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Glossary of "Irish" Words and Phrases


Not as classy-sounding as the Gaelic language, perhaps, but more useful for understanding the natives


Acting the cod– Acting like a silly fool. See also eejit
Arse– Irish form of the American ass with all its many colorful meanings
Babby– Baby or small child
Banjaxed– Broken; not functioning. As in–“My knee is banjaxed after that football match last Sunday”
Barney– A bit of a tiff or argument
Bikkies– slang for biscuits, which are not scone-like things you eat with gravy, but more like cookies. Chocolate Digestive Biscuits, while they may sound disgusting, are heaven with a nice cuppa
Bin man– The fella who collects your garbage
Bird– Girl or woman. Same as chick I suppose
Black– Very crowded. As in– “The pub was black with tourists last night!”
Bold– Naughty, usually referring to children or little white dogs
Bollox– Actually refers to a man’s genital area but can also be used as a derogatory term for the whole man, or as an exclamation when you think someone is full of BS– “Oh bollox! You’re havin’ me on!”
Bugger– Other than the general meaning (sodomy) it’s also used as a general term of dismay– “Oh bugger! Woke up in the gutter again!” Also used to express negativity– “Bugger that! I’m not staying in again tonight!”
Busker– A street performer. These range from the sublime to the ridiculous in Dublin
Chancer– An untrustworthy character, always trying to pull something
Chatting up– Coming on to someone; hitting on them
Cheeky– Smart-mouthed
Chipper, Chippy– A fast food restaurant specializing in grease. A must-do after a night out though
Cow– Besides the farm animal, used as a derogatory term for a woman, just a bit nicer than bitch
Craic– A good time, great atmosphere. Also– when someone asks “What’s the craic?” it means “What’s going on?”
Culchie– A person from the countryside. This is not a term they use to refer to themselves, you understand
Cuppa– cup of tea. Usually more like three or four
Dear– Expensive
Dosser– A lazy useless person
Doing your nut, done my nut– Gone mad, or crazy
Eejit– Slang for idiot, used quite broadly though, and can even be a term of affection
Gob– Your mouth
Gobshite– A VERY big eejit
Gobsmacked– Surprised absolutely speechless
Goolies– Testicles; balls
Headcase– A crazy person
Hooley– A particularly loud fun party
Hoor– A woman of questionable virtue, or someone you just don’t like very much. Irish version of Ho
Jacks– The toilet, usually the men’s room
Jaded– Very tired; worn out
Janey Mac!– Exclamation, similar to “Holy cow!” Kip– A little bit of sleep or the place where you have it
Knackered– see jaded
Knickers– Underwear
Mott– Girlfriend
Manky– Filthy dirty; nasty
Narky– Cranky; argumentative
Nutter– See headcase
On yer bike– Get lost; get outta here!
Pissed– When used alone, without “off” following, pissed means drunk. The Irish have as many words for drunk as the Eskimos have for snow, just a few of them being: Ossified, Stocious, Paralytic, Langered, Buckled, Fluthered, Gee-eyed and Locked
Posh– La-di-da, as my dear old mom used to say
Poxy– Many varied meanings. Can mean stupid, ugly, or generally just undesirable. “You’re not still living in that poxy old flat are you?” or— “That poxy eejit just drank my pint”
Quarn– Very. As in– “He’s quarn loud tonight, isn’t he?”
Queue– A line, like the ones you have to stand in for years at any Post Office on the planet, at any time of day, any season. Even if you happen to be the only person who lives within 20 miles
Ride– This is a very important term to know if you plan on visiting Ireland yourself. Refers to the act of having intimate relations with someone, NOT going somewhere in their car. Can also be used as a noun to describe someone whom you particularly want to have intimate relations with
Row– A disagreement; argument; fight. Lots of these occur within an hour either way of closing time
Sambo– Sandwich
Shag– “Doing It”
Shandy– a mixture of beer and soda pop, usually lemon-lime. A favorite of old ladies, young girls, and men who had way too much beer the night before
Shite– Irish (and slightly cuter) form of the all-purpose shit
Shorts– Hard liquor, such as whiskey, vodka, gin, etc.
Skint– Broke, as in no money
Slag– Used as a verb it means to tease someone, used as a noun it is either the person doing the teasing, or a woman of questionable repute (a slut)
Slapper– Slut; slag; hoor
Snog– A little kiss and a snuggle, usually involving tongues and bare skin contact to some degree
Swing for someone– means you want to kill them so badly that it would be worth facing the noose. “I’ll swing for that bastard!”
Thick– Exceptionally dense; stupid
Wagon– A not-flattering term for a woman, used about the same as cow
Wank– Actually means masturbation, but can also mean goofing off or sucking up to someone
Whinging– Whining; bitching and moaning
Wick– Nerves. As in– “That noise is getting on my wick!”
Wobbler– A temper tantrum
Yobbos– Rowdy young lads who are prone to causing trouble in public places


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