12 examples of Irish slang words that you need to know before you come to Dublin

English is the main spoken language in Ireland, but sometimes Irish people speak as if they invented their own language. So many different local expressions and slang words that sometimes make us feel in a non-English speaking country. However, there’s no need to worry because in this post, we will help you with some Irish slang.

1. What’s the craic?

It is pronounced like “crack.” The most straightforward definition is fun or enjoyment, and it can replace the popular How are you?”“How’s the craic?” or “s’craic?” meaning “what’s up?”, “what’s happening?”, “what’s the story?”, or just “hello”/”how are ya?”A typical response is “divil a bit,” which means “not much.”

2. Hiya

It is an informal expression and it means “Hi you”.

Example: Hiya, Pete, how’re you doing?

3. Grand

This word has 2 definitions;

  1. “You are grand” – A term to say “no” to someone, or “you are fine”.

Mammy: Would you like a cup of tea, son?

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Son: Thanks mammy, but you’re grand.

  1. A reply to “How are you”, “How are you feeling”.

Dinner will be ready in 10 minutes – “Grand”

“We will meet you there – “Grand”

4. The jacks

If you arrive in Ireland and ask someone for the restroom, it is a social suicide. It’s either called “the toilet,” and the Irish slang word for that is “the jacks.”

5. Quare

It’s an odd pronunciation of “queer,” but it’s used as a replacement for “very.”

“Jaysis, it’s quare warm today isn’t it?”

6. “Sure look it”

“Ah, sure look it” is an acceptable response to any question, statement, or comment.

What does it mean? God only knows! But if you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re not sure of what to say, just go “sure look it” and you’ll fit in just fine.

“Isn’t it such a lovely weather today?” “Ah, sure look it.”


7. Deadly

Nobody will die! This just mean brilliant, fantastic, great. Deadly is definitely a popular Irish slang word.

Example: That was a deadly film!

8. A dirtbird

Someone with a filthy mind or someone disgusting.

Example: Would yeh shut up yeh dirtbird, me Ma’s in the next room.

9. Black Stuff

A pint of the “Black Stuff” as it’s often referred to, it’s actually a pint of the famous Irish dry stout, Guinness.

10. Fair play!

If you refer to someone’s attitude or behavior as “fair play”, you are approving it, because it shows respect and sympathy towards someone, even towards people who are thought to be wrong or to deserve punishment.

Example: I did my homework yesterday. Wow, fair play!

11. Fella

A guy. Particularly as in “Me Fella” or “My boyfriend, husband, partner”

Example: “I saw you yesterday with your fella”

12. On the lash

To go out drinking
Maybe we’ll go out on the lash.


We hope you enjoy these examples of Irish slang words and we also hope you get prepared to the lovely accent and the lovely local expressions.

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