The Irish accent is one of my all-time favourites. I love the musicality of it and the fact that it varies across the country. But, I’ll admit, when I first visited I found that, sometimes, it could be hard to understand. Especially with all the funny Irish slang and phrases. More than once someone would ask me something or say something to me and I’d just stare at them with a dumb look on my face wondering what the hell they were talking about.
Thankfully, by now, I have them (mostly) figured out. So I thought I should share so that when you arrive and someone asks ‘What’s the craic’ your mind doesn’t automatically revert to street drugs. Here are some common Irish slang and phrases that you need to know before your visit.
Top Irish Slang and Phrases
What’s the Craic: What’s up or what’s going on (craic is pronounced as ‘crack’).
Ex: Hey, Hannah! What’s the craic?
Deadly: Awesome or fantastic.
Ex: That movie was deadly.
Fair Play: Good on you, well done, or good job.
Ex: You got the job? Fair play to you!
Yer Man/Yer Woman: That guy/that girl
Ex: I used to work with yer man over there with the blue coat.
Ex: Steak for dinner? That’s grand.
I’m Knackered:I’m tired/exhausted.
Ex: I’m totally knackered after last night.
That’s Savage: That’s great/ brilliant.
Ex: Did you read that book? It’s savage.
Class: Excellent/ really good.
Ex: You’re going on holiday for a week? That’s class.
I’m Shattered: I’m exhausted.
Ex: I can’t right now, I’m completely shattered.
Gas: Funny or entertaining.
Ex: Have you talked to Jimmy yet? He’s gas!
Slag: Either to make fun of someone. Also, a slang word for a prostitute.
Ex: Aw, don’t worry. He’s just slagging you. Or She’s a total slag.
Thick: An idiot, someone who is stupid.
Ex: He’s just thick in the head.
Leg It: To run away really quickly.
Ex: The rain is coming, better leg it.
The Black Stuff: Guinness.
Ex: Can I have a pint of the black stuff.
On the lash: Go out drinking.
Ex: I was on the lash last night.
A Knacker: Basically the Irish equivalent of a redneck.
Ex: Stay away from that area, it’s full of knackers.
Feck Off: Fuck off.
For more funny Irish slang and phrases, check out this book.
If you have any more Irish phrases you think should have a spot on this list let me know in the comments below!