Demystify the Irish

We’ve been in the US for almost three years and I must admit we are pretty much settled in.  Well, I still don’t understand the bloody health system and slightly overwhelmed with the oversized portions at the restaurants.  No wonder I’m gaining weight, when my mother always told me that I have to finished what I’m being served!

Anyway, one of the more amusing things about having an Irish accent and being familiar with many Irish sayings, are that many Americans have some difficulties understanding some of the phrases/words that I utter at times.  They politely smile or laugh, but I can tell that they don’t fully get the meaning of some of my words.

With the help from a few Irish sites (such as, mixed with my own experiences, I’ve gathered a few things that only Irish people get – please understand, I’m only taking the piss here 🙂

So, here are a few things and words you need to learn when chatting with a person from the Emerald Isle.

  • No matter the time of day (or night) there’s always time for a cuppa tea – and it would be an insult to any Irish mum if you refused a cuppa.  Some might even be very persistent about you having a cuppa.
  • If an Irish says he’ll put on his runners, then be prepared to stand aside as he’s about to go running for a few laps.  You see, you are using these shoes for running!
  • The word ‘yoke’ can be used for many things and often replace words we don’t know or can’t remember when trying to explain something.
  • “Where’s me jumper” is actually an emotional song about a sweater
  • Chipper is the local burger / fast food joint.  It’s also the local hangout for youth and the last visit when heading home from a night out on the piss
  • The boot is in US known as the trunk of a car, which utterly confuses people in the US
  • Stuffed means full after eating and not something one does to an animal after killing it
  • 7up has magical powers – it cures anything from upset stomach, relieves vomiting, cures hangover and can clean chrome of your Ford Focus
  • “State of your one” is perhaps a little easier, but it often means that a person is not doing great
  • Just having one pint does not exist when drinking with an Irish person.  Also, please note the rules about drinking with one or more Irish people; you all pay for a round of gargle aka beer
  • It’ll be grand can be used with any discussion or any event.  Everything will be fine … roughly translated
  • Spuds, or more politely known as potatoes, are used with most dishes.  Well, you cannot enter an Irish home without stumbling over a sack of potatoes.
  • Most Irish people like their meat is well done – close to charcoal coloured and flavoured.
  • Most conversations at gatherings involve some level of rain debates, or simply talking about the weather
  • As a matter of fact, most rain showers in Ireland last for about 10 minutes and the Irish will known when to seek shelter.  Always carry a brolly when visiting Ireland.
  • If in doubt, taxi drivers have all the answers
  • Lastly, but the best of all, is bollocks.  I’m not going to explain this in much detail.  You can look it up
  • Gobshite –  a cool and exotic expression for a person who’s utterly unpleasant

And for the record, please don’t show an Irish person a two-finger salute.

You should also be aware that many Irish people have an extensive vocabulary when it comes to using strong language – the beauty is, they don’t mean any harm, it’s just the way they speak.  So, don’t be offended if an Irish says “howya ye auld fecker!”

So, what’s the story ye eejit?  🙂


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