Home Page


Stick the kettle on

Comparative culture

Some Irish behavioural characteristics

• Irish men will often greet with a sideways nod when passing on the street. It is usually accompanied by an audible greeting — a click of the tongue or the local expression for "hello."

• The sharp inbreath is a de facto Hiberno-English word. This rapid inhalation sounds a bit like a gasp. Sometimes it is pronounced a bit like "yeah;" but not always. It's most common amongst women.

• If an Irish person knows your first name, he or she will probably call you that, even without introduction.

Small-talk in Ireland is an important part of most normal interactions....

• "Eyes to heaven" is an uptoss of the chin and a rolling of the eyes upward, accompanied by a slight click from the tip of the tongue and a "you know y'rself" resignation.... This expresses acknowledgement of the sublime and ridiculous nature of reality.

The Irish have difficulty making a formal complaint....

• "Yeah but sure — what can you do?"... Irish fatalism...