Ireland is known the world over for its rich culture and heritage, but did you know that it is also known as the land of saints and scholars?
Home to literary greats such as Yeats, Heaney and Wilde, the Irish have a way with language and words that are both full of magic and the deadly Irish sense of humour.
If you find yourself celebrating St Patrick’s Day over a pint, this list of Irish sayings may prove useful.
What’s the craic? Probably the most well used and loved terms throughout Ireland which can cause a lot of potential misunderstandings because craic is pronounced like “crack”. Craic means fun or enjoyment and the phrase can be substituted for “How are you?”
Ach: A regional word that's usually placed at the start of a sentence. “Ach go on.”, “Ach, you know?”
We’re sucking diesel now: Refers to something moving forward. Whether it’s a situation or a vehicle, if it’s moving smoothly or at great speed then “you’re suckin’ diesel, boyo”.
Fierce weather: All weather is "fierce." It can be fierce wet, fierce cold, fierce mild, fierce dry, fierce windy, fierce drizzly, fierce warm, fierce frosty, fierce breezy, fierce damp, fierce humid, fierce dead. Fierce everything, basically.
Quare: Meaning ‘very’ or ‘exceptional’. “It’s quare weather we are having”.
Grand: Meaning fine or OK. “Do you want a cuppa? Be grand, thanks.” Also, a valid response to allay any minor worries which can be dealt with later.
“What if we can’t get a taxi home tonight? “Be grand.”
Sláinte: Meaning '’Good health,’' this is an ancient Irish expression is derived from the word slán, meaning safe. For example, when downing a pint of Guinness you would say 'Sláinte' before you drink.
You might notice ‘top of the morning’ is missing from the list, consider yourself fully educated now, as nobody in Ireland both north and south ever use that greeting.
Or if you fancy your hand at some Gaelic phrases, here are some easy ones to test the water with.
Hello: ‘Dia duit,’ pronounced ‘Dee-ah gwit’. The literal meaning is ‘God to you’.
Goodbye: ‘Slán leat’ pronounced, ‘slawn lat’. The literal meaning is health/safety with you.
How are you?: Conas atá tú? Pronounced, ‘Kun-ass a-taw to?’
Thanks: ‘Go raibh maith agat’, pronounced ‘Guh rev mah ah-gut’.
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