I compiled a short list of phrases I’ve heard over the past few months in Ireland that originally made no sense to me at all, but I now like to use all the time. I sincerely hope these stick in my vocab before I go home so I can confuse my loving family and friends:
Gwan– Go on! Do it if you dare.
Yer man/yer wan– When you hear an Irish person talking about yer man, they are referring to a certain male that you know. Alternatively, yer wan refers to a female. It keeps the person nameless, but usually context lets you know who they may be referring to. A real conversation I once heard in our own household: “Yer man’s fake tan is trending on Twitter, Diedre.”
Eejit– Idiot, a proper insult for the dummies in your life.
Feck– This isn’t a curse word in the slightest, but rather the tame version of its counterpart, “fuck.” Sorry, can I say that here?
Craic– Pronounced crack, it is the Irish word for fun. Typically Americans open a conversation with “Whatsup?” whereas the Irish use “What’s the craic?” It’s a bitta craic to say, gwan and use it.
Sláinte– Although not technically a slang word, sláinte is an Irish Gaelic word that you typically use when out having a pint. Sláinte (pronounced slahn-cha) means ‘cheers’ and it is said when clinking glasses with your group before taking a big sip of the good stuff.
Takin’ the piss out chye– Basically, “I’m just teasing you.” I first heard this phrase back in the early days of my visit when I was not quite used to the quick Irish wit and sarcasm. A Galway man successfully convinced me that he was from the Aran Islands and made his living as an accordion player who rowed to the mainland every morning. He was so convincing. Listen, I didn’t totally believe the last bit of that story, but I sure did the first bits. Naturally after his story was done, that’s when his friend told me he was taking the piss out of me. I’m proud to announce that I’m much smarter than I once was some months ago, no longer such an eejit, if you will.
Give out to– To call someone out on something, or to get mad at. For instance, your mom/mam/mum might give out to her son if he doesn’t put the toilet seat back down after using bathroom.
Am I missing any? Let me know in the comments below!