TheJournal.ie uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Click here to find out more »
Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 23 October, 2014

14 ways Irish people have made English their own

It’s probably a complete wreck-the-head for English speaking visitors.

WE’VE GOT OUR own way of doing things in Ireland, not least when it comes to our language.

Yes, English may not be our true mother tongue, but we’ve certainly found ways of making it our own.

In fact, some of our expressions are so profoundly indigenous that they would be meaningless outside of Ireland.

Like these, for example.

Sucking diesel

The alignment of imbibing a fluid used to power a vehicle with the experience of success might confuse some people, but to us it makes perfect sense.

Flickr/Trent Strohm

Me hoop

It’s probably best if we don’t go into great detail on this one, but there is no doubt that the exclamation ‘I will in me hoop!’ would not be understood beyond our borders.

Dowtcha boy

This one is pure Cork, which means that there are those within Ireland who struggle to understand it.

Outside of our fair isle?  Not a chance.

Flickr/Trent Strohm

A gas ticket

For us, a gas ticket is obviously a real character, someone who’s good fun to be around.

Outside of Ireland, it’s some sort of electrical or gas related certificate.

Flickr/Trent Strohm

An awful dose

For English speakers around the globe, a dose is a measure of quantity usually related to medicine.

In Ireland, it means a pain in the arse.

Flickr/nznomad

Come here to me

Come here to me is not a confusing phrase, but the fact that we generally use it when we are already in close proximity to the person we’re speaking to is a real puzzle.

It may not make sense, but dammit we’re not letting it go.

Flickr/aenimation

Go ‘way outta that

See also: Ara would you stop!

Where most nationalities respond to a compliment with ‘thanks’, we tell people to go away.  A real puzzler for people of other nationalities.

Flickr/aenimation

Giz a shot of that

Sorry, a shot?  A shot of what?  Are we drinking now?

Flickr/aenimation

He made a hames of that

What is a hames?  It’s a mess, of course.

To us it’s simple.  To others it doesn’t make any sense.

Flickr/k.alex.bab

Always acting the maggot

If you think about it, this one is difficult to comprehend.  What are we actually saying?

Are we implying that people who are messing are acting like maggots?  Like wriggly little white worms?

Flickr/JuergenTrautmann

He ate the head off her

Clearly, we do not literally go around eating the heads off people.

There are probably some people in other countries who are of the belief that we do, though.

Flickr/Trent Strohm

Wreck-the-head

To start with, we use ‘wreck’ in a different way to many other English speakers.  We ‘get wrecked’ sometimes, other times we ‘are wrecked’, occasionally we ‘look wrecked’.

When you add in ‘the-head’ it’s a whole new world.

Flickr/Trent Strohm

Horse it into ya

Horse is not a verb in most English speaking countries, but goddammit, we do whatever the hell we want in Ireland.

Flickr/Monti 12

Deadly buzz

We are possibly the only nation in the world where something being deadly is a good thing, and a deadly buzz means a good time.

Deadly buzz can also be dripped with sarcasm and used to indicate a bad time, further complicating matters for visitors to our shores.

Flickr/beamillion

Simplicity is overrated.

asdfasdf

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

Read next:

Comments (235 Comments)

Add New Comment