said as "You're bleedin massive", which is actually a compliment.

31) Gaff party: Gaff means HOUSE. So this means a house party.

32) The Jacks: The toilet. For example, "I'm going to the Jacks". Can also be referred to as "The bog".

33) The Drinklink: ATM or hole in the wall to withdraw cash from which shall be used to purchase alcohol.

34) Story horse/bud?: Basically..... how are you my friend. A shortened version of "What's the story?". Horse refers to a friend..... not an actual horse.

35) What's the craic?: same as above. How are you? Any news?

36) Ah sure ya know yourself: Basically this just means..... fine. Considered a valid answer to a question.

37) I will in me hole/hoop/arse: I will not. If you are asked to do something you do not want to do, or which seems unreasonable, this is an appropriate response.

38) Me arse!: Similar to "as if" or "yeah right". Often used as an exclamation when you believe something to be untrue. For example if Johno said he got the ride off 4 girls in one night his friends may exclaim "me arse you did!" or just simply "me arse". Because Johno is a bleedin liar.

39) Arseways: Basically the same as "tits up" or "wrong". For example, if someone put their jumper on back to from you could say "Your jumper's on arseways".

40) She's Pure Haunty: A Limerick one. This would be used when referring to an unfortunate looking young lady that is using QUITE a lot of make up. Mean, but effective.

This article was originally posted on Where Is Tara? You can find the full original article here.