Irish Slang

600+ Fun, Interesting Irish Slang Terms

Irish slang comes from the rich, feisty, unquenchable spirit of the 6.5 million people who live on that tiny island that the English have been kicking around for centuries.

Irish slang is a rich verbal tradition rooted in the hard and hearty struggles of the Irish people, who are predominantly Celtic in ethnicity. They have fought against the more powerful and oppressive British empire, whose members mostly derive from Anglo-Saxons. Irish slang is peppered with sounds and phrases and mythology from the ancient Gaelic language. Gaelic has been all but wiped out of existence in Ireland. At the moment, it is the primary language of a mere 72,000 people. Nearly everyone else speaks the language of the English conquerors.

The Irish language is the verbal expression of tough and rowdy people. They are known to fight and drink and to never give up, despite the odds against them.

The Irish language might seem difficult to understand when you first hear it. However, often, Irish slang is pretty much a shorter version of familiar words. The more you hear it, the more you will understand. However, in order to help, here is a list of common Irish phrases:

Irish Phrases (A)

3m — used to describe a young male whose only cares are his ma, his mouth, and his mustache

49. Aye — yes

50p lifesaver — condom

99, a — ice-cream cone with a chocolate flake

Acting the maggot — fooling and messing around

Afters — dessert

Agro — fight

Alans or Alan Wickers — knickers; rhyming slang

Alco — used to describe someone who’s always drunk

Amadan — fool

Any use? — any good?

Apache — joyrider

Ape — fool

Ara be whist — shut up

Are you okay? — what will you be ordering?

Arse — backside

Arseways — a complete mess, the wrong way

Arthur Scargill — gargle/drink; rhyming slang

Arthurs — a pint of Guinness

Article — a woman

Artist, government — used to describe a person ‘drawing’ welfare

As rough as a bear’s arse — very rough

As scarce as hen’s teeth — very scarce

As sharp as a beach ball — not very sharp

As small as a mouse’s diddy — very small

As thick as two short planks — used to describe something not very thick

As useful as a cigarette lighter on a motorbike — used to describe something not very useful

As useless as a chocolate teapot — also used to describe something not very useful

Ask me arse — shut up

At it — making love

Aul Man or Fella — father

Aul Wan — mother

Aussie kiss — cunnilingus

Away with ye / away on / Aye right — a way of saying I don’t believe you

Irish Words And Phrases (B)

Babby — use the word to describe a little child

Baby Power — a miniature bottle of Powers Irish Whiskey

Backer — riding shotgun on a bicycle

Bad dose — spate of illness

Bad egg — a troublemaker

Bag of Taytos — a packet of potato chips

Bags — messy job

Bake — face/mouth

Baldy, as in “I haven’t got a baldy” — I don’t know

Ball of shite — shitty

Ball-bag — scrotum, but also used to mean an idiot

Balls — to mess up

Bang on — perfectly correct

Banger — In Ireland, this means old car

Banjaxed — broken

Bap — bread bun

Barm brack — cake eaten at Halloween

Barrelling — rushing around

Bate — exhausted

Baths — public swimming pool

Batter ya — I’ll beat you up

Battle cruiser — the pub

Baz — pubic hair

Bazzer — haircut

Be dog wide — be extra vigilant

Be L.O. — keep lookout

Be wide — be careful

Beamer — embarrassed

Bean flicker — lesbian

Bean-jacks — ladies’ toilet

Bells — the time

Belt — hit, assault

Beor / Beour — attractive woman

Bevvies — alcoholic drinks

Beyant — beyond or over there

Bifter — joint, as in “roll a bifter”

Big front, slope back — Irish phrase for feigning wealth when there’s nothing behind it

Bills — pounds

Bingo wings — flabby underarms on a woman

Bird — girl generally, or girlfriend

Biro — In Ireland, this means ballpoint pen

Biscuit — cookie

Biscuits to a bear — a waste of time

Bitch-bag — male scrotum

Bite the back of my bollox — stop bugging me

Black Mariah — police van

Black Stuff — Guinness

Blackers — blackberries

Blackguard — to give someone a hard time

Blarney — nonsense

Blather — talk

Bleedin’ deadly — brilliant

Blow — hash

Blue shirt type of guy — after a 1930’s quasi-fascist group

Bobble — to walk or to move somewhere

BOBFOC — Body Off Baywatch, Face Off Crimewatch; equivalent of American “butterface”

Bog — country are

Bog ball — a derogatory name for Gaelic football

Bogey — An Irish person hailing from outside Dublin

Bogger — Rural person

Bogs — public toilets

Bold — In Ireland, this means naughty

Bollocks — anyone you think is stupid

Bolloxed — very drunk

Bolloxology — engaging in a waste of time

Bombardier — type of Irish bus

Bonnet — car hood

Boot — car trunk

Boozer — pub

Boreen — narrow lane

Bout ye? — how are you doing?

Bouzzie, Bowsie — juvenile delinquent

Bowler — In Ireland, this means dog/ugly person

Box — vagina

Boxin’ the fox — robbing an orchard

Boyo — a bit of a lad

Brass monkey — cold weather

Brasser — slut or whore

Brickin’ it — extremely nervous

Brilliant — great, best

Brown trout — In Ireland, this means excrement

Buck — Boy, man, lad

Bucket of snots — an ugly person

Bucketing — raining

Buckled — drunk

Bucko — lad, player

Bunk off — to skip school or work

Bure — female

Irish Words (C)

Cacks — idiot

Cake-hole — mouth or anus

Caked — too much makeup

Can of piss — derogatory term

Canary, nearly had a — had a fright

Canted — kicked a football over a wall

Capper — handicapped person

Carry-on — argument, commotion

Cassie — In Ireland, this means backyard

Cat — awful

Cess, bad — Bad luck

Cha — tea

Chancer — dodgy/risky character

Chav — “Council Housing And Violent”

Cheek — disrespect

Cheese on your chin — a chat

Chipper — fish and chip shop

Chiseler — child

Chucker-out — doorman/bouncer

Circling over Shannon — drunk

Claim — pick a fight

Class — good

Clatter — slap

Clean on — good-looking

Clem — bad

Close — humid

Cock manger — urinal

Cod/Codding ya — another way to say kid/kidding

Cog — copy someone else’s work at school

Colcannon — mashed potatoes, cabbage or kale & butter, served at halloween

Confo — confirmation (Catholic sacrament)

Conkers — chestnuts

Coodle — shit

Cooker — stove

Cop on — get your shit together

Cop shop — In Ireland, this means police station

Coppertop/coppernob — Ginger-haired person

Corner boy — youth who hangs around aimlessly on the streets

Covers — bedclothes

Cow Juice — milk

Crack — In Ireland, this means fart

Crack on — continue

Cracker — another way to say wonderful

Craic — fun, party (pronounced “crack”)

Crisps — potato chips

Crock — bad car

Cub — young boy

Culchie — rural hick

Curk — a good time

Cut to the onions/bone — fed up

Cute hoor — selfish person

Cuttie — young girl

Irish Words And Phrases (D)

Dander — In Ireland, this means a leisurely stroll

Danny boy — twenty pounds in money

Deadly — fantastic

Deadner, give a — to knee someone in the side of their thigh

Dear — expensive

Dekko — look at, inspect

Delira and Excira — Delighted and Excited (Dublin slang?

Delph — crockery, cups, saucers etc.

Dense — In Ireland, this means stupid

Dickey Dazzler — the meaning is an overdressed man

Diddies — breasts

Dig — punch or slap

Dirty tooth — the meaning is an unclean person

Divvy — silly

Do a bunk/flit — sneak off to avoid something

Dog’s bollocks / mutt’s nuts / puppy’s privates — the real deal

Doin’ a number — causing distress

Doing (or speaking) 90 to the dozen — going (or speaking) very fast

Doing a line — courting, seeing someone

Doing the rat race — driving through housing estates to avoid the traffic

Donkey’s years — In Ireland, this means a long time

Dose — that’s annoying

Dosser — layabout, useless

Dote — a lovely little thing

Down the swanie — down the drain

Doxie — prostitute who works on the docks

Drain da snake — take a piss

Drink link — In Ireland, this means a bank ATM

Drobes — bits and pieces

Drop the hand — gain access to a female’s nether regions

Dry shite — a dull, boring person

Dry up — shut up!

Dry your arse — shut up and stop acting like a child

Duck’s Arse — wet cigarette butt

Duds — clothes

Dummy/Dummy Tit — pacifier

Irish Slang Words E-F

Earwigging — eavesdropping

Eat the head off — attack verbally

Eatin’ house — In Ireland, this means a restaurant

Eccer — homework (from exercises)

Eejit — idiot

Effin’ and blindin’ — cursing and swearing

Elephants — drunk

Equalizer — a bouncer

Erection section — the meaning is a cigarette

Fair play! — Well done! (Example: You won, fair play to you.)

Fairy lights — Christmas lights

Falling from me, it’s — I’ve got the runs

Fanny — female genitalia

Far wack, the — over on the opposite side

Fart around — fool around

Feck — used instead of the other F word

Fecky the Ninth — the meaning is a complete idiot

Feek — the meaning is a gorgeous girl

Feen — the meaning is a male

Fib — a lie

Fiver — 5-pound note

Fierce — very good, excellent (Example: It was a fierce performance.)

Fla/Flah — have sexual intercourse with someone

Flagon — two-liter bottle, usually cider

Flah’ed out — exhausted

Flahulach — flamboyant, can also mean very generous

Flaming — drunk

Flea rake — In Ireland, this means a comb

Flitters — tattered and torn

Flog — sell

Floozie — slut

Flummoxed — this word means puzzled

Flute — penis

Fluthered — drunk (Example: I was absolutely flutered last night.)

Fly cemetery — currant bun

Flying it — doing well

Flying low, you’re — your zipper is undone

FM — Fuckable Mother or MILF

Foddered — eaten

Foostering — wasting time

Foundered — freezing cold

Frankie — term for unsophisticated person from Belfast

Fry — fried breakfast

Full shilling; he’s not the full shilling — not mentally competent

Funny flour — In Ireland, this means cocaine

Irish Slang Words G-H

Gaa, playing — Gaelic football

Gack — foolish or stupid person

Gaff — In Ireland, this means a house

Gallery — great fun

Galya — baby

Gameball — OK

Gammy — this word means shitty

Gander — a nosey look

Gansey — sweater, jersey,

Gary Glitter — funny

Gas — fun (Example: That party was such a gas.)

Gasún (gossoon) — this word means young boy

Gasur — In Ireland, this means an unusual gait

Gee-eyed — young girl

Gee, Gee-box — general term of abuse

Gersha — make out

Get off with (someone) — to get along with someone

Get on like a house on fire — this word means shit

Gick — ass

Gimp — idiot

Gingernut — redheaded person

Git — In Ireland, this means rotten person

Give out — criticize

Give it a lash – an attempt, or to go out drinking (Example: I thought I would give it a lash.)

Glad eye — a crush

Go away out of that/ Go on outta that — you must be joking

Go-car — baby’s pushchair

Gob — this word means mouth

Gobber — green phlegm

Gobshite — idiot

Gobsmacked — In Ireland, this means very surprised

Gom — Fool

Gooter — penis

Goozer — In Ireland, this means kiss

Gowl — this word means stupid person

Grand — grand means OK

Growler — female genitalia (hairy growler)

Guff — nonsense

Gummin’ — salivating, craving

Gur cake — a dense fruitcake

Gurrier / Guttie — lout, hooligan, or Gypsy

Gutties — trainers, sports shoes

Half a bubble off true — idiot

Hames/Haymes — Complete

Hape — Loads

Happy out — Sorted out

Hard neck — this means cheek

Hardchaw, Hardman — rough person

Hash — to mess up

Haven’t got a baldy — no chance

Having someone on — joking with someone

Having the painters in — on your period

Head — this means friend or pal

Head like a bag of spuds — this phrase refers to an ugly person

Head the ball — this phrase is often used for a foolish person

Header — In Ireland, this means an unstable person

Heavin’ — thronged/packed

Heel — the first or last slice of a loaf of bread

Heifer — an ugly country woman

Hick or Hickey/Hickster — unfashionable

High babies — senior infants’ school

Himbo — male bimbo

Hit and miss — In Ireland, this means piss

Hobnails — the knuckles of the fist

Hockeyed them out of it — trounced someone in sports

Hogan’s goat — kept woman

Hole — arse

Hole in the wall — ATM

Holliers — holidays!

Holy Joe — sanctimonious person

Holy show — disgraceful scene

Hoofed — walked

Hooley — party or celebration

Hop on — fight

Hop, on the — playing hooky

Horrors — drunk

Horse — friend

How’s the form? — this phrase means how are you?

How’s the talent? — Is there anyone good-looking/ interesting here?

How’s she cuttin’? — what’s the news?

How’s the craic? — How are you?

Hump, the — In Ireland, this means sulking

Hunkers, on your — squatting

Irish Slang Words I-J

I am in me wick — you must be joking!

I could ate (eat) the twelve apostles — very hungry

I could ate a reverend mother — extremely

I could eat a baby’s arse through the bars of a cot — I’m hungry

I could eat the lamb o’ Jayjus through the rungs of a chair — I’m very hungry

I will in me brown — I won’t!

I will in me hole — In Ireland, this means I will not

I will in me ring — certainly not

I will yea — I won’t

I’d eat a farmer’s arse through a blackthorn bush! — I’m hungry

I’ve a mouth on me — In Ireland, this means I’m hungry

I’ve a throat on me — I’m thirsty

If I were mad, I would! — I certainly won’t

In tatters — destroyed

Jabs — breasts

Jack in the box — A dead Dublin man

Jacked — tired

Jackeen — A rural person’s name for a Dubliner

Jacks — toilet

Jam on your egg — wishful thinking

Jam rags — sanitary napkins

Jammer — stolen car

Jammin — having your period

Jammy — lucky

Janey Mack! — Gosh, really?

Japers! — Gosh, really?

Jar — a pint

Jaysus — Jesus

Jibber — person afraid to try new things

Jip — sperm

Jo Maxi — taxi

Johnny — condom

Johnny-jump-up — pint of Guinness mixed with Bulmer’s (cider)

Joyce — ten pounds in money

Juicy — cute

Irish Slang Words K-L

Kick in the bollocks, a — crotch kick

Kicked and booted — assaulted

Kimberley’s — local biscuits

Kip — a dump or a dive

Knacker’s yard — an abattoir

Knackered — very tired

Knick-knacking — ringing a doorbell and running away

Knickers — ladies’ underwear

Knobs — breasts

Knocked up — pregnant

Lack — girlfriend/sex slave

Lad(s); One of the lads — one of the gang

Lady muck — stuck-up woman

Lamp — to hurt someone

Langer — penis

Langers — drunk (Example: I’m so hungover. I was langers last night.)

Large lad — penis

Lashing — raining hard

Laudy daw — snob

Layin’ boots — kicking someone when they’re down

Leg it — run away quickly

Letting on — pretending

Life of Reilly — carefree

Lift — elevator

Like a blind cobbler’s thumb — ugly

Like a blue-arsed fly — hectically busy

Little green man — a small bottle of Jameson’s

Lively — leave quickly, vamoose

Loaf — to head butt someone

Local, the — the nearest pub

Lock — small amount

Lock-hard — unsolicited advice

Locked — very drunk (Example: He was locked last night.)

Locked out of his tree like a monkey who forgot his keys — extremely intoxicated

Longers — long trousers

Loopers — nuts

Lose the head — to lose control and start a fight

Low babies — junior infants’ school

Lurching — slow dancing up close

Lush — alcoholic

Irish Words M-N

Mad as a box of frogs — crazy

Malarky — tomfoolery

Mangled — drunk

Manky — filthy dirty

Mary Hick, Mary Banger — unfashionable female

Massive — brilliant, deadly

Master — the best

Me arse and Katty Barry! — Yeah, sure!

Me ould segotia, me ould sweat, me ould flower — best friend

Mebbs — genitals

Meet — To French-kiss someone

Melted — very tired

Melter — a pain in the ass

Mentaller — crazy guy

Messages — groceries

Midden — slob

Millie up! — a fight going to start

Milling — fighting

Mingin’ — dirty

Mink — traveller

Minus craic — incredibly boring party

Missed by a gee hair — just missed; can be used to describe a near accident or a missed shot in soccer etc.

Mitch — Irish slang for bunk school, playing truant

Mog — Irish slang for person of low intelligence

Molly — Irish slang for effeminate

Mollycoddle — Irish slang for overprotect

Moran — Irish slang for moron

Mortaller — Irish slang for mortal sin

Mot — Irish slang for girlfriend

Motherless — Irish slang for drunk

Mouldy — Irish slang for lousy/rotten

Mountainy — big, rough rural woman

Muck — Irish slang for soil

Muppet — Irish slang for fool, idiot

Murder — tough going/difficult

Muzzy — a little brat

Narky — cranky

Nat-king — welfare, dole; comes from Nat King Cole (rhyming slang)

Nawful — terrible

Ninety to the dozen, going — going very fast

Nip — nude

Nits — head lice

Nixer — job paid under the table

Noodle — head

Not the full shillin’ — stupid

Numbs — drunk

Nunny bunny — five pounds in money

Nuts — mad

Irish Words O-P

Odds — loose change

Off licence — liquor store

Off me face — really high or drunk

Off the drink — on the wagon

Off your nut — crazy

Oinseach — idiot

Olagonin’ — moaning

Old lady — mother

Old man — father

On the doss — goofing off

On the lash — to go out drinking

On the ockie — skipping school or work

On the pig’s back — in a celebratory mood

On the piss — pub crawling

On the tear — going drinking

One and One — fish and chips

Ossified — drunk

Oul Dear / Oul Wan — mom

Oul Fella — dad

Oxters — armpits

Package of crips — a packet of potato crisps

Pain in the hole — Pain in the ass

Paralytic — very drunk

Patio people — smokers who have been forced outdoors

Pave — to rob something

Pedal and crank — wank

Peeler — policeman

Pelt — skin

Perishing — very cold

Petrified — drunk

Pew — common Irish word for a goofball

Piece of piss — easy

Pile o’ shite — terrible

Piped telly — cable television

Pishmires — ants

Piss in the beds — Irish slang for dandelions

Piss up — Irish slang for getting drunk

Pisshead — Irish slang for alcoholic

Plankin’ it — Irish slang for very nervous

Plonker — Irish slang for idiot

Plugged — Irish slang for pregnant

Póg mo thóin — kiss my arse

Pogue — kiss

Polluted — drunk

Ponce — a highly effeminate male

Poof — homosexual

Poormouthing — pretending to have no money

Poppies — potatoes

Poteen — illegal spirits

Praities — potatoes

Pram — go-car, baby’s pushchair

Pruning — squeezing testicles hard

Puck — punch

Pull, having — being attractive

Pull your socks up — get to work

Pullin’ me wire — masturbating

Pulling me plum — doing absolutely nothing

Pure — Really/very

Puss — face, usually sulky

Put a gap in the bush — close the door

Put a Santa hat on it and call it Randal — crazy

Put the heart crossways in someone — you’ll give me a heart attack

Putting it on the long finger — procrastinating

Irish Words Q-R

Quare hawk — odd fella

Qweer bit of skirt / talent — a really attractive woman / man

Rabbit on — talk a lot

Racked — tired

Rag order — disorganized

Rake — common Irish word for a great amount

Rale Bulgarian — an uncivilized character

Rashers — pieces of bacon; also female genitalia

Rawny — thin, delicate male

Reddener — blush

Redser — somebody with red or ginger hair

Reef — beat (a person) up

Ri-ra — fun and excitement

Ride — A good-looking person

Riverdance — committing suicide in the Shannon River

Rock ‘n’ roll — having sex

Ronnie — mustache

Rosie Lee — tea

Rossie — brat

Row — fight (rhymes with cow)

Rub-a-dub-dub — the pub

Rubber — drunk

Rubber Dollies — running shoes

Rubber Johnny — condom

Rumbly — suspicious

Common Irish Words And Phrases S-T

Sambos — sandwiches

Sap — wimp

Savage — very severe or excellent

Scaldy — scabby, stingy

Scallion — spring onion

Scanger — stupid female

Scarlet — blushing

Scon — amorous

Scoops — alcoholic drink

Scran — means food in the Irish language

Scratcher — bed

Scrawbed — scratched by fingernails

Scrubber — slut

Scundered/scunderated — embarrassed

Scuttered — drunk

Scutters/Squitters — diarrhea

Sell ya the eye out of your head — a con man who will sell anything

Session — day drinking

Shades — police

Shaper — young male who struts

Shattered — exhausted

Shift — French kiss

Shlossed — very drunk

Shower of savages — a rowdy crowd

Shrapnel — loose change

Skawly — means horrible in the Irish language

Skin — friend

Skins — the papers used to roll a joint or a cigarette

Skiver — lazy person

Slag — slut

Slapper — slut

Sleeveen — sly, calculating person

Slinjing — dragging your heels

Snapper — child

Snaps — photographs

Snared rapid — caught doing something one shouldn’t have been doing

Sneachta — cocaine (snow)

Snobby Weather!! — “are you choosing to ignore me?”

Snog — kiss

Snug — pub booth

Soft auld day, it’s a — a soft rain is falling

Soother — pacifier

Sound — cool, solid (Example: My new partner is sound.)

Spanner — idiot

Specky Four-Eyes — someone who wears glasses

Speedy — police motorbike

Sprog — kid

Squizz — a look-see

Stabber — the last 1/4 of a cigarette

Stalk — penis

Stinky/Stinkies — shit

Stocious — drunk as a lord

Stook — fool

Stop the lights! — jayzuz, really?!

Strand — beach

Strides — trousers

Stroked — to be proved wrong

Suckin’ diesel — having a good time

Tackies — runners/trainers

Taig — Catholic

Take the piss — mock

Tan — an English person

Tenner — 10-pound note

That’s Arthur Guinness talking — talking while drunk

There’ll be wigs on the green — There will be hell to pay

Thick — stupid

Throw shapes — show off

Thunder & Lightning — knocking at a door and running away

Tiddler — small fish or child

Tinker — low-class female

Tip — dirty, messy place

To come down in the last shower — to be naïve

Togs — swimming trunks

Topper — a great young lad

Tosser — wanker

Touched — a strange person

Touchin’ cloth — dying to take a crap

Turf Accountant — bookie

Twisted — very drunk

Twistin’ hay — starting mild trouble

Two-bulb — squad car

Tyre biter — ugly female

Common Words Irish People Use U-Z

Undy-grundy — wedgie

Up the pole — pregnant

Up to ninety — ready to explode

Vitamin G — pint of Guinness

Wagon — ugly female

Wall-falling — exhausted

Walrus — fifty pounds in money

Warped — very drunk

Wee Folk — Leprechauns

Whiff or Whack — a smell

Whist — keep quiet

Why don’ cha? — you’d better not

Wick — crap

Wide — understand

Wire — penis

Wise Up, Kop On — use your head

Wojus — poor or bad

Wrapped more times than a bad Christmas present — damaged or broken

Wrecked — tired (Example: We were out last night until one o’clock. I’m wrecked now.)

Y-Fronts — men’s briefs

Ye’d think I didn’t have a mouth on me — someone who feels overlooked when food is offered

Yer —You are (Example: Yer man was caught stealing.)

Yockers — balls

Yonks — a long time

You couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with a banjo — uncoordinated person

Youngwan — generic term for a youth (female)

Your head’s a marley — you don’t know what you’re talking about (marley = marble)

Your hole — having sex

Yoyo — euro

Zonk — one-pound coin Thought Catalog Logo Mark