Travel Tips

The Ultimate Irish Slang Guide

Date: 13 March, 2015
The Ultimate Irish Slang Guide
There are almost countless sayings, witticisms and slang words in the Irish vernacular. Some are regional while most are used country-wide. We've compiled the ones you'll most likely encounter and indeed can use yourself to fit in with the locals and avoid brain melting. This is the ultimate Irish slang guide!

"Craic" – fun and joyful revelry. Can also mean the details of a particular topic or news, in general.

This is a pretty well-known one but is essential.

Examples: “The pub last night was great craic”.  “ What's the craic with smoking inside? There's no smoking inside, but there's a beer garden out the back”.


"Gargle" – Beer

Refers to pints. One can go “on the gargle” meaning to go drinking.

Example: “Ah, a lifetime of garglin' has dimmed poor James' brain”


"Scuttered" – heavily intoxicated

This will no doubt be useful. There're as many words for drunk as there are pubs in Dublin

Example: “James is so scuttered he's having an argument with his reflection.”

Some others: Legless, bollocked, fucked, wrecked, Ossified, langard, rat-arsed, plastered, locked


"Hangin'" – hungover

Example: “ Keep the noise down please I am f**kin' hangin' ”

Others: Dyin', in bits


"The Fear" – The feeling the morning after the night before when you were so scuttered that you can't remember chunks of the night and have an unnerving sense that you managed to offend at least two of your friends and probably embarrassed yourself while trying to order a kebab from a cash machine.

Example: “What did I do last night? I'm crippled with the fear.”


"Deadly" – Very, very good.

Example: “That band last night were deadly”, “Deadly weather we're having today”

Other: savage


"Talent" – Sex appeal

Example: “The talent is mighty on the pub crawl tonight.”


"Throwing shapes" – to show off, swagger

Example: “Will ya look at the state of yer man on the dancefloor throwing shapes.”


"The Jacks" – The toilet

Example “Where's James? He's puking in the jacks.”


"Tight as a nun's knickers" – miserly, frugal

Example: “Is James out tonight? No, he doesn't want to spend money, he's as tight as a nun's knickers”.


"Culchie" – someone from the countryside, outside of Dublin

Example: “Ah I'm not going to Copper Face Jacks, the place will be full of culchies”.

Other: Mullagh, Muck-savage, Bogger


"Come here" or "C'mere-ta-me" – Listen now

This is a strange one to understand I guess, especially if you're already next to the person saying it, but it simply means, I'm about to say / ask you something.

Example “C'mere-ta-me, what's the craic with James shouting at the mirror? He's scuttered.”


"Grand" – All is well. Also, something which is good

Example “How is your mother?” “she's grand thanks for asking."


"Feck" – a more polite word for fuck and a universal qualification for anything.

Example: “Feck off”. “That is fecking awesome”. “Where the feck did I leave my fecking keys?”


"Story" – what's happening?

Example: “Story James?”

This is a shortened version of “what's the story”. It's usually a greeting like “How-are-ya?” which doesn't necessarily expect an answer. Example “Story James?” James: “ah how-are-ya?"



"Yoke" – anything really. Usually used in place of the correct word for that to which you are referring. An all-purpose noun for everything from a hammer to a jet engine.

Example: “pass that yoke to me please"


"Cute hoor" – Someone who is cunning

Example: “James figured out a way to get 30% off he's car insurance, the cute hoor”.


Sound – relaible, honourable, very nice

Example: “James is so sound, he covered my shift this morning even though he was hangin' from being scuttered last night”.


So there ye have it, you'll be able to impress us when you arrive with your new found lingo while having feckin' deadly craic getting langared.


Mike Wrach


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