Overheard in Dublin

In Ireland we have a population of only four million.
Yet huge diversity of accent and dialect.
As a response to the Weekly writing challenge, A manner of speaking,
I have tweeked a post I did for St Patricks Day.

I have spelled some of the words phonetically, so you can hear the Dublin accent!

Firstly you will need to understand the slang.
Not all of this has been used within my dialogue, but you never know when you might meet a Dubliner and need it!

“How are ya?”,small__553660133
“Hows the goin?”
“Hi, Any crack?”
“Whats the story Rory?”

Terms of loathing.
“He’s an awful eejet”
“He’s a pain in the arse”
“He’s a real Gobshite”
“He’s a right Fecker”.
“She’s an awful whinger”.
“She’s an aul cow”
“She’s some bitch”

Pregnancy and birth.
“She’s up the duff”
“She has a bun in the oven”
“Was it a boy or a child?”

Commonly used expresions

“For Fecks sake”
“Christ Almighty”

When you mean “no chance”
“I will in me arse!
“I will ye!”

Other expressions?
“go on away with ye!” ( Are you joking?)
“are you for real?”
“she didn’t get that from the water”
(she’s like her mother/father)
“I’ll burst ye” (I’ll kill you)
“are you thick or what?” ( I cant believe you dont understand).

If we’re hungry,
“I could eat the lamb of God”
“I could eat the leg of a scabby child”
“my stomach is roarin”
“I feel like my throats been cut”

If your not the brightest,
“that fella is always sucking the hind tit” ( always used by my mother!)
“Not the full picnic”
“Away with the fairies”

If someone cries easily
“her bladder is up to her eyeballs!”
If you have gossip
“come here I want ye”
“wait til I tell ye”.

The police
The guards.
the guardai.

Dublin City. Any  night.


Mags: Jaysus Johno hows the going?
Johno: Christ Mags, I didn’t recognize ya. I’m doin great. What ya up te deese days?
Mags: Ah dis nd dat, feck all really. Signin on and gettin paid to sit on me arse!
Johno: Ah Mags your de pits! Taught ya were goin to do hairdressin.
Mags : Have ye looked at me hair? Me talent didn’t match me ambition!
Johno : Ah yer hair is gorjus, ya always were a looker.
Mags : Go way outa dat, ye chancer. How bout yerself, wot ye doin?
Johno : I’m workin wit me Da, on the buildins.
Mags : Well done, dats great. Plenty dosh in buildin.
Johno : Not anymore. I’m actuly headin off to Oz in a cupple o weeks.
Mags : Go way. U for real? Ye lucky sod. I’d sell me mudder to go dere.
Ye’ll get a great tan, ha ha! Is yer brudder goin too?
Johno : He is ye! That fella is a waste o space. Even the guards don’t bother wit him anymore.  Me ma says she’ll swing for him. And you know he has Mary up the duff, and not a feckin penny between them!
Mags : O no! The feckin eejit. She’s not much better than him. Definitely one slice short of a sandwich!
Johno : I know. Anyway Mags I’d better head. I’ve no more crack for ye anyway. I’m rushing to get to Dolans for last call. I’ve a despret thirst on me. Mite as well enjoy the good beer before I go. Heard its like water in Oz.
Mags : No bother Johno. Lovely seein ye. Say hi to yer Ma and Da fer me. And tell yer brudder he’s an awful gobshite!

photo credit: Philip Campbell via photopin cc
photo credit: Alexander R. Yee via photopin cc

18 thoughts on “Overheard in Dublin

    1. Ah yer feckin mad! Believe it or not this is exactly how they speak. My own accent is a bit more cultured, although here in Cork they all laugh when I get mad as it brings the dub out in me!

  1. the accent might be different but you’d have no problem being understood in Scotland.

    We use the same phrases.

    My mum’s favourite expression when she was seeking to attract my attention was . . .

    “come here, ye wee gobshite !”

    1. We say it all the time, every day. “Hows the crack”, or “any crack” or “it was great crack”. Craic is the native Irish word for fun! When we go abroad we know to stop though!

  2. Interesting post, tric. I think what’s confusing in Ireland (above and beyond accent and dialect) are the words that don’t make any sense, with all respect, to a non-Irish foreigner (unless one know the meaning given in parenthesis), e.g. Fir (Men, not animal fur), mna (Women, not misspelled “man”), Ath Cliath sounding like Ah Clia (Dublin), An Lar (town center), Seirbhis (in service), as seirbhis (out of service), Slainte sounding like Slaanshaa (Cheers to health), Crack agus col (Crack and Music, signifying Irish nightlife perhaps?). I find these words and vocabulary rather interesting and intriguing…..thought I should share this alien’s perspective with proper Dubliner like yourself. Slainte, until we meet again!

    1. Ana mhaith! ( very good). The words you refer to are our own native language. We speak English in the majority although the numbers speaking Irish is rising. My husband and children are fluent speakers, I speak it but not as well as they do. I think a lot of the way we structure our sentences in Ireland and the descriptive way we can speak comes from our own language. In Irish we often have no single word, so for hello we have “Dia dhuit” which means God be with you, and our expressions of love and affection are very soft, translating into “my wee darling” for children and “gra mo chroi” which literally means” love of my heart”. I am very impressed at how much Irish you know, even if you were not aware it was Irish. Thanks for the insight into an alien view! “Go raibh mile maith agat” “A 1000 thanks to you”, now you can see why I say thanks a mil!

    1. That is great to hear. I wasn’t sure if it translated properly. Back to your blog post now,,,,, omg! It is definitely interesting reading.

  3. Well this would have been hugely helpful a couple of years ago before I visited there! I loved my time in Ireland; sadly it was too short. I remember being in one of the pubs (that catered mostly to tourists, I think) and the musician started singing “Black Velvet Band” – which actually made me cry, because that was the song my dad used to sing to me when I was a baby. Now I see it’s about a prostitute?!?!? Haha. Good Irish drinking song. Maybe not an ideal lullaby.

    1. Haha. My own mum traumatized us by telling us the saddest stories when we were small. Ireland was in the thick of the “troubles” and I learned so many rebel songs. Recently I caught myself singing happily in the kitchen whilst ironing and the song featured a fella being gunned down, followed by another song about the black and tans (a british police force sent over in the 1920s) and what we would do to them, Highly inappropriate but I wasn’t paying attention to the lyrics! I do love the Black Velvet Band also. Glad you enjoyed ireland and thanks I enjoyed your comment

    1. With your descriptive use of language and your strong opinions you would fit right in! Not to mention the fact you can sing, you would be gold at a night out.

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