Irish English

Gaelic Irish words in Hiberno English

There is little of the Irish language extant. Aside from linguistic influences and grammatical features, a few bits of the old vocabulary are all that remain. 800 years* of oppression, y' know y'rself...

• Bog — Restroom, toilet, loo, the jacks. The word refers metaphorically to historic use of bogs for the purpose. Properly, the facility is called an leithreas.

• Bóithrín — Small roadway; diminutive form of bóthar (road.)

Craic (pronounced "crack," and often spelled so) — An idiomatic term for describing experience in various ways: "great craic," "what's the craic?," "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 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

• Póg mo thóin — Kiss my ass.

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

• Shillelagh — Traditional walking stick. Use of the term may refer 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

__   ___   __

• "800 years of oppression" is a common trope amongst the Irish, and refers to British imperial domination. The Anglo/Cambro-Normans landed in the southeast in 1169.

  ↑ Return to "you know y'rself"...