When you study in Ireland you will quickly learn that the locals are a friendly, sociable bunch with good humour - not only at university, but also everywhere else. But it will also take some time to get used to the local slang. In this list, we have compiled some of the most common phrases that you will come across in Ireland - from both English and Irish Gaelic.
Things in Ireland are never okay or good - they are grand. And you, too, should claim to be grand when asked: “How are you?” (Well, unless you feel terrible!)
Pronounced “slahn-che”, this is something you will hear in any given pub on St Patrick's Day or, well, basically on any day in Ireland. Sláinte literally means “health” and is the Irish Gaelic equivalent to saying “cheers”.
If there's one question you'll hear in Ireland, and probably nowhere else, it's: “What's the craic?” And descriptions of a fun night out will certainly include the phrase “it was good craic”.
Pronounced “crack”, there is no direct English equivalent for this Irish Gaelic word. Depending on context, it means fun, good times, or in a more neutral way, the current happenings.
Okay, so you started with sláinte, there was good craic to be had, but what happens the next morning? Worst case, you might end up with what the Irish call the Fear - a terrible hangover with a solid serving of shame and remorse.
Thanks a million
Where other languages, such as German or Italian, contend themselves with just a thousand thanks (“tausend Dank” and “grazie mille”, respectively), people in Ireland decided to take it over the top and add a few zeroes. So this is just a common Irish way of simply saying “thanks a lot”.
I will yea!
Spend some time in Ireland and you will quickly learn that not everything said is to be taken literally, and often times, it means exactly the opposite. This is one of those cases: It sounds like it should mean “certainly”, whereas in reality it's more along the lines of “no way in hell”.
Pronounced “fahl-cheh”, this is a word that you will read a lot, but not hear so much. It simply means “hello” or “welcome” and you will likely come across it outside shops or on town signs.
Good Irish weather
This is another typical example of an Irish oxymoron. Who in the world has ever described Irish weather as good? That's right - no one. When you hear someone speaking about “good Irish weather”, it usually means clouds, rain, and wind. But hey, if you decided to study in Ireland, perhaps that is just the kind of gloomy climate you were looking for?
2229 Programmes in Ireland