We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.


9 distinctly Irish terms of abuse

Do you recognise any of these words? Well then you might just be a feckin’ langer.

THE BEST THING about a typically Irish term of abuse is that it’s also just as frequently a term of endearment.

So the next time someone calls you a feckin’ eejit or tells you your car is bleedin’ banjaxed, take it with a grain of salt.  Here’s our guide to getting insulted – or complimented, depending on how you look at it.

1. Culchie

A term used by Dubliners for anyone who lives beyond the Pale. Often thrown about in jest, but has the potential to wound if used in serious conversation – like when discussing last week’s GAA match, for example.


Image: Flickr/jaqian

2. Scaldy

Something or someone disgusting. So your actions can be scaldy, but so can your old smelly runners. Versatile.


Image: Flickr/LWY

3. Banjaxed

Broken beyond repair. See also: “bockety”. Or as someone from the Southside of Dublin might say: “totalled”.


Image: Carrolls

4. Eejit

The old reliable. Either said with contempt or fondness – or sometimes both at once.


Image: Flickr/dullhunk

5. Fecker

Popularised around the world by good old Father Jack.


Image: Reddit

6. Gobdaw

A milder form of the slightly more vehement “gobshite”. This one needs no definition. We all know a gobshite, don’t we?


Image: Digital Kaos

7. Langer

One for the Corkonians, best said in their inimitable accent.


Image: People’s Republic of Cork

8. Poxbottle

How many words do Irish people need to express the opinion that they think someone is a fool? Lots, apparently.


Image: Dublin Graffitied

9. Wagon

This can mean either an unpleasant or a formidable woman. Depending on whether or not she can hear you.


Image: Flickr/inkknife

To catch the gassest pair of long lost brothers and a few scaldy wagons for good measure, be sure to check out RTÉ’s new show, Damo & Ivor. The satirical comedy originated on Republic of Telly and tells the story of two twins separated across the Liffey at birth. Damo & Ivor hits screens Monday 16th September at 10.00pm on RTÉ Two.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.