My Top 10 Irish Phrases

Hailey Dorthalina is a student at California Lutheran University and an ISA Featured Blogger. She studied abroad with ISA in Galway, Ireland.

After a full month in the incredible city of Galway, Ireland. I’ve heard some absolutely ludicrous yet incredibly endearing Irish slang, some of which are beginning to make their way into my own vocabulary.

1. “Craic”

What’s the craic?

Last night was good craic.

She’s great craic.

The’s no word like it in American terms. To put it simply, it’s good times or fun. I’m sure I asked at least five Irish people how to respond to “what’s the craic?” before I actually learned the proper way to reply.

2. “Thanks a million”

or ‘thanks a mil’

A polite way to show appreciation for something. It’s not so much a hyperbole as it is just a cuter way to say thank you.

3. “Good Irish weather”

This one gets me. It’s not good weather at all. It means gloomy/rain/cold weather, basically the opposite of good. As a California girl, I find myself cringing a bit every time I hear this phrase. It is the equivalent of saying “we got some good rain today” or “there was a good storm this weekend.”

Irish Slang 2

Apparently, good is out of trend here because they use:

4. “Grand”

I’m sorry! –you’re grand

How are you? I’m grand.

The Grand Canyon in Ireland would be just a normal sized canyon. Get the picture? If something is grand it’s just so-so, average, normal or just good. This term is tossed around quite often, so it’s important to know which country you’re in when you use it!

5. “Eejit”

You forgot your keys? You eejit.

This term is used only in some parts of Ireland as an endearing way to call someone silly or stupid. It almost sounds like your saying idiot, but you’re not.

Irish Slang 1

6. “Lovely”

This cake is lovely.

This weather is lovely.

Everything is lovely. It’s like being a princess but in real life.

7. “Class”

That place is class.

When something is good, it’s class. The restaurant is class, this food is class. If you’d call something prime or classy, it’s class to the Irish.

Class on the other hand is not class which leads us to:

8. “College”

Are you done with college today?

Actually no, I have two more years. The Irish students use the word college similarly to the way we would say ‘school’ or ‘class.’

Irish Slang 3

9. “Ye & Yous”

I haven’t seen yous all day!

They just like these pronouns.

10. “Sound”

How are you? Sound.

He’s sound.

This term is used much less; some Irish folk don’t use it at all. It translates to reliable, dependable, and a good sort.

On a side note: The Irish accent does not pronounce ‘th’. This means my last name is “Dortalina,” they wish you a “happy birtday,” and it’s “tree tirty in the afternoon.”

The World Awaits…Discover it.