125 Irish Slang Words and Phrases to Sound Like a True Local

Ireland is the second largest island in the world, just next to Great Britain. The island comprises lush fields, but thousands of years ago, it was covered in a thick blanket of ice. Beautiful cliffs overlooking the ocean will definitely take anyone’s breath away. Therefore, Ireland has been one of the most recommended destinations for people who love to travel and explore the world.

If you want to visit Ireland and experience the culture, food, and history of the country, then you should get to know Irish slang words so you can sound like an Irish person. Below, we have 125 Irish slang words and Irish slang phrases you should learn. This way, you won’t have a hard time understanding locals that often use Irish expressions.

So, if you are excited to learn about Irish slang words, let’s start now! We listed all of them in alphabetical order and provided you with examples for each slang.

Irish Slang Words and Phrases (In Alphabetical Order)

A

A bad dose

  • Meaning: (Expression) “A bad dose” is one of the most used Irish expressions when someone is having a bad day. It is often used vulgarly, but can also be used in day-to-day conversations.
  • Example: It’s been a bad dose since morning. I’m tired already!

A cute hoor

  • Meaning: (Phrase) “A cute hoor” is used to describe a person who can turn any situation into one that can benefit him or her using crafty ways.
  • Example: She’s a cute hoor for always getting what she wants.

A good day for drying

  • Meaning: (Expression) The expression “a good day for drying” means that the sun is out, and it’s a sunny day, perfect for drying clothes.
  • Example: Finally, it’s a good day for drying!

A grand aul day

  • Meaning: (Expression) A grand aul day is an expression used in Ireland when the weather is perfect.
  • Example: What a grand aul day it is. Let’s go on a picnic!

Act the maggot

  • Meaning: (Expression) The term “acting the maggot” is when an Irish person deems to mess around instead of doing what he or she is supposed to be doing.
  • Example: Are you done with schoolwork? You’re acting the maggot.

All lured

  • Meaning: (Adjective) The Irish slang “all lured” denotes a feeling of delight towards someone or something.
  • Example: I’m all lured to see you today.

B

Baked

  • Meaning: (Noun) Baked is another name for the mouth or face. It is mostly heard in Northern Ireland.
  • Example: Shut your bake! I cannot stand another word from you.

Banjaxed

  • Meaning: (Adjective) Banjaxed is an Irish slang word that can either mean a person is drunk, brokenhearted, or tired.
  • Example: Please don’t tease me, I’m banjaxed.

Bang on

  • Meaning: (Phrase) The phrase “bang on” is used as a response when someone is asking how you are. It means “good.”
  • Example: How is school? Bang on! You?

Beamer

  • Meaning: (Verb) The old Irish slang “beamer” means that a person is going red all over the face because of embarrassment.
  • Example: You’re a beamer, aren’t ya? No need to be embarrassed.

Beour

  • Meaning: (Noun) The word “beour” is Irish slang for an attractive girl.
  • Example: G’day beour. Let me help you with your things.

Be wide

  • Meaning: (Phrase) The Irish phrase “be wide” is what the locals used to tell a person to be careful.
  • Example: I’m glad to spend time with you this summer. Be wide, my friend!

Bollox

  • Meaning: (Noun) Bollox is Irish slang for testicles. This word is often associated with the expression “go and bollox” and is deemed offensive.
  • Example: Continue with that behavior and I’ll tell everyone you’re a bollox!

Bog

  • Meaning: (Noun) The term “bog” is an Irish word for people of the lowest class.
  • Example: He’s a bog. How will he give you the life you’ve always dreamed of?

Bout ye

  • Meaning: (Expression) The expression “bout ye” means “how are you doing?” in Irish slang.
  • Example: Bout ye, dear? Let’s hang soon!

Bucketing down

  • Meaning: (Expression) Bucketing down is one of the most used Irish slang phrases when there is a heavy downpour of rain.
  • Example: Don’t forget your raincoat and boots. It’s bucketing down outside.

C

C’mere to me

  • Meaning: (Expression) “C’mere to me” is an expression that has a few meanings. First, you can use this to ask someone to come near you because he or she wants to say something to you. Also, this expression can be used when you want someone to come near you, so you can say something to him or her.
  • Example: C’mere to me and tell me why your mother is furious again.

Chancer

  • Meaning: (Noun) A chancer is a person who takes a chance on anything, especially when there’s an opportunity for him or her to become successful.
  • Example: My son is a chancer, alright. I’m very proud of him.

Chiseler

  • Meaning: (Noun) The word chiseler in the Irish language means a small child or a youngster.
  • Example: You better teach the chiseler not to mess with my things.

Ciotog

  • Meaning: (Noun) Ciotog is Irish Gaelic for left-handed people. There are only a few left-handed people compared to right-handed people even today.
  • Example: Wow, you are a ciotog. That must be why you have good penmanship.

Class

  • Meaning: (Adjective) Class is another term for “good” in Ireland.
  • Example: This ice cream is just class. I have no other words.

Clown

  • Meaning: (Noun) In Irish slang, the word “clown” is a person who is silly and loves to joke all the time.
  • Example: That’s so funny. You are such a clown!

Craic

  • Meaning: (Noun) In Irish sayings, the word craic means the news, gossip, joke, or scoop spread by the word of mouth.
  • Example: Where do you get this bizarre craic? I hope you’re only making it up.

Cracking

  • Meaning: (Expression) The word “cracking” is another Irish slang for “good.” It is mostly used in Northern Ireland.
  • Example: I’m cracking! How ’bout you?

Culchie

  • Meaning: (Noun) Even though Ireland seems to only have vast fields and beautiful views, they also have cities. In Irish slang, people who live in the countryside are called “culchie.”
  • Example: I have never seen these people in the city. Maybe they are culchie.

D

Dander

  • Meaning: (Verb) The term dander is used in everyday conversation and means to “walk.”
  • Example: Why don’t we go on dander and have a picnic?

Dead on

  • Meaning: (Adjective) “Dead on” is a phrase used when a person is hot or good-looking. It also means “good.”
  • Example: Wow, your boyfriend sure is dead on!

Deadly

  • Meaning: (Adjective) To many of us, deadly means something dangerous that could lead to death when done. But in the Irish slang dictionary, deadly means outstanding or cool.
  • Example: You have an excellent eye for art. This piece is deadly.

Did I fuck

  • Meaning: (Expression) The expression “Did I fuck” is used when a person sarcastically means he or she did not do the thing the other person was asking.
  • Example:Friend 1: Did you take out the trash?

    Friend 2: Did I fuck?

    Friend 1: I keep telling you!

Donkey’s years

  • Meaning: (Expression) The expression “donkey’s years” in the Irish slang dictionary is used when a long time has gone without seeing another person or doing something a person wants.
  • Example: It’s been a donkey’s years since I had a day off.

Dope

  • Meaning: (Adjective) In Ireland, dope has a different meaning from the American version of the word. The Irish term is another word for a stupid person.
  • Example: You’re so dope, you can’t even pass a simple exam.

Dote

  • Meaning: (Adjective) The word “dote” is used to describe a person who is adorable.
  • Example: Your baby is a dote!

Dryshite

  • Meaning: (Adjective) Dryshite is used in Ireland to describe a person, thing, or situation that is boring.
  • Example: This party is dryshite. Is there anywhere else we can go?

E

Eat the head off

  • Meaning: (Expression) In Irish slang words, the term “eat the head off” is used when someone is furious with another person.
  • Example: I will eat the head off of him for saying such horrible things!

Eejit

  • Meaning: (Noun) An eejit is a person who acts stupid or is just a plain idiot. The word comes from how Irish people pronounce “idiot.”
  • Example: He is such an eejit for breaking your heart!

F

Faffing

  • Meaning: (Verb) Faffing is used by Irish people when a person is pretending to do something or acting like he or she is doing something but with no half measures.
  • Example: You’ve been in your room faffing all day but failed to clean it!

Fair play

  • Meaning: (Expression) Fair play is an Irish expression that means “good job” or “well done.” This expression is mostly used after winning a game or congratulating someone’s success.
  • Example: I heard you got promoted. Fair play!

Feck

  • Meaning: (Expression) In Irish lingo, feck is the f word, which is a funny way of saying it. If you love the series Father Ted, then you’ll hear this expression often used throughout the series.
  • Example: Feck, I forgot to charge my phone!

Fella

  • Meaning: (Noun) Fella is Irish slang for a boy or a man at any age.
  • Example: Hey, there, young fella. Would you mind helping me carry my belongings?

Fine

  • Meaning: (Adjective) When an Irish person says fine, he or she is referring to a beautiful person, thing, or place.
  • Example: You are a fine young lady, so don’t let any man break your heart.

Flutered

  • Meaning: (Adjective) Flutered is used to describe a person who is drunk.
  • Example: You were flutered last night, weren’t ya?

G

Gas

  • Meaning: (Adjective) Gas, in Irish slang, is not the gas we used to operate a car or cook our food. Gas is used when someone or something is funny.
  • Example: Let me see the video again. It’s gas!

Geebag

  • Meaning: (Noun) A geebag is a woman who is not pleasant. She can be mean or acts unrespectable.
  • Example: Why are you with that geebag? have you no shame?!

Give it a lash

  • Meaning: (Expression) The Irish phrase “give it a lash” is used to encourage a person to pursue something or “give it a go.”
  • Example: Wow, a promotion sounds good. Give it a lash!

Give me a shot

  • Meaning: (Expression) “Give me a shot” is one of the most common Irish phrases you’ll hear when you’re in Ireland. if a person wants to try something and convinces another person that he or she could do it, he or she uses “give me a shot.”
  • Example: Don’t be skeptical. Give me a shot.

Giving out

  • Meaning: (Verb) giving out is Irish slang for complaining or ranting about something unpleasant.
  • Example: She’s giving out in the living room, but I don’t understand her.

Glunterpeck

  • Meaning: (Noun) The term “glunterpeck” is another word for a stupid person.
  • Example: Where did you get these eggs, you glunterpeck? These are all bad!

Go and Bollox

  • Meaning: (Expression) “Go and bollox” is the Irish way of saying you are not agreeing with what a person is saying to you.
  • Example: Go and bollox if you think you can get me to agree with you.

Gobdaw

  • Meaning: (Adjective) The word “gobdaw” is Irish slang that’s used to describe a stupid person.
  • Example: If you ask me, he’s a gobdaw.

Gobshite

  • Meaning: (Adjective) Gobshite is used to describe an incompetent person. It is also used as an insult.
  • Example: What is this mess? You are such a gobshite!

Gombeen

  • Meaning: (Adjective) The word “gombeen” comes from the old Irish language that is used to describe a person who is dodgy.
  • Example: The man you were with is gombeen. Don’t go anywhere alone with him.

Gone from

  • Meaning: (Phrase) The phrase “gone from” means that a person is away or has left.
  • Example: He’s gone from the house early this morning. I’m not sure when he’ll be back.

Good of it

  • Meaning: (Expression) The expression “good of it” is another way of saying that something is great.
  • Example: Wow, this hotel is the good of it!

Good woman

  • Meaning: (Expression) The expression “good woman” is an exclamation used when a person is surprised or in disbelief.
  • Example: Good woman! I thought you passed out!

Goon

  • Meaning: (Noun) A goon is Irish slang for a man who’s so drunk he becomes too loud and too much to handle.
  • Example: You’re acting like a goon! We only had a few shots of whiskey.

Gowl

  • Meaning: (Noun) Gowl is another word for “eejit” that is used as an insult in Ireland.
  • Example: You gowl! You threw away all the important documents!

Grand

  • Meaning: (Expression) The Irish expression “grand” is used as a response to questions like “How are you?”, “How are you doing?” and many more. It is often used sarcastically.
  • Example: How am I? I’m grand!

H

Hallion

  • Meaning: (Noun) A hallion is a person who is worthless. This term is used as a derogatory word.
  • Example: I can’t believe you turned into a hallion! After everything I have done for you!

Hammered

  • Meaning: (Verb) Just like everybody, Irish people love to party and sometimes get drunk. Hammered is the word Irish people use when they drink too much and get intoxicated.
  • Example: We were hammered last night, but I loved every minute of it!

Having the craic

  • Meaning: (Phrase) “Having the craic” means a person is ready to listen to the latest news of gossip.
  • Example: Let’s go. I’m having the craic this instant.

Houl yer whisht

  • Meaning: (Expression) The expression “houl yer whisht” is used when a person is trying to tell others to keep quiet.
  • Example: Houl yer whisht! I can’t understand the news!

How ya doin’, hey?

  • Meaning: (Greeting) This Irish greeting is often used when a person comes home from the pub.
  • Example: How ya doin’, hey? Can you still walk?

How ya getting on?

  • Meaning: (Greeting) The greeting “How ya getting on?” is used when two people have not seen or talked to each other in a while.
  • Example: Hey! How ya getting on? How many years has it been since we saw each other?

How’s the form?

  • Meaning: (Greeting) The term “how’s the form?” is a greeting when you unexpectedly see a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while.
  • Example: Hey, how’s the form? You look well! Let’s talk soon when we’re not busy.

Howsagoin’?

  • Meaning: (Greeting) “Howsagoin'” is an Irish greeting when two people come across each other but don’t have time to talk.
  • Example: Howsagoin’? I’m in a hurry, so let’s talk soon!

How’s she cutting?

  • Meaning: (Greeting) “How’s she cutting” is an expression used when you are overly excited upon seeing a friend.
  • Example: hey, dawn! How’s she cutting? I’ve missed you so!

I

In bits

  • Meaning: (Phrase) “In bits” is when a person is describing something bad that happened to him or her.
  • Example: I can’t explain it but I’m in bits after the meeting.

In a heep/hoop

  • Meaning: (Phrase) In a heap/hoop is a person who is overly intoxicated.
  • Example: You were in a heap last night! What were you thinking?!

In rag order/in ribbons

  • Meaning: (Phrase) The phrase “In rag order” or “in ribbons” is not that common nowadays, but some locals still used to describe a person who is very drunk.
  • Example: Gosh, she was stumbling out of the pub last night. I bet she was in rag order.

It’s lashing

  • Meaning: (Expression) The expression “it’s lashing” is used when there’s heavy rain and strong winds.
  • Example: Let’s not leave today. It’s lashing outside and we’ll surely get wet even if we use an umbrella.

It’s pissing down

  • Meaning: (Expression) “It’s pissing down” is a term used in Ireland when it’s a rainy day.
  • Example: Do you still want to go to the park? It’s pissing down today.

It’s pure shit

  • Meaning: (Expression) The phrase “It’s pure shit” means that it’s a rainy day.
  • Example: I’m not in the mood to go out. It’s pure shit today.

It’s rotten

  • Meaning: (Expression) “It’s rotten” is another way of saying it’s raining in Ireland.
  • Example: Tell the kids to come in now because it’s rotten.

It’s spitting

  • Meaning: (Expression) The term “It’s spitting” is used when there is light rain.
  • Example: It’s spitting outside but it might rain harder, so don’t forget your umbrella.

J

Jammy

  • Meaning: (Adjective) When an Irish says you’re jammy, he or she means you are lucky.
  • Example: You almost lost your passport? You’re jammy to find it again.

K

Kip

  • Meaning: (Adjective) Kip is another slang term in Ireland used in everyday speech that means dirty.
  • Example: I can’t stay here a second longer. This place is kip!

L

Latchio

  • Meaning: (Noun) Latchio is a form of derogatory word used for a male person with a low social status.
  • Example: There’s no place for a latchio here!

Leg it

  • Meaning: (Verb) The Irish slang phrase “leg it” means that the person saying this to you wants you to move quickly or run to avoid being late.
  • Example: If we want to arrive on time, we need to leg it.

Locked

  • Meaning: (Adjective) Locked is another term used when a person is blackout drunk.
  • Example: I was locked last night and can’t remember how I got home.

Lob the gob

  • Meaning: (Phrase) The phrase “Lob the gob” is Irish slang for “kissing.”
  • Example: You were with him all night and all you did was lob the gob?

M

Manky

  • Meaning: (Verb) When visiting Ireland, you’ll often hear the word “manky” which is used to describe something dirty.
  • Example: How could you come to this kind of place? It’s manky!

Melter

  • Meaning: (Noun) A melter is someone incredibly annoying that he or she might actually melt your brain.
  • Example: Get away from me, melter! I can’t stand you!.

Midden

  • Meaning: (Noun) Midden was originally a Scottish word that later on was used to call an unattractive person from Ireland.
  • Example: Why are going out with a midden?

Minus craic

  • Meaning: (Expression) “Minus craic” is an Irish expression that means a person, thing, or situation is boring.
  • Example: It’s minus craic here. Let’s go to some place exciting.

Mot

  • Meaning: (Noun) A mot is a Dublin word that is used as slang for a girlfriend.
  • Example: I’m glad we met your mot. We like her!

Mucker

  • Meaning: (Noun) The word “mucker” is used as another name for a friend.
  • Example: Come meet my mucker. I’m sure you two will get along.

Mouldy/Mullered

  • Meaning: (Adjective) Mouldy or mullered is a term mostly used in Drogheda, Ireland, and is used to describe a drunk person.
  • Example: I need rest today. I was pretty mouldy last night.

N

Nice one

  • Meaning: (Expression) The expression “Nice one” is used when a person agrees or approves of another person’s actions. It has the same meaning in the English language.
  • Example: Nice one! Keep doing that and you’ll be a pro in no time.

O

Ogeous handling

  • Meaning: (Phrase) “Ogeous handling” is a situation wherein the people are in danger.
  • Example: What were you thinking when you joined them? Do you want to be in an ogeous handling?

One can short of a six-pack

  • Meaning: (Phrase) The phrase “one can short of six” means that a person is not thinking straight or is not fully present in a certain situation.
  • Example: Are you alright? You’re one can short of six.

Oul fella

  • Meaning: (Noun) The term “oul fella” is an older man. This term is used for an acquaintance and even for your father.
  • Example: My oul fella wants to join this trip and I said yes.

Out of your tree/off your head

  • Meaning: (Phrase) The phrase “out of your tree” is used when a person is severely drunk that he or she will most likely have a hangover the following day.
  • Example: Let’s go home. You’re out of your tree!

P

Peeler

  • Meaning: (Noun) A peeler is an Irish term for a member of the police.
  • Example: Hurry, there’s a peeler heading our way. We don’t want him to see all these drinks.

Pox

  • Meaning: (Noun) A pox is a slang used in Ireland for a person who causes nuisance.
  • Example: Don’t be such a pox. This is a formal gathering.

Q

Quality

  • Meaning: (Expression) The expression “quality” means that something is good or made in great condition.
  • Example: This food is quality! I might come here more.

S

Sangers

  • Meaning: (Noun) Sangers is the Irish slang for a sandwich. The slang was taken from the original word and is now one of the common Irish sayings today.
  • Example: Should we bring a sanger to avoid getting hungry while on the trip?

Savage

  • Meaning: (Adjective) The word “savage” originally means a person who is wild or untamable that has no manners or decency. But in Irish slang, savage means outstanding or amazing.
  • Example: I can’t believe you’re graduating with the highest remarks. You’re a savage!

Scut

  • Meaning: (Noun) A scut is a person who is deemed as stupid or a waste. The term is commonly used as an insult in Ireland.
  • Example: Move, scut! You’re in my way.

Skanger

  • Meaning: (Noun) A skanger is a person who is often involved in minor acts of crimes and is often in danger or hiding from authorities.
  • Example: I heard he turned in to a skanger. I’m truly sad for his parents.

Slagging

  • Meaning: (Verb) Irish people use the word “slagging” when describing a person making fun of another person. Don’t worry; slagging is light-heartedly mocking someone and is often witnessed amongst friends.
  • Example: Quit slagging her. She might get upset even if it’s only a joke.

Sleeveen

  • Meaning: (Noun) A sleeveen is a person who’s often rogue. He is a smooth-talker and gets what he wants, even in the wrong way.
  • Example: Get away from that sleeveen! He already tried to trick me.

Shifting

  • Meaning: (Verb) The Irish slang “shifting” is used when two people are making out.
  • Example: Were you shifting with her the other night?

Shitehawk

  • Meaning: (Adjective) The term shitehawk is used to describe the poorest of the poor.
  • Example: It’s so sad to see a shitehawk, but I have no money to spare.

Sound

  • Meaning: (Expression) Sound, in Ireland, is an affirmative response to something a person says.
  • Example: You went to the beach? That’s sound!

Stall the ball

  • Meaning: (Phrase) “Stall the ball” is used when a person is asking someone to wait for him or her or to stop a conversation midway.
  • Example: Stall the ball! Do you mean to say Susan’s here?

Story horse

  • Meaning: (Greeting) The term “story horse” is used as a greeting and when a person invites you to tell him or her the latest gossip.
  • Example: Story horse! Is it true that your cousin is getting married just after a few weeks of dating?

Suckin’ diesel

  • Meaning: (Expression) One of the funny Irish phrases today is “suckin’ diesel” because who would want to do that, right? But, this expression means a certain person is moving on from a negative relationship or situation.
  • Example: I’m glad to see you suckin’ diesel. You’re better off without him, anyway.

Sure look

  • Meaning: (Phrase) When you hear someone say “sure look,” it means “it is what it is” or a person is bored but does not want to talk more.
  • Example: Sure look like it’s going to rain. I won’t even bother with the plants.

T

Thanks a million

  • Meaning: (Expression) “Thanks a million” is how an Irish person thanks another person for doing him or her a solid. This expression means that he or she is truly and deeply thankful for the help he or she received.
  • Example: Wow, you really did get me a concert ticket. Thanks a million!

The craic was 90

  • Meaning: (Expression) The expression “the craic was 90” means that a person is having an exceptionally good time.
  • Example: The craic was 90 at your birthday party last night!

The jacks

  • Meaning: (Noun) In Irish words, The jacks means toilet. Don’t get confused with it being a person, for locals are always using this term.
  • Example: There’s a long line at the jacks. Let’s go somewhere else.

The messages

  • Meaning: (Noun) “The messages” is an Irish term for shopping or groceries. This Irish slang has been used for years.
  • Example: I need to grab the messages. Will you wait for me in this spot?

Thick

  • Meaning: (Adjective) In Ireland, if one person calls you “thick”, he or she thinks you are stupid.
  • Example: That boy is thick. That’s why he dropped out of school.

Tool

  • Meaning: (Noun) In Ireland, the word “tool” is used to calling a person who you don’t like.
  • Example: All she does is show meaningless videos. She’s a tool.

U

Unreal

  • Meaning: (Adjective) Unreal is yet another word for “good.” It is used when you experienced something unbelievably or unexpectedly good.
  • Example:

Up to high doh

  • Meaning: (Expression) “Up to high doh” is an expression used when a person is excited or can’t wait for something to happen.
  • Example: I’m up to high doh about this trip!

Up to 90

  • Meaning: (Phrase) One of the Irish phrases that are popular anywhere in Ireland is “Up to 90,” which means a person is extremely busy and cannot be bothered.
  • Example: Do what you want; I’m up to 90 today.

W

Wagon

  • Meaning: (Noun) The word “wagon” is used as an offensive name for a woman.
  • Example: She’ll never find a man. She’s a wagon!

What’s the craic?

  • Meaning: (Expression) The expression “what’s the craic?” is when a person asks you how you are.
  • Example: Hey, girl! So, what’s the craic?

Wean

  • Meaning: (Noun) The word “wean” is used to identify a small child.
  • Example: have you seen a wean with bright red hair?

Will I, yea?

  • Meaning: (Expression) “Will I, yea?” is one of the Irish slang phrases that can confuse tourists. This expression means he or she won’t be doing something.
  • Example: Clean the toilet now. Will I, yea?

Y

Yer man

  • Meaning: (Noun) The Irish slang “yer man” is usually a male person who you don’t remember or have forgotten the name of.
  • Example: Yer man here needs a bottle of beer.

Yer wan

  • Meaning: (Noun) The slang “yer wan” in Ireland is usually used to call a female person you’ve forgotten.
  • Example: he yer wan last night gave me her number but I don’t remember her name.

Yoke

  • Meaning: (Noun) Yoke is Irish slang that is used to call something with a name you can’t remember, even when you think hard enough
  • Example: Do you remember the yoke I brought home yesterday? It was in this paper bag, but it’s not inside anymore.

Young wan

  • Meaning: (Noun) A young wan is Irish slang word for a young lady, maybe a teenager.
  • Example: Hey, young wan! You dropped your wallet.

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