Home Page

Ireland

Irish-English terms



(Gaelic) Irish words in common use


There are only a few remnants of Gaelic Irish in modern Irish English. 800 years* of oppression, y' know y'rself....

"Thanks a million"

Go raibh míle maith agat in generous translation...

• Bog — The jacks, the loo, the restroom.

• Bóithrín — Small roadway. Diminutive of Bóthar (road.)

Craic (pronounced "crack," and often spelled so) — Good times; general goings-on, or social atmosphere [as in, "great craic," "what's the craic?" or "how's the craic?"]

• Crúibín (pronounced "crew bean") — Pig's foot. The term "crew beans" might sound like a euphemism, but it's not.

• Fáilte — Welcome. Used in tourism and on doormats.

• Gaeltacht — a political-science delineation of areas in which Irish is an important language in daily life. "The Gaeltacht" refers to the Gaelic-speaking whole although its components are divided into small enclaves, mostly in the west.

• Gaol — Jail.

Guards — The police.

• Omadhaun (n.) — Fool. (Rare usage)

• Póg mo thóin — Kiss my ass.

• Poitín — A beverage distilled from one of several accepted ingredients.

• Shillelagh — Traditional walking stick. Normal use of the term involves sale to naïve American tourists.

• Sláinte — "Cheers" (over a drink.) Literally, "health."

• Sliotar (pronounced "slitter") — The small hard ball used in the Gaelic sport hurling and the women's equivalent, camogie.

• Tuig (pronounced "twig") — To grasp, to comprehend.

• Whiskey



__   ___   __

• The phrase "800 years of oppression" is common amongst the Irish, and refers to British domination. Its accuracy is best debated by professional historians.

  ↑ Return to "you know y'rself"...