I left Ireland over 20 years ago, only coming home for holidays and a few short (but extended) periods throughout those years, I love my country and I am very proud to be an Irish native.
Having traveled quite extensively to both English speaking countries and non-English speaking countries, I have found that even all these years later native english speakers often have trouble understanding my accent.
I am from the north of the country and my accent remains very pronounced although years of people not understanding a word i am saying has caused me to slow down, when I speak and I go to use Irish slang, I quickly correct myself and put it in terms that the person will understand. I think anyone with a strong accent or is from an area of any part of the world that uses a lot of local slang will understand why this is so.
The thing is when I get into a group of other Irish people all my slang comes back..........Immediately, People who know me, observe the conversation often not understanding a word we are saying. I have had close friends and even boyfriends looking at me with confused looks when I am on the phone to a family member as the same happens when I talk to my folks, People that know me well throw their hands in the air and give up trying to understand the jist of the conversation.
This amuses me greatly and I have even been bold enough to have gone as far as having conversations about the person sitting next to me without them having a clue that they are the topic of the chat.
This got me thinking of some of the slang used in my particular part of Ireland, so I have compiled a list, some of these terms are used in other parts of the country, some I remember from home some I looked up, I had a giggle (titter) researching this:
Wee buns - “That was wee buns” That was easy
Baps - Either your head or bread roll
Cat - “It was cat” It was not very good
Acting the maggot - “Stop acting the maggot” Stop being silly
In bits - “I’m in bits” I am not well
Gutties - Trainers/sneakers
Buck - “Would you look at that buck” A term referring to a man (In Belfast it has another meaning, referring to an intimate act…………nuff said!)
Yokes - Refers to any item re: “Hand me that yolk”
Bout ye - Belfast slang for Hello, how are you?
Suckin diesel - “Now yer sucking diesel” You’re doing well
Put the boot to the board - Go faster
The cut of ye - referring to one’s appearance
I’ll warm your arse - Usually shouted to by frazzled mother, It’s a threat of being spanked.
Catch yerself on – Stop being a fool
Wise up - Get some sense
Just a tick – I will only be a minute
No Shit Sherlock – Used when someone says something obvious
Banjaxed – Inebriated
Wind yer neck in – Calm down
Critter – A term used in affection re
He’s a lovely wee critter)
A head on her only a mother could love – She is not attractive
He could peel an orange in his pocket – He’s cheap
The messages – Belfast slang for groceries
A Hallion – Person with questionable character
Scundered – Embarrassed
Mad as a bag of weasels – Really angry
Wingnut – A bit of a lunatic
Dander – A short walk
A geg – “He’s a geg” A funny person
Boke – Belfast term for vomit
He’s touched – Someone who is a little crazy
Mer ere – Come over to me
Fancy a few – Shall we go to the pub?
Windee – A window
Sound – A decent person or OK then as in agreement
A tool – An idiot
Gammy – “He has a gammy arm” He can’t use his arm
Deadly – Fantastic
A ride – referring to someone you’re attracted to
Manky – Dirty
A gimp – A fool
Mouldy – Drunk
Class – referred to anything that is good
Gander – A quick look
A scoop – An alcoholic drink
A chancer – Someone not to be trusted
The jacks/the bog – the bathroom
Gobshite – Someone you don’t like
Banter – chat amongst friends usually involving friendly teasing.
Mighty – very good
Cop on to yerself – pull yourself together
Knackered – exhausted
Thick – Referring to a person who is a bit stupid
So I'm off now for a couple of gargles, have a belter ye lot.
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