Confused about Irish phrases? – Here’s our helpful guide!

A large part of studying abroad is learning about the culture and the people of the country you live in. This will help you form connections with people and make friends for life. Ireland is an English-speaking country, however Irish people often use a different terminology than other English-speaking countries.

Here’s our guide to Irish words and phrases that will help you understand what on earth people are saying!

  1. Craic A very popular word used by the Irish is Craic; pronounced ‘crack’. It’s a direct translation from the Irish language and means fun. It is used to ask how things are going, what is the vibe like, or if something is good fun. For example: ‘What’s the craic? Ah last night was good craic. Are you up for a bit of craic?’.

    Niall Horan from One Direction teaching Irish slang
  2. Like This is used in a lot of other countries however the Irish use it a little differently, it’s usually placed at the end of sentences. For example, ‘she is crazy, like’; ‘It was some good craic, like’. It is often like an accentuation to the story.
  3. Grand, Delighted or Class Grand is probably used the most out of all three of those words. Some Irish will go so far as to say ‘Ah it is grand so’ meaning ‘it is nice just like that’. Everything can be grand but it is usually referred to when something is awesome,  great or just OK. Delighted is used when they would ‘love to’, for example ‘I would be delighted’ and Class refers to when something is top-notch, it was class.
  4. Gas When something is hilarious or funny or just fun – it is gas.
  5. WreckedYou will hear Irish people say this when they are referring to how tired they are. Usually this is used after being on a night out and referring to how tired you are now because of it. 
  6. Yoke This is another word for something you don’t know the name of or what to call it, like thingamajig; or that thing, Irish folk will call it a yoke.
  7. Your man This is not related to your actual man, or your husband or boyfriend. But rather refers to ‘some guy’, used in a sentence like this: ‘I was at Tesco and your man behind the counter said they were having a sale’. It is possibly the most bizarre one out of them all. You may also hear a variation of it as ‘Your one’, which means the same thing.
  8. No BotherThis saying is similar to the way some countries would say ‘no worries’. It means something is no trouble at all.
  9. You might want to This actually refers to something that you probably should do. Irish are very polite. Irish will say ‘you might want to’ in an effort to be a bit more polite than coming right out and saying ‘just do it my way’. They say it in a way that you might have a choice, but really it is more like a strong suggestion.
  10. Look come here to meThis is a sentence that runs off their tongue so quickly, you might think you’ve heard it wrong! But once you hear someone saying it – you just can’t un-hear it. They will usually say it when they are chasing up a request or trying to get information from you. Some countries might say ‘ah ya know what’; the Irish will say ‘ah sure look come here’.

Once you know these key words and sayings you’ll find it much easier to understand your fellow classmates! Don’t be afraid to say one in a conversation, Irish people are very welcoming and will be sure to teach you even more sayings. 

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