These Irish sayings and phrases will have you befriending the locals – or even simply helping you follow a basic conversation!
Here are some basic useful words and phrases in Irish. It’s important to note that how these are pronounced will differ throughout the country, so we have provided some links to help with pronunciation!
Translation: “Hello” (literal translation of “god be with you”)
Translation: “Goodbye” with (literal translation of “safe”)
Translation: Fun and music
Translation: “Thank you” with a literal translation of “may you have goodness”
Translation: Literally means “health” ; used as a drinking toast.
Translation: Good morning.
Translation: Good night
Translation: Excuse me.
Translation: Hurry up!
Translation: Good luck to you!
Translation: A hundred, thousand welcomes.
Translation: Kiss my arse!
Meaning: Refers to a primarily Irish-speaking region
Translation: Broken Irish is better than clever English
Translation: “Please” with a literal translation of “with your will”
In Ireland, our version of the English language – known as Hiberno English – is just that wee bit different! You’ll encounter a vast array of slang on your travels so here are you few that might come in handy.
Meaning: News, gossip, fun, entertainment, and enjoyable conversation
How it’s used: “What’s the craic?” or “We had great craic last night”
How it’s used: “How are you?” “I’m grand thanks” | “I’m sure it will be grand” | “The weather is grand today”
Meaning: Chastise, scold, complain, moan, rant
How it’s used: “Don’t be giving out to me – it wasn’t my fault!” | “I had your mother in the kitchen giving out about the weather!”
How it’s used: “That child is so bold”
Meaning: funny, fun, humorous
How it’s used: “That show last night was gas craic!” | “That man at the pub was gas!”
Meaning: When occupants remain inside a pub after closing time and continue drinking. It’s illegal and we obviously don’t encourage this.
Sample Sentence: “There was a lock in the pub last night”
Meaning: Well done
How it’s used: “Thanks for doing that, fair play to ye” | “I hear you came first in the race, fair play to ye”
Meaning: Amazing, brilliant, awesome
How it’s used: “The weather is savage today!” or simply, “That’s savage”
Meaning: Jeer or make fun of someone
How it’s used: “Don’t be slagging her off behind her back” | “Ah sure, it’s only a big of slagging”
Meaning: Lose your temper, throw a tantrum
How it’s used: “If I hear that song once more, I’ll lose my rag”
Meaning: Be wise, become aware of something, come back to your senses
How it’s used: “You’d think he would have some cop on” | “Would you ever catch yourself on and wise up!
Meaning: Idiot, fool
How it’s used: “He was a real eejit that fella” | “You’re acting like a gobshite!”
Meaning: How are you?
Meaning: I’m well or I’m grand
How it’s used: “How are you?” “Ah, not a loss on me”
Meaning: Thin slices of bacon
How it’s used: “I would murder a rasher sandwich right now”
Meaning: Someone who’s wiser than they appear or who quietly engineers things to their own advantage
How it’s used: “Don’t be fooled, he’s a real cute hoor”
Meaning: Soft drinks
How it’s used: “Will you grab me a mineral at the shop?”
Meaning: Naughty, messing around, being silly/stupid
How it’s used: “That fella was acting the maggot on the street last night” | “Ah now, don’t be acting the maggot!”