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The Irish have all the same "four-letter words" that we have in America, of course. Additionally, there are a few others, and some usages that are different. Some of these are in common with the more general European English, and some are uniquely Irish.
In common with European English, the Irish use "shite" and "bollocks." "Shite" means "shit." From this latter term comes the Irish-English "gobshite,"* which basically means "shithead."
"Bollocks," in Euro-English,* means "testicles," literally, but is used in various idiomatic expressions. The Irish have a few of their own adaptations.
|Me bollocks||My ass|
|Ask me bollocks (or "ask me left one")||Not a chance.|
|*Acting the bollocks||Being an ass|
|*Give a bollocking||Castigate, chew out, scold, "yell at"|
|(Don't) give a bollocks||(Don't) give "a shit," or "a rat's ass"|
|*"A bollocks," or "the bollocks"||"An asshole," or "that asshole"|
|I will in me bollocks||I will not. (See "you will in your fuck.")|
|*Made a bollocks of it||Screwed that one up|
|The dog's bollocks||Good stuff; "the shit"|
A note on blasphemy
While it is normal to hear casual use of the name and title of Jesus Christ, you won't generally hear the Irish abusing the word "God" for example, "God damn," "God dammit," etc.
"Getting pissed," in Ireland as in broader Europe, is "getting drunk." This is an important distinction, as the phrase has different meaning in American. If you want to talk about anger, you should use the full American term "pissed off."
An important use of the word "piss," in European-English, is "taking the piss." "Are you taking the piss?" means "are you being sarcastic? (ironic, etc.)" To "take the piss out of (someone)" is to lampoon them, or satirize them. It is also a way to say you took advantage of a situation, or acted cleverly in a devious way. You took the piss, getting paid for hours that you spent not working. The phrase is used broadly [& in various ways] in European English, but unheard in American. At least, I never heard it in America.
"Cunt," in Irish-English, is the same as it is in Euro-English. Its primary use is vulgar, but not obscene. It is not primarily a rude term for "vagina" nor "bad woman," and its subject is usually not feminine at all. "Cunt" is just an irreverent way of refering to a fellow.
The word may also be used in adjectival form "Cuntin'."
"Arse," the Euro-English word for "Ass," has its own usages in Irish English:
|Can't be arsed||Can't be bothered||[also used in English slang]|
|Rat-arsed||Very drunk||[also used in English slang]|
"Hole" is a common vulgarity in Ireland.
|In me hole||Not a chance; you must be joking||Also used in the form "x, me hole," where "x" = the statement contradicted.|
|Did you get your hole?||Did you get laid?||"Nat King Cole," in rhyming slang or, for short, "Nat." "Did you get your Nat?" Irish English is not sexy.|
|Pain in the hole||Pain in the ass|| |
|[Couldn't] bother [one's] hole||Couldn't be bothered|| |
|Scratchin' me hole||Standing around with nothing to do|| |
Of course, the principal swearword in the English language is "fuck" and, naturally, the Irish have many unique ways of using it.
|A fucker for _||Pretty devoted to _||"... a fucker for the drink..."|
|Fuck-off [adj.]||Fuckin,'||"... a big old fuck-off hat..."|
|Fuck's sake|| ||The same in U.S., but less common|
|Fuck it [out*] ||Chuck it [out]||*Out, over the fence, etc.|
|[Hurry up,] the fuck||[Hurry] the fuck [up]|| |
|Thanks be to fuck||Thankfully|| |
|Can't be fucked [with it]||Can't be bothered [with it]||Also, "can't be arsed."|
|You will in your fuck||You will not.||See also "I will in me bollocks."|
|Effin' and blindin'||Really cursing in anger, and with conviction||Normally considered "ignorant."|| |
Also, in common with European English, "fuck-all" in Irish English means "dick, squat, jack," as in "I got paid yesterday; today I have fuck-all."
The word "fuck," in Ireland, even has a diminutive form. "Feck" is mild. Kids can use it [with limitations] and you can say it on TV and the radio. And, of course, sometimes it's just more appropriate in a polite situation, for example.
In other countries, you'd consider not cursing in a polite situation. In Ireland, there might be a word for the occasion.
* "Gobshite" also has a diminutive form, "gobsheen," which is acceptable for childrens' use. This, in turn, has the derivative form "gobbaloonock."
Return to "gobshite" ...
The Dutch are generally opposed to coarse language.