70+ Irish Slang Words & Phrases You Need to Know

70+ Irish Slang Words & Phrases You Need to Know

shutterstock_224013070Whether you are looking to familiarize yourself with the Irish culture or looking to translate website content, it’s important to understand how people in Ireland communicate. Slang has become a standard element in languages throughout the world, and Ireland is no different. We’ve traveled across the globe to give you the most authentic Irish slang words and phrases being used today. Below each of the words we have also provided a sentence to help give you context the next time you want to add some slang into your vocabulary. Check out the top 71 Irish slang words and phrases below.

Irish Slang Words and Phrases

  1. Olagonin’— Moaning/Complaining
    No point olagonin’ the score, it only makes things worse.
  2. Rope — someone who never passes the ball in a football match
    The boys might stand a chance of winning the match if Lionel wasn’t such a rope.
  3. She’s Peeled — describes a broken object
    I’d like to go to the pub, but we can’t take my car, she’s peeled.
  4. Craic — a good time/fun
    Me and the boys are heading out for a craic.
  5. On the lash — to go out drinking
    Maybe we’ll go out on the lash.
  6. What a ride — super sexy
    Would you look at that girl, what a ride!
  7. Stook — an idiot or fool
    Quit dancing on the table you stook!
  8. Like a blind cobbler’s thumb — hammered, i.e. ugly, messed up
    No, I don’t want to go out with Bess. She’s got a face like a blind cobbler’s thumb.
  9. Snog — kiss
    I don’t care if she is good for a snog. I won’t go out with her again.
  10. Boss-Eyes — a person with a squint
    Whenever I take her to the pub, the barkeep gives me the boss eyes.
  11. Foddered — Eaten
    That last time I took her out, she picked from my plate until it was foddered.
  12. Jammers — packed full
    The pub was too jammers to order a second plate.
  13. Big front, slope back — feigning wealth when there’s nothing behind it
    Then, there was that big-front-slope-back barkeep giving me the boss eyes all night.
  14. Poormouthing — when someone with abundance, feigns lack, then laments their plight
    I know because when I asked him to pay for a round, he started with the poormouthing.
  15. Noodle — your head
    So I asked him, “what’s going on in your noodle that you’d give me the boss eyes?”
  16. The jacks — toilet/restroom
    He just excused himself and made for the jacks.
  17. Rale Bulgarian — an uncivilized character
    Later, I heard the bar maids calling him a rale Bulgarian for the mess he left.
  18. Chancer — dodgy character who will do anything to get what they want
    He’s just a chancer putting on airs.
  19. Take the piss — to make fun of, tease, or take advantage of
    I didn’t have the heart to take the piss out of him.
  20. Layin’ boots — to kick someone when they’re down
    I’m not the type for layin’ boots.
  21. Whanker — fool
    What kind of whanker kicks a man when he’s down?
  22. I could ate (eat) the twelve apostles — very hungry
    Was I hungry after? I could ate the twelve apostles!
  23. Gas — funny
    So, I left her sitting at the pub just for a gas.
  24. Acting the maggot — being a jerk
    I tried being nice but she was acting the maggot.
  25. Ye’d think I didn’t have a mouth on me — someone who feels overlooked when food is offered
    She ate my dinner like it was hers. Ye’d think I didn’t have a mouth on me.
  26. Hatchet — absolutely brilliant
    My night turned out totally hatchet in the end.
  27. Langered — drunk
    I walked home alone, half langered.
  28. Bolloxology — messing around, goofing off, time wasting
    I ran into the boys on the street corner, just up to a bit of bolloxology.
  29. Caked — describes a girl wearing too much makeup
    They were heckling a caked-up girl walking past.
  30. Plugged — pregnant
    They left off when I told them she’s plugged by the pub owner’s son.
  31. Drobes — bits and pieces
    Then Lionel slips in a puddle, and smashes his watch to drobes.
  32. Muppet — fool
    Reg just stood there like a muppet, laughing.
  33. Rumbly — dodgy
    He’s too rumbly a bloke to be of any use.
  34. Ponce — a highly effeminate male
    His pointy boots made him look like a ponce.
  35. Shaper — a lad with an arrogant or pompous walk
    He can’t even walk in those boots without looking like a shaper.
  36. Funny flour — cocaine
    When he wears his coat with the fur collar, he looks like a shaper selling funny flour.
  37. Knackered — exhausted
    I’d be knackered walking like that in fifteen minutes.
  38. Glad eye — a crush or in love
    He has a glad eye for a girl who lives near the corner. So, he dresses up for her.
  39. Equalizer — a bouncer, or someone who breaks up fights
    Reg plays the ponce and Lionel is the equalizer who won’t let anything happen to him.
  40. Lock-hard — unsolicited advice
    You can’t talk to Reg without getting hours of lock-hard.
  41. Batter ya — I’ll beat you up
    If you try to shut him up, he’ll get Lionel to batter ya.
  42. Sell ya the eye out of your head — spoken of a shyster who would try to sell anything
    His advice is always some money scheme. He’ll try to sell ya the eye out of your head.
  43. Wrapped more times than a bad Christmas present — damaged or broken
    He tried selling his watch that was wrapped more times than a bad Christmas present.
  44. Head like a bag of spuds — describes an ugly person
    It’s less persuasive when the pitch man has a head like a bag of spuds.
  45. Rawny — thin delicate male
    Then it’s downright hilarious when the rawny ponce puffs out his chest.
  46. Hop on — fight
    He’s always looking for someone to hop on so he can pass them off on Lionel.
  47. Doin’ a number — causing upset, discomfort, or distress
    He gets a gas out of doin’ a number on people.
  48. Pishmires — ants, may refer to the flying type
    He’d cover you in marmalade and pour pishmires on you, just to watch you squirm.
  49. Dirty tooth — an unclean person
    Underneath the jacket and the boots he’s just a dirty tooth.
  50. Himbo — male bimbo
    He may be a muppet, but he’s not handsome enough to be a himbo.
  51. Clean on — good looking
    You have to be clean on, but dense to get called a himbo.
  52. Flying it — doing well
    Otherwise I was flying it the rest of the night.
  53. Kicked and booted — assaulted
    Before I was nearly kicked and booted by Lionel, things were looking up.
  54. Zonk — one pound coin
    I tossed Reg a zonk and kept walking.
  55. Pew — pejorative for someone who is being a goof or is just a mess in general
    He likes to act tough but he’s really just a pew.
  56. Mad as a box of frogs — crazy
    He counts on everyone knowing Lionel’s mad as a box of frogs.
  57. Stink — something horrible
    If you cross him, he’ll cause a real stink.
  58. The Curk — a good time/fun (see Craic)
    Spending time with him is usually the curk, though.
  59. Biscuits to a bear — a waste of time
    You could try talking him into behaving himself, but it’s biscuits to a bear.
  60. I could ate a reverend mother — extremely hungry
    I had to get going home, ‘cause I could ate a reverend mother.
  61. Shebang — entirety, the whole thing
    I mean the habit, the crucifix, and the whole shebang.
  62. Locked out of his tree like a monkey who forgot his keys — extremely intoxicated
    I took a while to find my way home since I was locked out of my tree like a monkey who forgot his keys.
  63. Stickin out — “I am well.” “Well Davy, how’s the form?” “Agh, sticking out mate.”
    Before bed, I took a vitamin and drank some water, and this morning I’m sticking out.
  64. Stuttles — From the Latin ‘stultitia,’ a foolish person
    There may be days when I’m stuttles, but mostly I do fine.
  65. Cut to the onions/bone — fed up
    I’m cut to the onions with all the drama around here.
  66. Six o’ one, half a dozen of the other — the same thing either way
    Should I go out on the lash or have Bess over for a snog. It’s six o’ one, half a dozen of the other.
  67. Racked — tired
    I’m too racked to think about it.
  68. Foundered — the state of being extremely cold
    I’m so foundered I’ll need two extra blankets in my bed.
  69. Divvy — silly
    It feels a little divvy to bury myself in covers like that.
  70. In tatters — destroyed
    If I don’t do though, I’ll be in tatters come morning.
  71. Scundered — embarrassed
    It’s nothing to get scundered about, just a guy out on the lash until late.

Learn how Smartling’s translation services can help your business localize its global content >

We recently published an extensive guide on market penetration. If you take a look at that,  you’ll notice that we repeatedly stress the importance of website localization. And under that same subheading we point out how a website should look and feel native to a local audience. It should seem like it was made by locals for locals. That means using words and phrases that are common in that culture. At times it may even mean understanding how to properly use an Irish slang word or two.

Probably the best way to fail at setting up a native-looking and feeling website is to fail to understand the local language paradigm, the history and culture that created it as well as the quirks and colloquial nuances that reflect those things. Good localization is quite a bit more complex than simple translation. Acquiring and accurately applying that level of specialized knowledge can be a burdensome task. That’s what makes our Global Fluency Platform such a valuable asset to any international business looking to translate website content that will effectively connect with speakers of any language, from all cultures, and in every market.

If your international business is looking to streamline the internet localization process as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, you can contact us via email hi@smartling.com or call 1-866-707-6278.

Also, don’t forget to check out the different slang terms in other parts of the world:

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