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Thinking about taking a visit to Ireland? Here’s what you should know about the language


Thinking about taking a trip to Ireland ? Better familiarize yourself with some of the Irish English, and Irish Slang before you go.

The first thing you should know before your trip, is that the majority of Irish, don’t speak the language you would think,”Irish”. Right Up through the 19th century, the majority of the Irish spoke the Irish language, Gaeilgeoirí.  After this time period, the number of  Gaeilgeoirí speakers dropped, as many national schools (who were anti-Irish) did not allow children to speak Irish in school, and if they did, they were disciplined and punished.

Another contributing factor was the number of deaths and emigration that took place from 1846-1842 during the “An Gorta Mor: The Great Hunger”. The Potato crop (which the Irish largely depended on), contained a disease known as potato blight, and because of this, many Gaeilgeoirí speakers died, and others relocated to cities where the English was important. Overtime, the Irish- English language was formed.


Though many of the Irish don’t speak the original language of the country, and speak English; there is still a unique sound and dialect, visitors should be aware of. For a few of the Irish English phrases/ Irish slang sayings, see below:

– “What’s the Craic (pronounced crack)?”Craic?”- What’s up? How’s it going?

– “What’s the story?”- What’s going on?

– “That’s Crazy!”- That’s crazy. That’s insane.

– “That’s Mental!”-That’s crazy

– “Did you get the shift?”- Did you make-out with him/her?

– “Top Buzzer”- Life of the party. A very cool person.


– “Buzzin”- Excited

– “That’s Gas!”- That’s hilarious.

– “The crack is 90”- A great time.  A fun time out.

– “Sound”- Cool, Good

Noelani Alexis