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Irishisms: An A-Z Irish English Dictionary with Usage Examples


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“They’re ferocious rough out here altogether”; “The three of us are in ribbons, laughing”; “I went through him for a short cut”; “Northern Ireland is falling down with mountains, isn’t it?” “It doesn’t knock a fidget out of him”; “Will you pour the tea there, love? The cat has me handicapped”.

Introduction to an Irish English Dictionary

Irish English is racy, funny, dashing, bold, rude, picturesque – a pleasure to read or hear.

I’m English, but I love Ireland, the Irish, and they way they talk. I read a lot of modern Irish novels, and writers such as best-seller Marian Keyes, and Emer Mclysaght and Sarah Breen of the Aisling novels fame, provide a host of delightful Irishisms in their books. Jumps racing – a field which has a big Irish component – has also provided me with many choice examples of Irish English over the years. In 2016 I decided that I’d start to write these down – just for my own enjoyment. A handwritten list began . . . and grew . . . and grew . . . and became a typed list. When it reached seven pages long, I felt I wanted to share it with the wider world, and looked to find it a good home. Luckily, Fluent in 3 Months liked the developing ‘dictionary’ and found a niche for it here on its blog. Now it contains getting on for five hundred items . . . Little did I realise when I began how inexhaustible the flow of Irishisms would be. Hoorah for Irish English!

Some Notes About the Dictionary

  • It includes commonly used Irish English words, phrases, usages, turns of phrase and sayings. (Almost) no item is too rude or slangy for inclusion.
  • Items on the list are all taken from contemporary Irish novels or writings, or from real-life sources such as televised horse racing and The Racing Post. It contains no items that appear to be cod Irish (like ‘begorrah’), as I haven’t come across them in real life.
  • Picturesque traditional sayings are welcome as long as they’re genuinely in current usage.
  • I’m a foreigner and only speak Irish-English as a foreign language, so please excuse (and correct) any mistranslations.
  • If an item’s meaning is obvious, no translation is given.
  • Translations are in vernacular British English, not in ‘Received’ English. So, US readers: ‘pissed’ means drunk, not annoyed.
  • All comments, suggestions and corrections are most welcome.

A

Able He was well able for it – “He’s up for it” or “up to it”

Above herself Never wanting to seem above herself – “Never wanting to seem boastful”

Above He’s above – “He’s up there” or “He’s upstairs” You are a crowd of pagans above in Dublin – “You are a crowd of pagans over there in Dublin

Acting the maggot She was acting the maggot – “She was making mischief” Tiger Roll was bucking and kicking and acting the maggot – “Tiger Roll was bucking and kicking and causing mayhem”

After The horse was after unseating him – Interjection What’s after happening?

Ah Ah, right – “Ok” or “Will do”

Alco They’re a proper bunch of alcos – “They’re a right bunch of alcoholics”

All belonging to you How are you? And all belonging to you?A greeting

All ends up All ends up, he’s a two and a half miler, not a three miler – “Whichever way you look at it, he’s a two and a half miler, not a three miler” or “Hands down, he’s a two and a half miler, not a three miler”

All that crowd She thinks I should know about Zeus and all that crowd – “She thinks I should know about Zeus and that sort of stuff”

All the go Hair like that is all the go, is it? – “Hair like that is fashionable now, is it?” or “Hair like that is all the rage now, is it?”

All the same The internet is great all the same for things like that – “The internet is just great for things like that”

Altogether Christ, but that’s great altogether The da must be ferocious altogetherIntensifying interjection

Allowed As long as I’m allowed use that sort of language – “ As long as I’m allowed to use that sort of language She could be trusted not to allow them run around like headless chickens – “She could be trusted not to let them run around like headless chickens”

Am I’m just back from a few days in Sligo – “I just got back from a few days in Sligo” How long are you living in the square? – “How long have you been living in the square?” We’re only just back ten minutes ago – “We only just got back ten minutes ago” Amn’t I the lucky one? – “Aren’t I the lucky one” I’m here all my life – “I’ve been living here all my life”

Anxious head He had an anxious head on him – “He was feeling worried”

Ara Ara, I know, I know – Interjection

Are Why are we stopped? – “Why have we stopped?”

Arse You burnt the arse out of my good small saucepan – “You burnt the buggery out of my good small saucepan”

Arse in our trousers Weren’t those times worse? We hadn’t an arse in our trousers – “Weren’t those times worse? We were poor as church mice”

Arse or an elbow He’s always got an arse or an elbow – “He’s a hypochondriac” 0r “He always has some symptom to complain of”

Article The flash article – “What a flashy person” You dirty article! – “you dirty thing” or “You dirty creature”

At Their little girl was playing at the railings – “Their little girl was playing by the railings”

At you . . . maybe get a bag of chips if the hunger is at you – “. . . . maybe get a bag of chips if the munchies attack”

At all What’s going on at all at all? – “What’s going on, now?” Sure, it’s great having you here at all Interjection

Auld He’s a terrible auld fool, that one – “He’s a terrible old fool, that one”

Auldfella I was chatting to the auldfella below – “I was chatting to the old geezer downstairs”

Away up Head away up and see him – “Go on up and see him”

Awful You’re awful bold – “You’re very bold” You’re an awful man! – “Ooh you are awful!”

B

Backer Do you want a backer? – “Do you want a ride on the back of my bike?”

Back into She sat back into the car – “ She stayed in the car”

Bad cess Well, bad cess to you, Lucy, and the horse you rode in on – “Well, bad luck to you and yours, Lucy”

Badzers A load of badzers in the pub – “A load of bad people in the pub”

Banjaxed Christ, I’m banjaxed – “Christ, I’m knackered” or “Christ, I’m buggered”

Bar No girl wants a bar of him – “No girl wants any bit of him”

Bate Bate a bit of sense into her – it’s the only language they understand – “Beat a bit of sense into her – it’s the only language they understand”

Be I won’t be finished work in time – “I won’t have finished work in time” She might be gone out for some chips – “She might have gone out for some chips” The back is being burned off of me – “My back is getting badly burned” You haven’t been asleep yet, Jo – “You haven’t slept yet, Jo”

Begobman Begobman, you’d be found in little bits alright – Interjection

Be well Be wellA salutation

Beat of it I never heard the beat of it – “I never heard anything to beat it”

The bed Hannah’s mother had taken to the bed – “Hannah’s mother had taken to her bed” (See also Thrun on the bed)

Bedad ‘Did you have a nice weekend?’ Lisa asked. ‘Bedad, I did indeed,’ Bill said expansively – Interjection

Beef to the heels I’ve been punishing myself slimming, trying to be less beef to the heels – “I’ve been punishing myself slimming, trying to get less sturdy”

Begob Begob, you sound like an old Guard who has stopped me for bald tyres – Interjection

Bet in, Bet into Caroline was bet in against me – “Caroline was crushed up against me” They were in front of the TV, absolutely bet into Nationwide – “They were in front of the TV, absolutely stuck into Nationwide” Neither a borrower nor a lender be – Daddy had it bet into me from an early age – “Neither a borrower nor a lender be – Daddy had it drilled into me from an early age

Beyond She lives beyond in New York – “She lives over there in New York

Bird I’m not following you, birdendearment or term of affection for a female

Blem Blem – “Cannabis”

Blew out The costs blew out – “The costs increased”

Blow-ins They’re just blow-ins – “They’re just incomers” or “They’re not locals”

Bockety Bockety old chairs – “Rickety old chairs”

Bogger He’s a bogger – “He’s out of the bogs” or “He’s a yokel”

Boiled shite You look like a boiled shite – “You look like shit”

Boke They’d make you boke – “They’d make you puke”

Bold She’s a bold baggage – “She’s a cheeky person” or “She’s a forward person” As bold as you like – “As brazen as anything”

Bold thing Busy doing the bold thing with Danny – “Busy shagging Danny”

Bollocks, bollox He’s a narky bollocks – “He’s a narky prick” Don’t act the bollox – “Don’t be an arsehole”

Boreen We came to a boreen – “We came to a narrow country lane” or “We came to a little rural road”

Bother Not a bother on her – “She’s not bothered” It’s no bother to her – “It’s not a problem to her”

Bothering his arse Saying he’d ring, then not bothering his arse – “Saying he’d ring and then not bothering to”

Bring Bring them for a paddle – “Take them for a paddle” Nora brought Conor with her to find the toilets – “Nora took Conor with her to find the toilets

Broke as a joke He’s broke as a joke – “He’s stony broke”

Broke my arse laughing I nearly broke my arse laughing – “I was in fits of laughter”

Brutal Your Boston accent is brutal – “Your Boston accent is really bad” I’m brutal at the family stuff – “I’m hopeless at the family stuff”

Budge Not a budge out of them – “They hadn’t moved an inch”

Buckled Get buckled – “Get very drunk”

Bulling, Thick as a Bull She’s bulling, I can tell, because I’m late – “She’s fuming, I can tell, because I’m late” He looks thick as a bull – “He looks enraged”

Bull’s notion I haven’t a bull’s notion what cultural appropriation is – “I haven’t a the least idea what cultural appropriation is

By him You’d never know by him – “You wouldn’t know that about him” Either way was grand by him – “Either way was fine as far as he was concerned”

C

Call to doors Other people would call to doors and offer their cleaning services – “Other people would call door to door and offer their cleaning services

Call to the door No sooner was she in than Kathy called to the door – “No sooner was she in than Kathy came round” or “No sooner was she in than Kathy called round”

Call up “Thank you for calling up, May,” Nora said – “”“Thank you for calling round, May,” Nora said” or ““Thank you for calling in, May,” Nora said”

Calling It just goes to show, there’s no calling people, is there? – “It just goes to show, there’s no telling what people are like, is there?” Camogie an Irish stick-and-ball team sport played by women

Can’t kill a bad thing You can’t kill a bad thingSaying

Carry-on He’s getting a bit old now for that sort of carry-on Swishy hair, with that balayage carry-on in the ends

Cat I feel absolutely cat for not helping – “I feel really bad for not helping”

Chancer She told him he was a terrible chancer – “She told him he was a right dodgy character” or “She told him he sailed really close to the wind”

Christ in the marketplace! Christ in the marketplace! That’s some tie you’re wearing! – “Bloody hell! That’s quite a tie you’re wearing!”

Class Some class of sandwich – “Some type of sandwich” We went for a walk in some class of a park – “We went for a walk in some sort of park” What class of fool wouldn’t show up for a nice date with her? – “What sort of fool wouldn’t show up for a nice date with her?”

Class He’s a class horse – “He’s a classy horse” or “He’s a horse to be reckoned with” That’s class! – “That’s great!” Class! – Exclamation

Clatter I’d take a whole clatter of nieces and nephews to see Santa – “I’d take a load of nieces and nephews to see Santa”

Clattered She rolled up the magazine and clattered him across the head – “She rolled up the magazine and swiped him across the head” or “She rolled up the magazine and hit him across the head”

Clippings of tin Working part-time, and living on the clippings of tin – “Working part-time, and being poverty-stricken” or “Working part-time, and barely getting by”

Clob Shut your clob – “Shut up” or “Shut your gob” I’d pay to see the expression on his clob – “I’d pay to see the expression on his face” or “I’d pay to see the expression on his gob”

Clod Stop acting the clod – “Stop acting the fool”

Close as lips and teeth As close as lips and teeth – “Well suited to each other”

Cod He’s only codding you – “He’s only pulling your leg” or “He’s only teasing you” She loves codding people into going out – “She loves kidding people into going out” or “She loves manipulating people into going out”

Cogging along Just cogging along – “Just chugging along”

Coming down She thinks Tokyo is coming down with lesbians – “She thinks Tokyo is chock-a-block with lesbians” Not that her life was coming down with reasons to be proud – “Not that her life was full of reasons to be proud”

Conduct yourself Conduct yourself! – “Behave yourself!”

Cop-on He wouldn’t have had the cop-on to do this off his own bat – “He wouldn’t have had the self-awareness to do this off his own bat” or “He wouldn’t have had the nous to do this off his own bat”

Cop on to yourself Cop on to yourself, would ya – “Get a grip on what’s going on, would you”

Craic, crack It was mighty craic – “It was brilliant fun” She was gas craic – “She was full of witty banter” Doing it just for the craic – “Doing it just for fun and a good time” . . . in the hopes of imparting just how much craic they were – “. . . in the hopes of imparting just how amusing they were” It’s almost two years since this craic with Daddy first started, and we’re back at the hospital – “It’s almost two years since this business with Daddy first started, and we’re back at the hospital”

Crack We’d crack our holes laughing – “We’d wet ourselves laughing”

Cracked She had some cracked ideas about the bridesmaids’ dresses – “She had some wacky ideas about the bridesmaids’ dresses” or “She had some crazy ideas about the bridemaids’ dresses”

Craythur The dirty craythur! – “The dirty creature!” And was he OK, the poor craythur? – “And was he OK, the poor chap?” Aisling, craythur, how are you? – “Aisling, my poor love, how are you?

Creased He had to go to the doctor after he creased himself on his bike – “He had to go to the doctor after he did himself an injury on his bike

Cross the street to be offended His brother Damien – a man who’d cross the street to be offended – “His brother Damien – a man who’d go out of his way to find a grievance”

Crow to pluck She had a crow to pluck with Bridie – “She had a bone to pick with Bridie”

Culchie What a culchie! – “What a yokel!” or “He’s straight out of the bogs!”

Cup in my hand “Would you like some tea and cake?” “Don’t go to any trouble now, just a cup in my hand will do”

Cut of him Just look at the cut of him – “Just look at the sorry-looking state of him” Some of the girls in the office can barely spell. And the cut of them! – “Some of the girls in the office can barely spell. And the way they dress!”

Cut sticks A face on her that would cut sticks

D

Da The Da’ll be here soon – “Our dad’ll be here soon”

Day I’ve had today He didn’t know the day I’ve had today – He didn’t know what a bad day I’ve had today”

Dead as a maggot Apple’s Jade was dead as a maggot when she was in season, but she’s like a bull going round there today – “Apple’s Jade had no go in her at all when she was in season, but she’s full of beans racing round the track today”

Deadly It’s a deadly feeling – “It’s a great feeling” Deadly! – “Fantastic!”

Deal that Your mother will deal that – “Your mother will deal with that”

Delf, Delph Let’s use the best delf, love – “Let’s use the best china, love” Every piece of delph and crockery had been removed from shelves to be dusted – Every piece of china and crockery had been removed from shelves to be dusted”

Delira and excira I’m delira and excira that everything is as it should be – “I’m over the moon that everything is as it should be” from a TV catch phrase

Desperate God help him, but he’s a desperate auld softie, that fella – “God help him – he’s a terrible old softie, that chap”

Destroyed Your shoes are destroyed from that walk – “Your shoes are ruined from that walk”

Diddies She has no diddies – “She has no tits”

Didn’t . . . and didn’t we drive to the station only to find the train had just gone – “. . . and do you know what? We drove to the station only to find the train had just gone”

Didn’t come down in the last shower I didn’t come down in the last shower, you know – “I’m not completely naive, you know”

Dig out I had half of Ballygobbardonto me looking for a dig out with a ticket – “I had half of Ballygobbard onto me looking for a dig out with a ticket”

Divil The poor divil – “The poor devil”

Dog calling the cat’s arse hairy
That’s like the dog calling the cat’s arse hairy – “That’s like the pot calling the kettle black”

Doing a line She’s doing a line with Frank – “She’s going out with Frank”

Dose He was a bit of a dose this morning – “He was a right downer this morning” or “He was a right pain in the arse this morning” Imagine what a dose that would be – “Imagine what a drag that would be”

Dote He’s a complete dote – He’s a complete sweetie” or “He’s a really lovely person” Those dungarees’d be dotie on Molly – “Those dungarees’d be adorable on Molly”

Down the country He’s gone down the country – “He’s gone to the countryside”

Down in Donal was down in Margarets, developing photographs – “Donal was at Margaret’s, developing photographs”

Down to People were still arriving down to breakfast – “People were still arriving for breakfast”

Drink taken He had drink taken – “He’d had a drink or two”

Drop I’ll drop them down to you – “I’ll bring them over to you”

Dropping the hand Was he dropping the hand? – “Did he make a pass at you?”

Dubs All the Dubs have gone home – “All the Dubliners have gone home”

E

Eat a nun’s arse through a convent gate I could eat a nun’s arse through a convent gate – “I’m starving hungry”

Eejit You eejit you – “You idiot”

End myself I thought I’d end myself laughing – “I thought I’d do myself in laughing”

Entirely That road works shags up the traffic entirely – “That road works shags up the traffic completely”

Equals That’ll teach him . . . him and his equals – “That’ll teach him . . . him and others like him”

Ever Jesus, would you ever look at me when I’m trying to say this? – “Jesus, would you please look at me when I’m trying to say this?” or “Jesus, would you definitely look at me when I’m trying to say this?”

Excited with himself Michaels getting a bit excited with himself, I’d say! – “Michael’s getting a bit over-excited about that idea, i’d say!”

F

F Faboo She has faboo taste – “She has fabulous taste”

Face into With nothing to face into but the hellish traffic in Dublin – “With nothing to greet him but the hellish traffic in Dublin”

Fair Fair play to ye Fair dues to her Fair fucks to you, Dermot

Faith Faith, no – Exclamation

Falling out of my standing After all that, I was falling out of my standing with the tiredness – “After all that, I was completely knackered”

Falling down Northern Ireland is falling down with mountains, isn’t it? – “Northern Ireland is full of mountains, isn’t it?”

Far from And there’s me, walking around with a bottle of Moet in my bag. It was far from Moet I was raised, let me tell you – “And there’s me, walking around with a bottle of Moet in my bag. I wasn’t brought up as a Moet kind of girl, I can tell you!”

Farm of land And him with a fine farm of land – “And him with a fine holding of land”

Fecking, Feck It’s a fecking mess – “It’s a fucking mess” Acceptable form of ‘Fucking’ Away to feck! – “Fuck off with you!”

Fecked She fecked it at the window – “She chucked it at the window”

Feed A big feed of chips – “A big gorge of chips” I have to admit to a fondness for a great feed of pints early and often – “I have to admit to a fondness for imbibing a quantity of pints early and often”

Fell into a weakness He nearly fell into a weakness – “He nearly passed out”

Fella He’s not a bad fella – “He’s not a bad chap”

Ferocious They’re ferocious rough out here altogether – “They’re extremely rough out here”

Fiddlers Q. Any idea where he is now? A. Not a fiddlers – “I haven’t got a clue

Fierce I was fierce keen – “I was extremely keen” Och aye, he’s fierce generous, so he is – “He’s really generous”

Fillum She’s gone to see that fillum – “She’s gone to see that film”

Fine thing God help me, I thought you were a fine thing – “Bloody hell, I thought you were a cracker”

Fire in And sure, fire in the mascara while you’re at it – “And sure, bung in the mascara while you’re at it”

Fit There’s no other horse fit to land a blow on her – “There’s no other horse good enough to land a blow on her” She wouldn’t move over here in a fit – “She wouldn’t move over here for anything”

Flicker That was a good flicker – “That was a good film”

Flies take to shite I’ve seen more like you in the last few months with your airs and graces, than I’ve seen flies take to shiteSaying

Flitters She’s in flitters – “She’s in bits”

Float on But sure, we all float on – “But there you go, we all move on”

Flung She’s Flung in the bed, refusing to eat – “She’s thrown on her bed, refusing to eat” or “She’s in a bad way, refusing to eat”

Fluthered We were all pretty fluthered by teatime – “We were all a bit pissed by teatime” or “We were all the worse for wear by teatime”

Foostering Their mother was always foostering about – “Their mother was always bustling about“ or “Their mother was always pottering about”

For himself She caught him having a good old wank for himself – “She caught him enjoying a good old wank”

For luck For luck, I had the place painted last week – “Luckily, I had the place painted last week”

For the love of God! For the love of God, will you get a move on! – Interjection

Forty shades of shite The mother was thumping forty shades of shite out of her – “The mother was giving her a hell of a thumping”

Fouler He’s been in a fouler – “He’s been in a filthy mood”

Fry God knows beans have no business oozing around a fry – “God knows beans have no business oozing around a fry-up”

Fuck off with yourself or Fuck away off Fuck off with yourself! – “Fuck off!” Fuck away off! – “Fuck off!”

Full as a bingo bus He was full as a bingo bus – “He was completely pissed”

Full as a tick He’s full as a tick – “He’s pissed”

Full sure or Full well Full sure he knows about it – “For sure he knows about it” Full well he can win – “He can definitely win”

Fullness I’m not in the fullness of my mental health – “I’m not totally compos mentis” or “I haven’t got all my marbles”

G

Galoot What a loada galoots – What a load of fools”

Gas Isn’t it gas? “Isn’t it a gas” Your one Aisling is absolutely gas, isn’t she? – “That Aisling is a complete riot, isn’t she?”

Gather yourself I can tell he’s trying to gather himself – “I can tell he’s trying to pull himself together”

Gawk I felt a right Gawk – “I felt a right idiot”

Gawked She’d gawked all over the floor – “She’d thrown up all over the floor”

Gear She knew Lisa sometimes ate apples and pears and that sort of gear – “She knew Lisa sometimes ate apples and pears and that sort of stuff”

Get over yourself Get over yourself – “Stop being such a madam” or “Don’t be so hoity toity”

Get out of that Get out of that, you chancer! – “Give over, you chancer” or “Piss off, you chancer”

Get sick Sadhbh offers to order us a taxi and we both nearly get sick – “Sadhbh offers to order us a taxi and we’re both flabbergasted”

Get up on a cracked plate He’d get up on a cracked plate, that one – “He’d shag anything, that chap”

Get up on a nettle for a sting Jaysus, that Gladys, she’d get up on a nettle for a sting, wha? – “Jaysus, that Gladys, she goes looking for problems, doesn’t she?

Get up on him to get over a hedge I wouldn’t get up on him to get over a hedge – “I wouldn’t have dealings with him for anything”

Get your nerves up Sure that’d get anyone’s nerves up – “ That’d make anyone nervous for sure”

Getting in a heap No point in getting in a heap about it – “No point getting in a state about it”

Give it a lash Go on, give it a lash – “Go on, give it a go”

Given me the want She’s given me the want – “I fancy her”

Giving it socks He was really giving it socks on the track – “He was really giving it plenty on the track”

Give out, Giving out yards Don’t give out to me – “Don’t complain to me” Mammy giving out yards to Daddy for bringing in turf on his slippers – “Mum giving Dad stick for bringing in turf on his slippers”

Gligeen Oh what a gligeen – “Oh what a fool”

Glom Somebody had glommed on to me in the crowd – “Somebody had stuck close to me in the crowd”

Go of We all got a go of her – “We all got lucky with her” I’ve been known to nip into the hotel just for a go of their toilets and free hand lotion – “I’ve been known to nip into the hotel just to use their toilets and free hand lotion”

Go-heck “I know,” sighed Mum. “But the go-heck of her!” – “I know,” sighed Mum. “But the girl doesn’t give a damn!”

Go on outathat Go on outathat – he’ll soon come round- “Get away with you – he’ll soon come round”

Gobdaw Gobdaw – “Idiot” or “Loudmouth”

Gobshite Gobshite – “Idiot” or “Loudmouth”

God be with the days God be with the days when we drank Maxwell House and loved it – “Bless the days when we drank Maxwell House and loved it”

God love her God love her, she’s a fine woman – Exclamation

God be good to her God be good to her and her troubles – Blessing

God bless all here God bless all hereBlessing

Go heck The go-heck of her! – “The ‘who gives a damn’ attitude of her!”

Gomaloon or Gom You look like a complete gomaloon – “You look like a complete idiot” They must take us for a right crowd of goms – “They must take us for a right crowd of fools”

Gone from He’s gone from home – “He’s away from home”

Gone off me The urge has gone off me now – “The urge has left me now”

Goo I’m going in for a goo – “I’m going in for a nose” or “I’m going in for a good gawp”

Good of it Laughing at the good of it – “Laughing at how good it is”

Good woman “Now Margaret” the nurse was leading her away. “Good woman. You’re all right. Good woman.” – ““Now Margaret,” the nurse was leading her away. “Good girl. You’re all right. love. Good girl.””

Goother I tried to insist that nobody was going to see my goother – “I tried to insist that nobody was going to see my lady bits”

Go through me for a short cut or Go through me My Dad will go through me for a short cut – “My dad will be really pissed off at me”

Good skin She’s a good skin that one – “She’s a good sort, that one”

Gotten I must have gotten the wrong end of the stick – “I must have got the wrong end of the stick”

Gougers We’re united against Dublin City Council, the pack of gougers – “We’re united against Dublin City Council, the pack of scumbags”

Gout for Gave me the gout for a fag – “Made me long for a fag”

Grand We had a bowl of soup and a sandwich in a grand cheap place – “We had a bowl of soup and a sandwich in a great cheap place” Grand! – Exclamation

Grand by him Either way was grand by him – “Either way was fine as far as he was concerned”

Great That’s great altogether – “That’s excellent”

Great man I wouldn’t be a great man for showing off or playing to the gallery – “I wouldn’t be much of a one for showing off or playing to the gallery”

Gully Gully – “Throw up”

Gurry or Gurrier What a bunch of gurries – “What a bunch of scamps” or “What a bunch of rascals” He’s nothing but a gurrier – “He’s nothing but a chav”

Gussy I have to buy so many gussy clothes for work – “I have to buy so many smart clothes for work” or “I have to buy so many dressy clothes for work”

H

Hacked If I didn’t know better, I’d say she was hacked – “If I didn’t know better, I’d say she was pissed”

Haggart She walked to the hedge that divided the yard from the haggart – “She walked to the hedge that divided the yard from the kitchen garden”

Hames He’ll make a hames of it – “He’ll make a bollocks of it” or “He’ll ruin it” Jesus, Maj, you’re some hames – “Jesus, Maj, you’re a right idiot”

Handy The afternoon plodded along handy enough – The afternoon passed by reasonably quickly”

Hang, Hanging Hanging, was he? – “Had a hangover, did he?”

Hanging out of her She just wanted to go round the shops without having children hanging out of her – “She just wanted to go round the shops without having children hanging off her”

Handicapped Will you pour the tea there, love? The cat has me handicapped – “Will you pour the tea there, love? The cat’s hindering me from doing it”

Ha’penny place This is the ha’penny place compared to real labour, so it is – “This job is nothing like as bad as it could be”

Has, Have, Had Has her spoiled with her amateur dramatics – “She’s spoiled with her amateur dramatics” She has us crucified with her singing – “She’s crucifying us with her singing” What has you so late? – “What’s made you so late?” He’ll have the town walked if I let him – “He’ll have walked all over town if I let him” I always drive better when I’ve a few drinks in me – “I always drive better when I’ve had a few drinks” Have you drink in? – Have you got some drink in?” I’ve to be up at dawn – “I have to be up at dawn” But what choice have we? – “But what choice do we have?” What age have you? – “How old are you?” What had he to say? – “What did he have to say?” And all of a sudden, I had four winners ridden – “And all of a sudden, I’d ridden four winners” There had been a lot of cider drunk – “A lot of cider got drunk”

Hadn’t a note in her head God love her, she hadn’t a note in her head – “God love her, she couldn’t sing a note”

Hard bet If Honeysuckle’s in that sort of form, she’d be hard bet – “If Honeysuckle’s in that sort of form, she’d be hard to beat”

Have his shite Daddy can have his shite if he thinks he’s hogging this one – “Daddy can think again if he thinks he’s hogging this one”

Head Some heads from here were out on a work thing – “Some folk from here were out on a work thing” We’ll get you home, head, don’t you worry – “We’ll get you home, mate, don’t you worry”

Head on me Imagine the head on me if I’ve left the car keys at work – “Think how I’d feel if I’ve left the car keys at work”

Heartbroken We’d have her heartbroken looking for us – “We’d have her tearing her hair out looking for us”

Heart-scald Aren’t you the heart-scald – “Aren’t you the heartbreaker” She has my heart scalded with her tales of woe – “She’s made me absolutely miserable with her tales of woe”

Here Ah, here, I’m trying to be serious – Interjection

Hickey Look at that hickey oul skirt on her – “Look at that unfashionable old skirt she’s got on”

Hidey-hole Her hidey-hole – “Her lady bits”

High doh He’s up to high doh about it – “He’s very upset about it”

Hinging He made a great ruin for having been so well built, those big hinging bones . . . – “He aged well because he’d been so well built – those big ?? bones . . .”

Holy Holy fuck! – Exclamation Holy God! – Exclamation Holy Mother of sweet divine suffering – Interjection

Holy show Make a big holy show of you – “Show you right up” or “Make an example of you”

Hoor That hoor! – “That slut!” You useless hoor of a thing! – “You useless bastard of a thing”

Hop I feel like I’m going to hop a saucepan off the wall – “I feel like I’m going to bounce a saucepan off the wall” She’d hop off me – “She’d tell me tell me off”

Hopping Every pub will be hopping all day – “Every pub will be jumping all day”

Horse “She turned up in a bloody great Range Rover – what would you be doing bringing a horse of a car like that to Aldi anyway?”

Horsing Those girls were always horsing all sorts of tablets into themselves – Those girls were always scoffing all sorts of tablets”

Hosed She was totally hosed – “She was completely pissed”

Hot snot They’re in like hot snots at a table with Mammy – “They’re in like a shot to a table with Mum” She’s over to Don like a hot snot, twisting him into all sorts of selfies – “She’s over to Don in a flash, twisting him into all sorts of selfies”

Hoult You’re a fine hoult of a woman – “You’re a fine figure of a woman”

Hound I look like a bit of a hound in it – “I look like a minger in it”

How are you Live in London, how are you! – “Live in London, what are you like!”

Howya Howya? – “How are you?”

I

In I’m in college with Jane – “I’m at college with Jane” Wasn’t it lucky that I just happened in? – “Wasn’t it lucky that I just happened to be in?” She’s in a very long time – “She’s been in there a very long time”

In her ear That bloody Pamela has been in her ear again – “That bloody Pamela has been bending her ear again

Into He said he’d drop us into Killarney Station – “He said he’d drop us off at Killarney Station” As they arrived into work – “As they arrived at work” Katherine sat into the banquette – “Katherine sat down in the banquette”

In bits He’s in bits about it – “He’s in pieces about it” or “He’s very upset about it”

In earnest Are you in earnest? – “”Are you serious about that?” or “Do you really mean that?”

In the nip Had they been sexting each other in the nip? – “Had they been sexting each other in the buff?”

In the full of her health She was always quiet, even when in the full of her health – “She was always quiet, even when she was in the best of health”

Is Especially once Paul is gone back – “Especially once Paul has gone back”

J

Jammers The pub’s jammers – “The pub’s jam-packed”

Jarred You could tell he was jarred – “You could tell he was pissed”

Jaxes In the jaxes – “In the lavatories”

Jayzus Jayzus, you’re late – “Jesus, you’re late”

Jesus Christ on a stick!, JesusmaryandallthesaintsExclamations

Jig time You’ll have a green card in jig time – “You’ll have a green card in no time”

Jingle Have you some jingle on you? – “Have you got some money on you?”

Joe Let’s call a joe – “Let’s call a taxi”

Johnny-on-the-spot He was Johnny-on-the-spot – “He was the right person in the right place”

Joking Are you joking me? – “Are you kidding me?” or “Are you messing with me?”

K

Keeping her between the ditches He’s keeping her between the ditches – “He’s keeping her on the straight and narrow” or “He’s helping her do ok”

Kick in the arse and a map of the world A kick in the arse and a map of the world, that’s what that fella needs – Saying expressing that someone’s lazy/no good/a fool

Killed She was killed apologising to me – “She couldn’t apologise enough”

Kip What a kip! – “What a grotty pad!”

Knacker I can’t go to Belfast looking like a knacker – “I can’t go to Belfast looking so unkempt” or “I can’t go to Belfast looking so scuzzy”

Knickers off it Scrubbing the knickers off it – “Giving it a good old scrubbing”

Knock a fidget It doesn’t knock a fidget out of him – “He’s not bothered at all”

Knock in I knocked in for you – “I called round for you”

L

Lack She has a bit of a lack – “She’s not all there” or “She’s a sandwich short of a picnic”

Lad Show us yer lad then! – Show us your cock then!”

Lads Lads, look what I’ve got! – “Girls, look what I’ve got!” Greeting applicable to either sex

Lady petrol Better go easy on the lady petrol – “Better go easy on the booze”

Land Poor auld Mammy got an awful land when I arrived back home – “Poor old Mum got an awful shock when I arrived back home

Langer Brian! You langer! – “Brian! You wanker!”

Lash He’s a lash – “He’s a dish” or “He’s really fanciable”

Last nerve I’m on my last nerve here – “I’m at the end of my tether here”

Last day Tornado Flyer wouldn’t settle, and jumped to his left the last day – “Tornado Flyer wouldn’t settle, and jumped to his left the last time he raced”

Last while I thought he’d been a bit distracted for the last while – “I thought he’d been a bit distracted for the a while”

Leather it home ‘Sure you’re out now,’ she cajoles. ‘You might as well leather it home’ – “‘Sure you’re out now,’ she cajoles. ‘You might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb’”

Leave them off They weren’t involved, leave them off – “They weren’t involved, don’t bother about them” or “They weren’t involved, leave them out of it” She knows what she’s talking about, so I leave her off – She knows what she’s talking about, so I let it go”

Leave you I’ll leave you to the door, then – “I’ll take you to the door then”

Left He left it back – “He gave it back” When he left me home – “When he took me home”

Legger She’s done a legger – “She’s done a runner”

Lepped, Lepper Douvan lepped over the last like a good horse – “Douvan jumped over the last like a good horse” That horse is a great lepper – “That horse is a great jumper”

Let, Letting He’s let use the van after work – “He’s allowed to use the van after work” I let her away with so many insults – “I let her get away with insulting me so much” Letting myself away – “Letting myself get away with”

Lick it off a stone Mum! I ask you. Niamh definitely didn’t lick it off a stone – “Mum! I ask you. Niamh definitely gets her posh manners from somewhere” I have a good eye for matching and I didn’t lick it off a stone – “I have a good eye for matching – must be inborn”

Listen Listen, a blanket would cover the lot of them – Interjection

Lit into me He lit into me for that – “He gave me a right telling-off for that”

Loaf I loaf the pill into my gob – “I neck the pill”

Loaner Is it yours or just a loaner? – “Is it yours or is it just borrowed?”

Lob the gob He lobbed the gob on Angela – “He snogged Angela”

Locked She’s really locked – “She’s really drunk”

Lofty That lofty fella – “That very tall chap”

Look or Lookit Look, we think Samcro’s something special – Interjection And sure “lookit nobody died” – Interjection

Loolah I had to hide my loolah – “I had to hide my lady bits”

Loo-lah He eventually found his phone in some other loo-lah’s pocket – He eventually found his phone in some other air-head’s pocket”

Looper Another looper – “Another idiot”

Lord Holy God! Exclamation

Losing the head at you I already feel guilty for losing the head at him – “I already feel guilty for losing my rag with him”

Losing the run of yourself She’s lost the run of herself completely – “She’s lost the plot completely” or “She’s abandoned all common sense”

Louser That louser! – “That louse!” or “That bastard!”

Love of God For the love of God, woman, get a move on – “For God’s sake, woman, get a move on”

M

Mad I’m mad looking forward to it – “I’m really looking forward to it”

Mad for road After my day at the office, I’m mad for road tonight! – “After my day at the office, I can’t wait to get out tonight!” Now she’s left school, she’s mad for road – “Now she’s left school, she’s dying to travel” or “Now she’s left school, she’s got itchy feet”

Made feel She has to be made feel crap about herself – “She has to be made to feel crap about herself”

Madzers, Madsers They’re a bunch of madzers in there – They’re a bunch of crazy people in there”

Make an onion cry She had a face on her that would make an onion cry – “Her face would sour milk”

Make a wee When I got up off the couch to make a wee – “When I got up off the sofa for a pee”

Making a bags of He’s making a bags of that job all right – “He’s making a balls of that job all right” or “He’s making a mess of that job all right”

Making maggots The dirty plates in his room were making maggots – “The dirty plates in his room were a health hazard”

Mam or Mammy I’m telling my Mam – “I’m telling my Mum”

The man who made time made plenty of it The man who made time made plenty of itSaying expressing the Irish approach to time

Meladdo She waggled her bum right in meladdo’s face – “She waggled her bum right in that chap’s face”

Merciful hour! Merciful hour! Whatever next! – Exclamation of surprise

Messages She’s gone for the messages – “She’s gone to get some shopping”

Messer, Messing He’s just messing with you – “He’s just teasing you” or “He’s just winding you up”

Mickey His mickey’s nothing to write home about – “His cock’s nothing to write home about” She’s mad for mickey – “She’s sex-mad”

Mighty It’s mighty to see you, Paul – “It’s brilliant to see you, Paul”

Mind I should be minding him – “I should be looking after him”

Mind is away Oh, forgive me! My mind is away! – “Oh, forgive me! I don’t know what I’m saying!”

Mind mice at a crossroads He’d mind mice at a crossroads, that fella – “He’s a smart chap, that feller”

Misfortunate I’m the most misfortunate man alive – “I’m the most unfortunate man alive”

Missus How-de-do, Missus – “How are you, Mrs” –General form of address to women

Mitch, Mitching He was on the mitch – “He was bumming” or “He was trying to cadge off me” He got caught mitching – “He got caught shoplifting” or “He got caught pinching stuff”

Mither Don’t mither me now! – “Don’t bother me now!” or “Stop moaning at me now!” or “Stop making a fuss now”

More meat on a tinker’s stick after a good row There’d be more meat on a tinker’s stick after a good row – “He’s a really skinny person”

More power to you Well, more power to you, son – “Well, more power to your elbow, son”

Mortified Wouldn’t you be mortified? The Irish use this fine word more in general conversation than Brits do

Mother of Divine!Exclamation

Mother of God herself on the Cliffs of Moher! Strong exclamation

Move home I’m going to move home – “I’m going to move back home”

Murdered Balko Des Flos [horse] was murdered with his shins last season – “Balko Des Flos had loads of trouble with his shins last season”

N

Naggin She was pushing a naggin of vodka into my hand – “She was pushing a miniature of vodka into my hand”

Nail jelly to the wall Getting them to go to bed and stay there was like trying to nail jelly to the wall – “Getting them to go to bed and stay there was like trying to herd cats”

Neck The neck of her! – The cheek of her!

Nerves are at him The nerves are at him – “He’s anxious” or “He’s depressed”

Next day We’ll step him up in trip to three miles the next day – “We’ll step him up in trip to three miles the next time he runs”

No harm He has no harm in him – “He means no harm”

No length Lorna was in the doctor’s no length – “Lorna was in the doctor’s no time at all”

None of it I’m having none of it – “I’m not having it” or “I won’t allow you to do that”

Not a Jesus, it’s nearly nine o’clock, and not a child in the house washed – “Jesus, it’s nearly nine o’clock and none of the children have had a bath” Not a sinner knows I’m here – “Not a single person knows I’m here” Christmas dinner in Melbourne, and not a roast potato between them!

Not a bother There’s not a bother on him – “He’s carefree as can be” or “He’s not bothered at all”

Not to mind She doesn’t have the money to get to the airport, not to mind the States – “She doesn’t have the money to get to the airport, never mind the States”

Notion, Notiony Talking about some notiony kind of sheep’s cheese – “Talking about some kind of high-faluting sheep’s cheese” or “Talking about some up-it’s-arse sheep’s cheese” You could go horse riding on a Saturday morning if you wanted but Mammy wasn’t able for the notions – “You could go horse riding on a Saturday morning if you wanted but Mum wasn’t up for such fancy nonsense”

Now Now, you wouldn’t want to be thinking that Do you want this, now, or may I have it? – Interjection

O

On Waiting on us – “Waiting for us” I was getting a few bits on my lunch break – “I was getting a few bits in my lunch break”

On for it Would you be on for it? – “Would you be up for it?”

On her And those boots! I’ve a good mind to throw them out on her – “And those boots! I’ve a good mind to throw them out whether she likes it or not”

On the She put three lamb chops on the pan – “She put three lamb chops in the frying pan” I’m on the way – “I.m on my way”

On the pig’s back We’d be on the pig’s back – “We’ll be high on the hog” or “We’ll be doing well”

On top of you Sorry to arrive on top of you like this – “Sorry to arrive out of the blue like this” or “Sorry to arrive all of a sudden like this”

Once Once she doesn’t get all maudlin on us – “As long as she doesn’t get all maudlin on us” You can sleep here once you don’t snore – “You can sleep here as long as you don’t snore”

Only It’s only brilliant – “It’s simply brilliant” And only I’m always so up to speed with my work – “It’s only because I’m so up to speed with my work”

Open My lace is open – “My lace is undone”

Ossified He was so ossified by midnight that… – “He was so pissed by midnight that…”

Oul wan, Oul fella All the oul’ wans in our road love him – “All the old ladies in our road love him” The local oul’ fella barber – “The local old-school barber”

Oul stocking meets an old shoe Every oul’ stocking meets an oul’ shoe – “There’s a lid for every pot”

Out Do you fancy going on a holiday – like out foreign, for some winter sun? – “Do you fancy going on a holiday – like abroad, for some winter sun?” It’s about quarter of a mile out that road – “It’s about quarter of a mile along that road”

Out of That crowd out of Quinard – “That crowd from Quinard”

Out of that Get away out of that – “Get out of there”

Out of the day It felt good to be out of the day – “Thank God that day’s over!”

Out the country We have old relations out the country – We have old relations in the countryside”

Out the door The doctor’s out the door with people today – “He’s extremely busy” or “He’s chock-a-block with patients today”

Oxters Up to his oxters in hock – “Up to his armpits in hock”

P

Pain in the hole Hi Kevin you big pain in the hole! What’s the craic? – “Hi Kevin you big wanker! What’s happenin’?”

Pan Get us a sliced pan – “Get us a sliced loaf”

Peel an orange in his pocket He’d peel an orange in his pocket – “He’s frugal” or “He loves a bargain”

Peelers I instructed Mam to look up the number for the Kilmacud peelers – “I instructed Mum to look up the number for the Kilmacud coppers”

Peg She was seen pegging lumps of coal at the curate – “She was seen chucking lumps of coal at the curate”

Pick Sure you need fattening up, there isn’t a pick on you – “Sure you need fattening up, there isn’t an ounce of fat on you”

Pig’s mickey I’m making a pig’s mickey out of it – “I’m making a right mess of it” or “I’m making a cock-up of it”

Pin of his collar Gordon Elliott has pushed Willie Mullins to the pin of his collar in the Irish Trainers Championship – “Gordon Elliott has pushed Willie Mullins to the limit in the Irish Trainers Championship”

Pinkeens We spent many a day that summer trying to catch pinkeens in a net – “We spent many a day that summer trying to catch minnows in a net”

Piss-catchers He was a boot-cut jeans and piss-catchers man through and through – leather shoes with raised stitching on the uppers

Pissed me leg I nearly pissed me leg – “I was overjoyed”

Please God The horse’ll come home safe, please GodExclamation

Plenty It’s plenty grand here – “It’s very grand here”

Poor divil The nicest poor divil in the whole world

Press There’s a whole press of mugs in his bedroom – “There’s a whole load of mugs in his bedroom”

Press, hot press Put the sheets away in the hot press, would you darlin’? – “Put the sheets away in the airing cupboard, would you darlin’?”

Pure She looked at me like I was pure mental – “She looked at me like I was completely bonkers”

Purely My sister says I purely like her ‘cos she’s unattainable – “My sister says I only like her ‘cos she’s unattainable”

Problems up the frock She’s got bad problems up the frock – “She’s got bad women’s problems”

Pull the piss out of him We’re going to pull the piss out of him – “We’re going to take the piss out of him”

Put Ma has put the guilts on me – “Ma has made me feel guilty” Put some hurting on them posh girls! – “Make those posh girls suffer a bit!”

Putting manners on him He needs manners putting on him – “He need to be made to behave”

Putting in the day I need to find some way of putting in the day – “I need to find a way of passing time”

Put the heart crossways on me Your sister put the heart crossways on me – “Your sister gave me a terrible fright”

Q

Queer He must have driven queer fast – “He must have driven bloody fast” or “He must have driven remarkably fast” The film last week was queer frightening – “The film last week was really frightening”

R

Rag order The emigration has us in rag order – “The emigration has put us in a bad state”

Rasher Two rashers please – “Two slices of bacon, please”

Reef I reefed the car away from the pavement – “I peeled the car away from the pavement” I longed to reef myself out of the dress – “I longed to tear myself out of the dress” Reef them off – “Force them away”

Reeled Hannah cried louder, and her mother reeled and cried – “Hannah cried louder, and her mother wailed and cried”

Ribbons The three of us are in ribbons, laughing – “The three of us are in stitches, laughing”

Ride Ride – “Shag” He’s a ride – “He’s shaggable” or “He’s fanciable” He rides rings around himself – “He shags around”

Right It’s right marvellous – “It’s really marvellous” Brought him right straight into A&E – “Brought him straight into A&E” Right so – “Ok” or “Right you are” Right enough – “Sure enough” Are you right? – “Are you ok?” or “Are you ready?”

Rinse I’ll rinse him for worrying Mammy like that – “I’ll give him a right telling off for worrying Mum like that”

Rip I’d been behaving like a right rip – “I’d been behaving like a bitch” or “I’d been in a right strop” The cheek of that woman! A rip of a one – “The cheek of that woman! What a madam”

Roaring The children were roaring to be fed – “The children were in an uproar to be fed” There was a man and a woman in a car roaring at each other – “There was a man and a woman in a car yelling at each other”

Round there That’s just off the sea road round there in Sandymount – “That’s just off the sea road over there in Sandymount” or “That’s just off the sea road along there in Sandymount”

Runner Her runners were all scuffed – “Her trainers were all scuffed”

Running Pat Curran is forever running people who’ve hopped the wall to download a podcast – “Pat Curran is forever chasing off people who’ve hopped the wall to download a podcast”

S

Sacred Sacred Heart of Jesus, how could I be so tactless Sacred Divine! – Exclamations

Sambos Wrap up a few sambos for later, would ya? – “Wrap up a few sandwiches for later, would you?”

Sangers Bring some sangers – “Bring some sandwiches”

Savage That’s savage – “That’s brilliant” Savage! Exclamation expressing enthusiasm

Says ‘I won’t,’ says he. ‘You will,’ says I – “’I won’t,’ he said. ‘You will,’ I said”

Scalded The whole thing has the head scalded off me – “The whole thing has put me in a right state”

Scared sideways He had me scared sideways on his bike – “He had me petrified on his bike”

Scarlet for him I’m scarlet for him – “I’m absolutely mortified for him” or “I’m totally embarrassed for him”

Scoops Come over for a few scoops – “Come over for a few drinks”

Scratcher He’s great in the scratcher – “He’s great in bed”

Scrubbing the knickers off it I found her washing the car and scrubbing the knickers off it – “I found her washing the car and giving it a good old seeing to”

Scut Layve my daughter alone, you scut – “Leave my daughter alone, you piece of shit”

Scuttle You must have given her a helluva scuttling last night – “You must have given her a helluva shagging last night “

Scuttered We were absolutely scuttered – “We were absolutely plastered”

Seed, breed and generation I know them seed, breed and generation – “I know all about them and theirs”

Settle yourself Settle yourself, Aisling – “Calm down, Aisling”

Sickening That’s sickening sweet – “That’s horribly sweet”

Shag up Those lights shag up the traffic entirely – “Those lights bugger up the traffic completely”

Shamed from a height He was shamed from a height for cheating – “He was properly shamed for cheating”

Share I’ve gone through a share of handbags – “I’ve gone through a load of handbags”

Shift She tried to find out if he wanted to shift her – “She tried to find out if he wanted to kiss her” or “She tried to find out if he wanted to make out with her” Ended up shifting the heads off each other – “Ended up snogging the faces off each other” Her shift in Mangroves never got back in touch – The guy she’d snogged in Mangroves never got back in touch”

Shite It’d annoy the shite out of you – “It’d annoy the shit out of you” People shiteing on about… – “People going on about . . .” He was giving out shite about the mess – “He was going on about the mess”

Shnakey They can be very shnakey like that – “They can be very sneaky like that”

Skanger, Scanger Don’t mind them, they’re just scangers – “Don’t mind them, they’re just chavs” Typically skangers are associated with aggressive attitudes, lack of respect for the police force, anti-social behaviour, street drinking and drug abuse.

Skinnymalinks She’s a right skinnymalinks – “She’s a really skinny girl”

Slag Let’s slag people we went to school with – “Let’s slag off people we went to school with”

Sleveen Her sleveen of a husband – “Her cheat of a husband” or “Her no-good husband” That little sleveen! – “That tricky little cow!”

Smell of There’s a fierce smell of want coming off her – “She was gagging for it”

Snotted I went and snotted myself – “I fell over on my face” or “I fell and hit my nose”

Snuff at a wake He flung compliments around like snuff at a wake – “He flung compliments around with abandon”

So That’s grand so So he did Ah, bye so Have you family here? A boyfriend, so? ‘I haven’t read a paper since 1996,’ she said. ‘Not much profit in buying one, so, he agreed’ Interjection denoting “then”, or sometimes “perhaps”, “therefore” etc

So they are They’re dotes, so they areInterjection

Soft day, It’s a soft day, thank God – Cloudy weather with soft mist or drizzle (typical Irish weather)

Some She’d give you some look – “She’d give you quite a look” He gave that horse some ride – “He gave that horse a great ride”

Sorry for your loss I’m sorry for your lossExpression of condolence

Sorry-looking He’s a sorry-looking article – “He’s a miserable-looking specimen”

Sound She’s a sound woman – “She’s to be trusted” or “She’s got what it takes” He was sound to me that night in Grogan’s – “He behaved decently toward me that night in Grogan’s”

Spendy She’s spendy – “She’s got expensive tastes” or “She’s a spendthrift”

Spin I’ve to spin down the town to get a card – “I’ve got to nip into town to get a card”

Split She’s the split of her mother – “She’s the spit of her mother”

Sport She sported a neon bikini – “She displayed a neon bikini” or “She showed off a neon bikini”

Stand to This will stand to her in the long run – “This will stand her in good stead in the long run”

Stocious or Stotious He was just stocious! – “He was totally pissed”

Stone I think they’re stone mad – “I think they’re absolutely bonkers”

Stood into Someone stood into the revolving door – “Someone stepped into the revolving door”

Stop the lights Well, stop the lights! – “Get on with you!” or “Well I never!”

Stories I’ll be watching my stories on the box – “I’ll be watching my soaps on the box”

Strand Rain wouldn’t stop them going to the strand – “Rain wouldn’t stop them going to the beach”

Streeling Streeling around the streets – “Reeling around the streets in a dissipated way”

Streely Her hair streely and straggly – “Her hair bedraggled and straggly”

Stretch in the evenings A grand stretch in the evenings – “The days are getting longer”

Strong line Every town he’s been in he does a strong line, and then drops her when he moves – “Every town he’s been in he chats some girl up like crazy, and then drops her when he moves”

Sure Sure, it’s only right – Interjection

Swinging out of Orla was swinging out of one of them – “Orla was hanging off of one of them” I was at her for absolutely swinging out of my best face cream – “I was at her for getting stuck into my best face cream”

Swizzer What a swizzer! – “What a con merchant!”

T

Take Will you take a drink, Christy? – “Will you have a drink, Christy?” He had drink taken – “He’d had a drink or two”

Take a feather out of her She made a right show of herself, but seemingly it didn’t take a feather out of her – “She made an absolute fool of herself, but it didn’t seem to take her down a peg at all”

Take the mouth off you Those toffees would take the mouth off you – “Those toffees are bloody hard!”

Take the eyes out of your head Trainers that would take the eyes out of your head, they’re that white – “Trainers that would half blind you, they’re that white”

Take the night’s sleep off of you The tailbacks would take the night’s sleep off of you – “ The tailbacks are just shocking”

Talking off He’s only talking off – “He’s just shooting his mouth off”

Tap out She knows when to tap out – “She knows when to stop” or “She knows when to get out”

Tapped His whole family is tapped – “His whole family is nutty”

That’s in it It’s a cracking day – will we grab a bag of cans and go to the beach? Ah sure, we have to, for the day that’s in it! – “It’s a cracking day – will we grab a bag of cans and go to the beach? Ah sure, we have to as it’s such a great day” But of course, the morning that’s in it, no-one’s even thinking of getting dressed – “We’re all in such a state after last night, no-one’s even thinking of getting dressed”

That one No doubt about it, that one hopped on a plane – “No doubt about it, she hopped on a plane” She’ll have herself hula-hooped into an early grave, that one – “She’ll have herself hula-hooped into an early grave, that girl”

The I hear the Empire line is all the rage these days I fell out of bed with the laughing I nearly died of the fright Oh, I envy you the read of this I wasn’t going to take to the bed just because . . . I’d like to do something with the Psychology – Some Irish usages of the definite article

The The state of them! The size of her! – Exclamations

Them Just fling them things on the floor, pet – “Just fling those things on the floor, pet”

Thick Her friends are late and she feels like a thick standing on her own – “Her friends are late and she feels like an idiot standing on her own” What if that makes her thick with me? – “What if that makes her pissed off with me?”

Thick as bottled shite My da says they’re all as thick as bottled shite – “My dad says they’re all as thick as bricks”

Throw an eye Me trying to throw an eye to Call The Midwife – “Me trying to catch a glimpse of Call The Midwife”

Throw to He cut her off, and threw to an ad break – “He cut her off, and cut to an ad break”

Throwing digs Last I saw, you were throwing digs at him – “Last I saw, you were throwing punches at him”

Till Come on to the bathroom till we wash your hair – “Come on to the bathroom and then we’ll wash your hair” Come on till we go down for our chips – “Come on and we’ll go down for our chips” ‘So I sez, ‘Give us d’oul phone number till I ring her and ask her out.’ – “’So I said, ‘Give us her phone number and then I’ll ring her and ask her out.’”

Tip I decide to tip over to pass on the invitation – “I decide to nip over to pass on the invitation” or “I decide to pop over to pass on the invitation”

To I called around to her – “I called in on her”

To see She wondered if she’d know him to see – “She wondered if she’d know him if she saw him”

Towards The bus towards the airport is heaving – “The bus to the airport is heaving”

Throw him the eye, Throw an eye She threw him the eye – “She gave him the eye” I just want to be able to throw an eye at the soaps every now and then – “I just want to be able to grab a look at the soaps every now and then”

Thrun So I’m thrun on the bed in my good suit – “So I’m lain down on the bed in my good suit” or “So I’m flopped down on the bed in my good suit”

Took her to him Later Dan passed Hannah in the hall, and he took her to him, saying ,”Save me, Hannah” – “Later Dan passed Hannah in the hall, and he took her in his arms, saying ,”Save me, Hannah””

Topper He was a topper of a kid – “He was a great kid”

Tot “It’s a long tot,” she said – “”It’s a long bit of adding up,” she said”

Touch off Nobody will touch off them – “Nobody will have anything to do with them”

Traipsy She arrived in, all flowing hair and traipsy skirt and vague aspect – “She arrived in, all flowing hair and gypsy-ish skirt and vague aspect” or “She arrived in, all flowing hair and trollopy skirt and vague aspect”

Tree over a blessed well You’re like a tree over a blessed well – “You’re very gloomy-looking”

True for you True for you – “That’s true” or “Right enough”

Twisted Man, were we twisted – “Man, were we plastered”

U

Under the bonnet Moores the Chemist was much more understanding of ‘matters under the bonnet’ – Moores the Chemist was much more understanding of women’s problems”

Until What were you doing until this hour? – “Why are you so late?”

Up and down like a fiddlers elbow In the waiting room, Mammy is up and down like a fiddlers elbow He said he’d stumbled on this couple in a parked car with their arses going up and down like a fiddlers elbow!”

Up its own hole A bar that was so far up its own hole that it didn’t even have a name – “A bar that was so far up its arse that it didn’t even have a name”

Up the frock They’re given regular up-the-frock health checks – “ They’re given regular gynaecological health checks”

Up to ninety I can barely hear myself think I’m so up to ninety – “I can barely hear myself think I’m so het up” She could see I was up to ninety over it – “She could see I was in a right state over it”

W

Wagon She’s an almighty wagon – “She’s an awful bitch” or “She’s a formidable woman” Donna, you wagon! – “You brave thing, Donna!” or “You bold thing, Donna!”

Waked He told us that when it came to it, he wanted to be waked at home – “He told us that when it came to it, he wanted his wake to be held at home”

Wan Who’s yer wan? – “Who’s that?”

Was She was gone to Swords for a meeting – “She had gone to Swords for a meeting” I was shouting so hard my voice was gone that day – “I was shouting so hard my voice went that day”

Watch on I had been on series four when we split up, and I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch on – “I had been on series four when we split up,and I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch the rest of it”

Welcome for yourself You’ve got a great welcome for yourself – “You think bloody well of yourself, don’t you?” or “Well, you’re not modest!”

Well They all looked well – “They all looked good” Looking for the pins she knew well she’d had in her hair – “Looking for the pins she knew for sure that she’d had in her hair” It’s well for them that have the money to squander – “It’s alright for them that have the money to squander”

Well for it She’s just well for it – “She’s really up for it”

Is she well?; Would you be well Paintings that look like they were done by a three year old. Modern art. Would you be well – “Paintings that look like they were done by a three year old. Modern art. Are they thinking straight?” Would you be well buying those giant Toblerone at the airport? The price of them! – “Would it be a good idea buying those giant Toblerone at the airport? Surely not – the price of them!” Sadhbh offers to order us a taxi and we both nearly get sick.Is she well? – “Sadhbh offers to order us a taxi and we’re both flabbergasted. Is she in her right mind?” Would you be well asking your friends to get into the Irish Sea in January? – “Wouldn’t you be crazy asking your friends to get into the Irish Sea in January?”

Went through him for a short cut, Went through her I went through him for a short cut – “I was mad as hell at him” Mammy nearly went through her for calling me short – “Mammy gave her a right telling off for calling me short”

What’s for you won’t go by you or What’s for you won’t pass you What’s for you won’t go by you – “If it’s meant to happen, it’ll happen”

What harmWhat harm,’ Katherine consoled – “’No harm done,’ Katherine consoled”

What way are you? Nora, what way are you? – “Nora, what are you doing here?” or “Nora, fancy seeing you here – how are you?”

White as a shock of ghosts She turned white as a shock of ghosts – “She turned as pale as a ghost”

Wicked Tiger Roll was wicked impressive in the Grand National – Tiger Roll was really, really impressive in the Grand National”

Widda I bet he’s a right bastard and just goes around taking advantage of poor widda women, like me – “I bet he’s a right bastard and just goes around taking advantage of poor widows, like me”

Will I? Will I come and collect you? – “Shall I come and collect you?” I’ll shut the door behind me, will I? – “Shall I shut the door behind me?”

Withered God, I’m withered with this weather – “God, I’m perished with this weather”

Whole of Looking in the whole of his health – “Looking in the best of health”

Wisha! Wisha!Exclamation; expression of surprise

With yourself Hey, fuck off with yourself – “Hey, fuck off, you”

Work away Carry on, work away – “Carry on, go on with what you’re saying”

Work with There was more work with the tissue, which was now in shreds – “There was more sobbing into her tissue, which was now in shreds”

Would, Wouldn’t Would you not just give up on it? I’d say now, she would be your best bet You’d want to get out more Wouldn’t that scent do you good? Irish usages

Wouldn’t be a great man I wouldn’t be a great man for showing off or playing to the gallery – “I’m not much of a one for showing off or playing to the gallery”

Wouldn’t spend Christmas This fellow wouldn’t spend Christmas – “This chap is mean” or “This fellow’s tight”

Wreck-the-heads Her parents were wreck-the-heads – “Her parents were wasters”

Wrecked out I’m wrecked out with all the drama and the fighting – “I’m wrecked with all the drama and the fighting”

Y

Ya Ya know – “You know”

Yap Close your fat yap – “Shut your mouth” or “Shut up”

Ye I tell ye far too much – “I tell you far too much”

Yer man Look at yer man over there – “Look at that bloke over there” Yer man couldn’t care less – “This chap couldn’t care less” This expression has untranslatable nuances

Yerra Yerra, I’m not that fussed – Interjection

Yoke I like watching yokes on YouTube – pot-bellied pigs trampolining and the like How often have I spent time at your awful school sports yokes? – Another more-or-less untranslatable Irishism: a thing, contraption, whatnot, event etc

You You’d want to hear him on a Saturday night – “Christ, you should hear him on a Saturday night!” Would you leave that poor fella alone? – “Leave that poor bloke alone!” You can’t pour from an empty cup You can’t pour from an empty cup – “You’re thoroughly run down”

You’ve the life scared out of him – “You’re scaring the life out of him”

You’ll You’ll have a seat – “Do sit down”

You know yourself Grand, just back from Derry, getting a few bits and pieces, you know yourselfInterjection

Yourself Is it yourself? – “Is it you?”

Yoyos I’ve a purse full of yoyos now – “My purse is full of Euros now”

author headshot

Suki Pryce

Freelance Writer

Suki Pryce had a career in landscape management, including as Lecturer at Manchester University 1985-1993. She is now a Hand Reader (Palmist).

Speaks: English, French

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