40+ Irish Slang Words And Phrases That Are Great Craic Altogether

by Laura Grainger
Originally Published: 
irish slang
Holger Leue/Getty

Even though many countries throughout the world speak English, we don’t all speak it the same way. Each country has its own fun vernacular, unique to its people. And Ireland is no different!

We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common Irish slang words and phrases to be heard on the Emerald Isle. Irish slang can differ depending on what part of the island a person is from, but most of these phrases can be found throughout. And whatever end of Paddy’s Day you’re on, it’s always a good time to test them out. Take it from this Irishwoman though: you shouldn’t go around Dublin calling people “eejits” anytime soon.


Meaning: Banter, fun, or a good time. In a sentence: “He’s a great bit of craic altogether”/”You going to the party on Friday? Should be good craic!”


Meaning: An idiot, a fool, someone who irritates others. In a sentence: “He’s an awful eejit!”


Meaning: Similar to eejit, an idiot or someone who talks shite. Hence, gob + shite. In a sentence: “Don’t listen to that gobshite.”


Meaning: The restroom or toilet. “I’m goin’ the jacks”/”Have we any more bog roll?”

Donkey’s Years/Yonks

Meaning: A long time. In a sentence: “She was working there donkey’s years”/”I haven’t seen you in yonks!”


Meaning: People from Dublin use this the way British people use ‘bloody’ or the way Americans use ‘damn.’ In a sentence: “Get out of the bleedin’ car!”

Give Out

Meaning: To go off on someone or to complain. In a sentence: “The teacher gave out to him ’cause he forgot his homework”/”What are you giving out about now?”


Meaning: A less severe version of the F word. In a sentence: “Would you ever feck off and don’t be annoying me.”

Mitch/On The Hop

Meaning: To skip school. In a sentence: “She got detention for mitching”/”I nearly failed my Leaving Cert ’cause I was always on the hop.”


Meaning: To kiss. In a sentence: “They were shifting behind the school”/”Will ya meet my mate?”


Meaning: Very drunk. In a sentence: “I was absolutely ossified last night…”



Meaning: Broken or run down, usually beyond repair. In a sentence: “My car is absolutely banjaxed.”


Meaning: The negative appearance or being of something. In a sentence: “The state of my car, it’s absolutely banjaxed!”


Meaning: ‘You’ in plural form; ‘ye’ is more common outside of Dublin while ‘yous’ or ‘yiz’ is more common in Dublin. In a sentence: “Did ye see the latest episode?”/”Are yous going to the match?”/”Where are yiz going?”


Meaning: To slack off, or somewhere you can slack off. In a sentence: “She’s always dossing”/”That class was such a doss.”

Acting The Maggot

Meaning: Acting like a fool. In a sentence: “Stop acting the maggot and pose for the photo.”

Oul One/Oul Fella

Meaning: An older woman or man. Can also refer to somebody’s mother or father. In a sentence: “Me oul one will kill me!”/”That’s the oul fella who lives at the end of my road.”

Young One/Young Fella

Meaning: A younger girl or boy, usually between pre-teen and college age. Can also refer to somebody’s daughter or son. In a sentence: “Stay away from that young one”/”Her young fella is off to college in September.”

Your Man/Your One

Meaning: Any man or woman. In a sentence: “Your man can’t drive, look at him!”/”Is that your one off the telly?”


Meaning: Angry or stupid. In a sentence: “She’s still thick over it”/”Your man is some eejit – he’s thick as a plank of wood!”


Meaning: Injured or odd-looking. In a sentence: “He has a gammy knee after the match the other day.”

Holy Show

Meaning: An embarrassment. In a sentence: “She made a holy show of herself.”


Meaning: Amusing or awe-inspiring. In a sentence: “He’s a gas ticket.”


Meaning: Eavesdropping In a sentence: “Were you earwiggin’ again?”


Meaning: Extremely embarrassed. In a sentence: “I really put my foot in it, I was scarlet.”


Meaning: A sleep or a dump of a place. In a sentence: “I got a decent kip last night”/”The hotel was a kip.”

Throw Shapes

Meaning: To dance enthusiastically. In a sentence: “You were throwin’ some shapes on the dance floor last night.”

Nova TV


Meaning: Exhausted. In a sentence: “I’m headed to bed, I’m absolutely knackered.”

All Over The Shop

Meaning: Disorderly, scattered or chaotic. In a sentence: “You should’ve seen me after I got my wisdom teeth taken out, I was all over the shop.”


Meaning: Rubbish or crap. In a sentence: “The festival was pure cat, it rained the whole time.”


Meaning: Dublin version of ‘delighted.’ In a sentence: “It only cost me a fiver, I was delira.”

In A Heap

Meaning: In a state of disorder or disrepair. In a sentence: “I swore I’d never drink again, I was in a heap after the last time.”


Meaning: A lot. In a sentence: “There’s a hape of people in there.”


Meaning: To kid or joke. In a sentence: “I’m only messin'”/”I’m only coddin’ ya.”

Like Mad

Meaning: Frequently or in excess. In a sentence: “She does be drinking like mad when she’s out.”

Effin’ and Blindin’

Meaning: To curse or swear. In a sentence: “You should’ve heard the language out of him, he was effin’ and blindin’ like mad!”


Meaning: A person from the countryside, or if you’re from Dublin, a person from anywhere in Ireland but Dublin. In a sentence: “Town is full of boggers/culchies for the GAA match.”


Meaning: Bogger’s revenge – a person from Dublin. In a sentence: “The Jackeens are full of themselves.”

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