28 Irish Slang Words You Need to Know

Jenna Steadman is a Study Abroad student at the University of Limerick. She is from Ontario, Canada, and is majoring in Psychology and Music. Here, she gives a run down of all the Irish phrases she’s learned in her first few weeks at UL.

Can’t seem to wrap your head around the crazy Irish lingo? For a while I couldn’t either but I think I’ve gathered the basics to make it trough a conversation and not end up completely dazed and confused.  So, if you’re still trying to figure out what on earth craic is, or how to queue up, listen closely and follow along.

tv comedy stand up irish

Bad Form: Bad move, bad idea.

Bang on: Correct,  right on.

Bolloxed: To be very drunk (“Oh, he’s straight bolloxed tonight.”)

Cheers: Have a good one, thanks.

Craic: Fun, good time. (“How’s the craic?”)

Dodgy: Sketchy, questionable (“He’s acting pretty dodgy.”)

Eejit: Idiot, fool, goof.

Fiver: €5 bill/note (“Do you have change for a fiver?”)

Gas: funny or amusing (“That’s so gas!”)

Giving Out: Chewing someone out, having a go at someone. (“My friend really gave it out to that guy last night.”)

Grand: Okay, Fine, Good, Great, Alright (“Last night was grand.”)

Hiya: Hello, Hey, Hi (editors note: hiya ye isn’t a thing. Don’t try to make it a thing)

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Hoover: A vacuum (editors note: not specifically a Hoover brand vacuum, just any vacuum in general)

Jumper: A sweater or hoodie.

Lads: Girls, boys. (“I’m meeting up with some lads after class.”)

Lift: Elevator (“Take the lift to the third level of the building.”)

Locked: To be drunk (“Sorry, he is completely locked.”)

No bother: No problem

Pissed: To be drunk (“She’s absolutely pissed tonight.”)

Queue: A line or wait (“There’s quite a queue for the signup sheet.”)

Shift: Makeout

Shock: A hangover (“I’m feeling the shock.”)

Shook: To look sick, unwell. (“She looked shook.”)

Tanks: Thanks

The drink: an alcoholic drink

To let: To lease/ For rent

Tackies: Running shoes, sneakers, runners (Specifically Limerick slang).

Ye: You, Y’all, Everyone (“When do ye want to meet?”)

Although there’s plenty more slang going around, hopefully this gets you through most of your upcoming conversations with the Irish lads. Good luck!


Follow Jenna’s personal blog https://steadyasshegoesabroad.wordpress.com/

More Blogs by UL Students

Top 8 Panoramic Views of Ireland

Top 10 Hidden Ruins in Ireland

7 Reasons to do a Post Grad at UL

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