50+ Best Irish Slang Words And Phrases To Try Out

Thinking of going on a trip to Ireland and fit in with the locals? Learning the most commonly used Irish slang words and phrases can significantly improve your chances of blending in with the community in an instant. In today’s post, we will walk you through a comprehensive list (with meanings), including the ones used in day-to-day conversation.

Ever heard Irish people say wet the tea, jacks, banjaxed, or craic? These may seem like simple colloquial expressions or “ghetto” language used by the locals, but it actually plays a much larger role in society. Slang words are meaningful because it helps especially describe a specific aspect in a certain context. Linguistically, Irish slang is important since it signals belongingness which is why this is the best way to connect with the Irish people and their culture authentically.

If you have been dreaming of visiting Ireland, perhaps you already know two major languages existing in the country: Irish Gaelic and English. Knowing these two can absolutely make your travel extra exciting and much easier since you will not have to deal with miscommunication. To help you get started, we are sharing with you three types of spoken slang which we believe can help you:

  • Irish slang words
  • Irish phrases
  • Irish slang swear words

If you are up for that, then off we go into the lingo.


Common Irish Slang Words

Common Irish Slang Words

Based on recent reports, about 99% of the Irish people actually use English than the Irish language. With this being considered, our list below will provide you with a mix of both languages as the country likes to use code-switching and has developed Irish-English-specific words.

Irish wordsWhat it means
ArsewaysDoing something the wrong way
BakeRefers to your face
BanjaxedSomething is broken beyond repair
PoormouthingSomeone who pretends not to have money
BootThe trunk of the car
Dander Going to a walk
EejitSlang version for the word idiot
FaffinMessing around
FoosteringMaking a fuss about something
GrandReally good
GurnMoaning or complaining about someone
JammersFull packed
JukeQuick/ fast
NaffStupid / Crap
NagginSmall size
Ossified / LockedUsed to describe as someone who is very drunk
Quare / QueerVery
RaginUsed to describe someone who is very angry
TonginA good tongue lashing
WreckedExtremely exhausted
YarnA good chat
YokeAny object
YonksA ling time

Which of these words have you heard before? Could it be grand, eejit, or craic? No matter what it is, we hope that you were able to fully understand what each of these means and that you will find the courage to include them when speaking with the locals. If you are in the search for more common Irish words, be sure to check out our previous post here.


Common Irish Phrases

Common Irish Phrases

Sometimes, it’s not always by introducing yourself or by greeting someone that you instantly connect with another person. More often than not, travelers get to be the center of attraction, especially when they hear you trying to speak their local language. Not only does this put a smile on their face, but it also reflects how eager you are to interact with them. With this being said, take note of the Irish expressions below and try to incorporate at least a bit of these to sound like to total native speaker.

Irish phraseWhat it means
Houl yer whishtCommonly used to ask someone to be quiet
Bout ye? / what about ye?How are you doing?
Awk sure ya know yerselfTo confirm that you have a correct understanding
I’ll run ye overGive someone a ride to somewhere
Up to high dohDescription for someone who is really angry or really happy
It’s balticIt’s freezing / too cold
It’s roastinIt’s too hot
Catch yourself onUsed to express disbelief/ can also be used to tell someone to say that he/she is not a fool. 
Does my head inSomeone is driving you crazy
I’ll do youYou are in a huge trouble
Wind your neck inCalm down
Wet the teaMake some tea
Away in the head / Away with the fairiesLost his senses / have gone mad or crazy
Away onAre you kidding me
Wait till I tell yeUsed when you are going to tell a gossip
Fair play to youWell done
FeckIrish slang version of the F-word
On the lashTo go out drinking
The dose is goin’ aroundDon’t way I did not warn you
Come down in the last showerWet behind the ears
Whale of a timeRefers to the good time spent by someone
Was it any use?Was it any good?
Like hen’s teethRare
I will yeaIt means you will no do something
Fierce weatherSevere weather conditions
That’s a fretThat’s not true / that’s surprising
What a rideSomeone who is super sexy
Mad as a box of frogsCrazy

Ready to look for an Irish person in Dublin and try any of these out? No matter where you are in the world, you can always connect with people willing to do a language exchange session with you. However, if you want something more personal, we bet that learning using our AI-based application can help you.

As you probably have noticed, some of these are pretty easy to memorize since some are funny and are basically connected to British English. Therefore, we bet that these can be part of your regular vocabulary in no time so long as you try to practice and review the meanings of each from time to time.


Irish Slang Swear Words

Irish Slang Swear Words

Now that we got our dose of some of the most popular Irish expressions, it’s not time that we also get used to the common swear words used in Ireland. However, as a word of advice, please remember that some of these may only be used with people you are already close with, as they might get offended if they hear you saying this out of nowhere.

Irish Swear WordEnglish counterpart
Pissed offF*cked off
Arse about titWrong-way round

As we reach this part of the post, we hope that you were able to get a good grasp of the common language used in Ireland. We have posted here just half of the interesting words and phrases in the Irish language, which is why we encourage you to learn them fully through our most recommended application. Read on below to find out.


Read To Learn Irish Gaelic?

Learn Irish slang using the ling app

Are you struggling to reach fluency in the Irish language? If you are interested in learning using a FREE site and platform that offers language courses, then you better visit the Ling App by Simya Solutions today. This language learning application is one of the best ones today due to its amazingly comprehensive number of foreign language courses. In addition, it integrates gamification and spaced repetition of learning which means that you seamlessly transition from “fairly good” to “expert” in no time!

No need to search for additional content or resources because the Ling App platform already comes equipped with quizzes, fun lessons on grammar, and even has audio files so you can practice your speaking skills. If you also would like to get a feel and make use of the learned words and expressions, you can also try out the AI-based chatbot where you can exchange messages and finetune your skills in the target language.

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