Here in Ireland we speak English, but not as you know it. I am aware that many of you who read my blog do not come from here, so as I did last year, I thought I’d give you a crash course in speaking English as we Irish do. Just in time for St Patricks Day.
For starters we will tackle The introduction.
We do on occasions say ‘Hello’, but over here we may also say,
Hi, how are ye. (It’s ye, not yee) but if you wish to really sound Irish you must roll it into one word, “Hihowareye”.
How’s the goin?
However the most frequently used greeting between friends would be,
Hi any craic? or What’s the craic?
Terms of loathing.
In Ireland we love to give out about someone. Some common terms we use to express our displeasure in an individual are,
He’s a right fecker,
A feckin eejit,
An awful Gobshite,
An aul cow,(female)
Some bitch (female)
Terms of endearment.
We are also prone to sentiment.
Me aul flower (peculiar to Dublin)
Aul stock (peculiar to Cork I think)
Frequently used expressions.
Feck is possibly our most common. We use it with everything, or maybe that’s just me!
You’re a fecker.
For feck’s sake.
Feckin weather, traffic, headache, husband.
Shut the feck up.
We also regularly use religious expressions, even if we are non believers, to express annoyance, surprise, pain etc. I’ll elaborate on these in order to help you understand there is no prayer involved. (I think I used almost all of these today at some point).
Jesus, Mary and Joseph.. what the hell are you doin?
Oh God… I’m late.
Oh my God… were you watchin that fella on TV last night?
For God’s sake… I’m pig sick of you moaning.
For Jaysus’ sake… look at that eejit over there.
Jesus Christ.. (after stubbing your toe)
God help him…(anyone you pity)
In the name of God... will you ever shush and listen to me.
Sweet Jesus…what have I done?
Irish/English can be confusing…
If you ask someone to do something and they refuse,instead of no they may say…
“I will in me arse”,
“I will ye!”
Various expressions we use
I’ll burst ye (I’ll kill you)
Are ye thick or what? (Do you not understand? Why were you so stupid?)
She wouldn’t tear at the plucking (she’s a good age)
She didn’t get that from the water (she’s like her mother/father)
He’s the spit of you. (He’s very like you)
Here is an example of a possible conversation which I posted last year, in which you can see our English in action.
Mary; How are ye June?
June: Hi Mary.Hows things?
Mary : Not so bad. Did ye hear me news? I’m engaged.
June: I heard. Congratulations, are ye thrilled?
Mary : Ah I am really. I’m mad about Jack.
June :He’s some looker, I wouldn’t kick him out of bed for eating crisps.
Mary : You still with Sean?
June : No chance. That fecker. I wouldn’t be seen dead with him.
Mary : Sorry to hear that, but he was thick as a brick, wasn’t he?
June : Definitely not the sharpest tool in the box. I hated his ma too. She was a right oul cow.
Mary; Ye she’s hard goin alright. And the state of her. Jaysus she thinks shes 20!
June : I know… she wouldn’t tear at the plucking. She must be 100 I’d say, (ha ha)
Mary : Do you fancy a coffee, or a bite to eat?
June : I’d love it, I could eat the leg of a chair.
Mary : Since I got preggers I’m eatin for Ireland.
June : Will we go into “Julias”
Mary : We will ye, even the flies leave that place!
June : We’ll head to Bewleys so.
Mary : Great. Listen I’ve to get some dosh so I’ll meet ye there.
June : Ok so. See ya.
Just to make sure you are getting it, here’s another for you.
Sean: Hi Johnny, “hows it going?”.
Johnny: Good Sean boy. Any crack?
Sean : Jaysus no, nothing happenin. And you?
Johnny : No, heard that feckin eejet Jack, has Mary up the duff.
Sean : He’s an awful gobshite that fella. If she was my sister I’d break his face.
Johnny: Ye. Shes cracked about him though.
Sean: She’s not so bright, God love her.
Johnny : Her ma is loosin the plot over it.
Sean : Ah her ma’s a mad cow.
Johnny: Oh and thanks for giving me the nod about that job. Fair play to ye.
Sean : Not a bother. Did ye get it?
Johnny : I did ye! Didn’t come close I’d say.
Sean : Aw not to worry. Were you disappointed?
Johnny : I was in me arse!
Sean : Ah good. I better be off.
Johnny : Right, no bother. See ye around.
So there you have it. You are now ready to speak to your Irish friends tomorrow, and join in the craic of St Patricks Day. By the way, rumour has it over here, that those of you living in the US are known to refer to it as Patty’s Day. Let me tell you that is a serious no no. Patty is a girls name, so if you must shorten it, it can only be Paddys Day, or better still as I know it …. MY BIRTHDAY!
Happy St Patricks Day where ever you are.
photo credit: IE358 via photopin (license)
photo credit: St. Patrick’s Day, Dublin via photopin (license)
photo credit: The James Joyce (9) via photopin (license)
44 thoughts on “Speaking Irish/English on St Patricks Day.”
Ha ha! I understood it all. We have a comedian here in Australia named Jimeoin and he was good for helping me learn. I must confess that I also use the word feck and feckin’ a fair bit (yeh thanks Mrs Brown)! lol
Haha well done. Feck is a great word alright. Love Mrs Brown. I’ll have to google Jimeoin.
Ah! Happy Birthday to ye! 😀
Love this. I may use some of your suggestions in one of my posts tomorrow. Thanks!
Thanks Linda. Plenty of Irish English to choose from. Happy St Patricks Day.
Awe Tric, loved this, hilarious! Happy birthday for tomorrow too 😉
Thanks Grainne, I’m looking forward to it.
Wonderful post! One day I hope to come to Ireland and test my knowledge of English/Irish! A very happy birthday to you, too!
Thanks Corina, I do hope you get to come, especially as you are part Irish! I’ll give you a refresher course before you come. 🙂
This is very interesting!!! Thank you for sharing sweetheart! : )
Glad you enjoyed it. Happy St Patricks Day.
Same to you!!!
I am intrigued by different dialects and lifestyles/cultures than what the Midwestern states offer. Thank you for giving me some more Irish English dialect. I have to admit, I still am not sure what the feck ye said!
Ah Deb I’ll have to put you in my beginners class! You copped on to the Feck pretty quickly I have great hopes you will eventually be fluent. Happy St Patricks Day.
😊 and happy birthday to you, me friend!
there are some expressions common to the Scots and the Irish – ‘pet’ being one of them
the first girl I ever loved used to call me ‘pet’ all the time
40+ years later, we’re still friends – I must remind her of that term of endearment next time we speak 😆
P.S. happy birthday, tric – hope it’s a good one x
P.P.S. have put up my own post featuring the Irish language in MH today 😆
I think Scotland and Ireland are way more connected than most countries. Thanks for the birthday wishes, I’d a lovely day.
As for you post, ‘nil aon focail agam’. (I have no words!)
Ha! Love it Tric! Laughed my ass off 😂
Glad you enjoyed it, I love listening to a conversation rich in Irishisms.
Irish AND born on the 17th? You’re celebrating well today I hope Tric!!! Happy Birthday!!!! I hope it’s a good one!!!
And I love the music of this post through and through! 😉
Thanks Colleen. I’m raising a glass as I type. I’d a lovely day, full of spoiling, with a parade thrown in.
A parade on your birthday. You’re pretty special Tric. 🙂
Brought a smile to me face, so it did. Happy birthday, and Happy Paddy’s Day to ye! x
Thanks Alex. I hope you had a good St Patricks Day.
Hilarious Tric 😀
Happy Birthday x
Thanks Nicola, it was a bit of craic to write! 🙂
Love it!! Happy Birthday!
Thanks Patrick. I hope you had a good St Patricks Day.
All spot on, I even learned a couple of new ones! And it must be said that in Ireland a couple of the terms of loathing can also double up as terms of endearment 😛
Happy Birthday to you Trich 🙂 xx
Oh yes you’re right we are great for using terms of loathing as a term of endearment. Maybe I’ll keep that for the advanced class. Thanks for the birthday wishes. I love my birthday. 🙂
Happy birthday Tric! Hope you’ve had a great day and fun celebrations with some good wine!!
This is funny!
Thanks Lucia, I’d a great day and I’m enjoying the wine as I type. I hope you’d a good St Patricks Day on your beautiful island home.
gosh i love these and thanks for some new expressions. happiest of birthdays to you, tric and st. pat’s too.
Thanks beth. I hope sometime you get to use your new expressions. Did I read on Marks post you are in or going to Corktown? I’m in Cork what a coincidence, just a few miles between us. 🙂
it’s a big irish neighborhood in downtown detroit. i’ll look for you there!
(Nordie for hello!)
Many happy returns, tric. May the wine rise to meet you etc. 🙂
Aye surely it will.
I love all this Irish speak, here. Reminds me of my grandmother. Happy Birthday Tric.
Thanks. Where was your Grandmother from?
I am researching on Ancestry.com. I’ll have to let you know.
In stitches heaaaaare! I will ye is my number one saying along with alot of curse words including feck. I love this!!
Glad you enjoyed it. I do love that one alright, but feck before everything is my usual.
Everytime I speak Irish people look at me crazy. It MUST be my accent…