Irish Slang Terms Americans Don’t Understand
March 15, 2023
Even though English is the primary language in Ireland, there are still figures of speech used that can be confusing to Americans.
- “A ride” is one of them, as it doesn’t just mean taking a trip in a car, it can also mean an attractive person or refer to doing the deed.
- This is what the Irish mean when they say “gaff,” “chipper,” “plaster,” and other slang words Americans might not understand.
- Source: 24/7 Wall St
When you’re traveling to a country where English is widely spoken, you might assume you’ll understand what everyone is saying. But if you’re in Ireland, where English is the primary language, and someone says they want “the black stuff,” would you know they meant a pint of Guinness?
These are some Irish slang words and terms that might confuse Americans. And knowing them could come in handy for St. Patrick’s Day this Friday:
- “A ride” - An attractive person, but it can also refer to doing the deed.
- “Gaff” - Another word for house. You might hear a teenager say they’ve got a “free gaff,” which means their parents aren’t home and they’re having a party.
- “Chipper” - A fast food shop that sells deep-fried foods like fish and chips.
- “Bold” - In the U.S. it usually means courageous, but in Ireland, it means naughty, as in bad behavior.
- “Plaster” - A Band-Aid.
- “Till” - A cash register.
- “Dear” - Not a term of endearment in Ireland, but something expensive.
- “Manky” - This refers to something dirty, disgusting or rotten and can be used to describe anything from the weather to leftovers found in the back of the fridge.
- “Langered” - A langer is a fool or an idiot and being langered means being incredibly drunk.
- “Scarlet” - It means embarrassed, as in the color of your cheeks when you’re embarrassed.
- “Savage” - Something awesome, excellent or really great.
- “Craic” - This roughly translates to having fun or good times, as in “Are you up for a bit of craic tonight?”
- “The messages” - If you’re getting the messages, you’re running errands or grocery shopping.
- “Donkey’s years” - A long time.
- “The black stuff” - When someone asks for a pint of the black stuff, they’re served a pint of Guinness stout.
Source: 24/7 Wall St