A Cool List of Common Irish Slang Terms and their Meanings

List of Common Irish Slang Terms and their Meanings
The Irish use a variety of slang terms, which can be very difficult to understand for someone who is not from the country. Penlighten gives a list of Irish slang words as well as phrases that are commonly used in Ireland.
Penlighten Staff
Last Updated: Mar 9, 2018
Fun Fact!
The Irish slang term 'culchie' is believed to have originated from cúl an tí, meaning the back of the house. In olden times, the country people used to enter houses through front doors only for formal meets, and would otherwise enter through the back door. It might also have originated from the word coillte, meaning woods, to signify that someone is from the rural area, similar to US slang "backwoods".
Most tourists visiting Ireland, often complain that although a majority of the population speak English, they hardly seem to understand a word they say. Well, true enough! The Irish have an English of their own, and one might find themselves dumbfounded amidst a completely foreign vocabulary. For example, being drunk can itself be described in a plethora of ways like ossified, fluthered, in the horrors, langers, locked, paralytic, plastered, scuttered, stocious, twisted and sozzled, and many others. So if you are on your way to Ireland, here is a list of slang terms you should know.
Commonly Used Phrases
Ask me bollocks : - Shut up

Arthur Guinness talking : - Talking rubbish

Away with ye/away on/aye right : - I don't really believe you

Be wide : - Be careful

Be dog wide : - To be extra vigilant

Bite the back of me bollocks! : - Stop annoying me

'Bout ye : - How are you doing?

Boxin' the fox : - Robbing an orchard

Cheese on your chin : - Your fly is open

Circling over Shannon : - To be really drunk
Doing a line : - Courting, seeing someone

Down the Swanee : - Down the drain

Drain da snake : - To take a leak

Dressed to the nines : - Don in your Sunday best

Dry up : - Shut up!

Falling from me : - Same as "I've got the runs"

Flying low, you're : - Your zip is undone

Go on outta that : - No way in hell, or you're pulling my leg

Go way outta that : - Dismissive response to indicate disbelief

How's the talent? : - Is there anyone good-looking?
Haven't got a snowball's chance in hell : - No chance

Hockeyed them out of it : - Really beat them in a game of football or any other sport being played

How's the form? : - How are you?

I could eat the lamb o' Jayjus through the rungs of a chair : - I'm very hungry

I am in me wick : - You must be joking

I could eat a baby through bars of a cot : - I'm hungry

It'd freeze off a brass monkey : - Extremely cold weather

I've a mouth on me : - I'm hungry

I've a throat on me : - I'm thirsty
I will in me brown : - I won't!

I will in me ring : - Certainly not!

Lamped him out of it, I : - I really hit the guy hard and knocked him out

Life of Reilly : - Carefree, hedonistic

Little green man : - A small bottle of Jameson's

Millie up! : - Start a fight

To not have a baldy : - To not have a clue
Commonly Used Slang Terms
NAME MEANING
A
Acting the maggot Playing around with something
Any Use? Any good?
Apache Joyrider
Ape Fool
Agro Fight
Ara be whist Shut up
B
Babby A baby or a little child
Bad dose A bad illness or disease
Bags A bad or messy job
Banjaxed Something which is broken or useless
Be wide Be careful
Bird Girlfriend, date
Blather To talk endlessly
Bog Toilet, restroom
Bollocks Stupid/somebody one doesn't like
Bogey Snot
Bogtrotter A country person
Bolloxed Very drunk
Boozer Pub
Bouzzie, Bowsie* Young good-for-nothing person
Boyo A young person
Bucketing Raining heavily
Bushed Very tired
Bender A very long drinking session
Bucket of snots An ugly person
Buzzies Travelers
C
Caffler An idiot
Cake-hole Mouth
Capper Someone who is handicapped
Chancer Dodgy/risky character
Cheek Disrespect/talk back
Cheesed Off To be mad at someone
Chinwag A chat
Chiseler A young boy
Clatter Slap
Cod A joke
Cop on! Don't be such an idiot
Cow Juice Milk
Cracker Wonderful
Chuffed To be pleased or happy
Culchie Someone from the country-side
Cutie A beautiful young girl
D
Da Father
Danny boy Twenty pounds
Dear Expensives
Diabolical Really terrible
Divil Devil
Dodder Waste time
Dodgy Impaired
Donkey's years A long time
Dope An idiot
Dosser A lazy person
Dote A cute person or baby
Dummy Pacifier
Dear Expensive
*Diddly-aye music Irish traditional music
Dim Stupid
E
Eat the head off To abuse verbally
Eejit Idiot
Engaged Busy
F
Fag Cigarette
Fair play Well-done
Fella A guy friend or buddy
Fib A lie
Fla/Flah Someone who is attractive
Flah-ed out To be extremely tired
Flitters Shabby
Fluthered Extremely drunk
G
Gaff One's home
Gas Something funny
Gawk To stare
Get off with someone To kiss someone
Give out Scold
Gobsmacked Amazed
H
Hames In a mess
Hammered Extremely drunk
Hard neck Someone who lacks respect for others
Header A crazy person
Holliers Holidays or a vacation
Holy show An embarrassing event
Hooley A party
Horse's hoof Embellished story
Hump off Just leave me alone
I
In me wick You've got to be joking
J
Jackeen Someone who lives in Dublin
Jacks Restroom
Jaded Very tired
Jammers Extremely crowded
Jammy Very lucky
Jaysus Jesus
K
Kip A dump or a dive, (also, a nap)
Knackered Very tired
L
Langers Drunk
Lashing Raining very heavily
Lay off Shut up, stop it, or leave me alone
Legging Running very fast
Letting on Pretending
Local The nearest pub
Locked Very drunk
Lawdy daw A snob
Longers Long trousers
Lose the head Lose control
Lush A heavy drinker
M
Ma Mother
Manky Extremely dirty
Mary Hick A woman who is old-fashioned
Mentaller One who is crazy
Messages Groceries
Milling Fighting
Mitch To bunk school
Mot Girlfriend
Motherless Drunk
Murder Very difficult
N
Naff Uncool
Nice one Well done, good job
Nosh Food
O
Off the drink To be abstaining from liquor
Off your nut To be crazy
Ole lady/wan One's old mother
Ole man/fella One's old father
Ossified Drunk
P
Paralytic Drunk beyond capacity
Pictures Movies
Plastered Very drunk
Plonker Idiot
Polluted To be extremely drunk
Pinch Steal
Q
Quare Unusual
Queer hawk A peculiar person
R
Rapid Amazing
Reddener Blush
Reef Beat up
Root To look for
Ruction A bad, loud argument
S
Sap One who is weak and fragile
Scab Someone who borrows all the time
Scalped To get your hair cut short
Scarlet To blush
Scatter To sppedily run away from something
Scram! Go away!
Scratcher Bed
Shattered Tired
Shook To be ill or scared
Shorts Liquor shots
Slagging Making fun of someone
Snapper A child or a baby
Snobby weather! Are you ignoring me?
Specky four-eyes Nickname for someone who wears glasses
Stop the lights! Really?!
Stocious Very drunk
Skint Broke
Skive To evade
T
Thick Dumb
Throwing shapes To show off
Tool Idiot
Twisted Very drunk
Ta Thanks
U
Up the yard! Get lost!
Up to ninety! Ready to explode
W
Wet the tea Make some tea
Whist Keep quiet
Wind up To make fun
Y
Yonks A long time
Yank* An American
* Considered derogatory and/or offensive
Now that you are armed with all the lingo basics, go ahead, and get blathering with your Irish pals, even if you don't have a baldy of what's going on!
View Of The Giants Causeway
View Of Belfast
Aran Woollen Mills
Tourists On Basalt Columns
The Round Tower