Irish people are known to be friendly. So there is no doubt that when you visit their country, you’ll feel welcome. But if you want to experience Ireland to the fullest, you should learn some Irish expressions and slang! So here are a few phrases and words you should know!

1. Craic

This one is one of the most famous Irish expressions. Yet, it’s often mispronounced as it should be said like ‘crack’. It means ‘fun’ or ‘business’. If someone tells you ‘what’s the craic?’, it means ‘what’s up?’

2. Pint of Gat

‘gat’ is a synonym for Guinness, Ireland’s favourite!

I’ll have one pint of gat, please.

3. Ossified

Ossified is when you are very drunk. To put it differently, this is how you are after too many pints of gat!

Last night, Jerry was so ossified he danced on the table!

4. Sure look it!

This is the phrase you can use to answer any question. God only knows what it means but, if an Irish person asks you a question and you don’t know what to answer, just go with ‘sure look it’!

‘Are you loving your trip around Ireland?’ ‘Sure look it!’

5. Donkey’s years

How long is a donkey’s year, you ask? No one knows but it’s generally agreed that it’s a very long time.

How are you? I haven’t seen you in donkey’s years!

6. Sláinte!

It’s the Irish way of saying ‘cheers !’. So, next time you toast with Irish, don’t forget to say ‘Sláinte’!

7. Put the heart crossways in someone

It means ‘to give someone a fright’.

I didn’t see you! You put the heart crossways in me!

8. I will yea

That one is a bit confusing for non-Irish people because you may think it means ‘I will, yeah.’. Actually, it’s the opposite since it means ‘I definitely won’t’. It’s very sarcastic.

‘I missed my bus. Can you come and pick me up?’ ‘I will yea’

9. Wet the tea

The English language has some expressions with the word ‘tea’. Ireland is the biggest tea consumer country in the world so it’s not surprising that the Irish have a lot of phraseology around tea. ‘Wet the tea’ means to toss a few teabags in a teapot.

Go get the biscuits, I’ll wet the tea.


10. A bag of tayto

Another example of typically Irish slang. A bag of taytos is a packet of crisps.

I ‘ll have a pint of gat with a bag of taytos, please.



Those are only but a few of all the Irish sayings that exist. Still, it’s a good start if you want to fit in and to make the most out of your trip to Ireland!

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