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Tuesday 30 May 2023 Dublin: 13°C
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.

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