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Slang in Irish?

After finishing my tree I feel that i have a pretty good grasp on Irish but are there any examples of some slang words that someone would encounter if they visit Ireland?

July 24, 2015



Keiron, meet Clisare

(For better or worse, you're probably not likely to encounter any of these as Gaeilge unless you attend a Coláiste Samhradh in the Gaeltacht, but you may well encounter them as Béarla anywhere in Ireland)


You might get some use out of some out out of the Irish equivalents for some common "text-speak" terms, but only if the people you're texting with know to expect them from you.

grma - thanks Go Raibh Maith Agat
grmma - thank you very much Go Raibh Míle Maith Agat
GAO - LOL - Gáire Ós Ard
ABMTAG - LMAO - Ag Briseadh Mo Thóin ag Gáire


Note that lists of terms like this tend to do the rounds in early March during Seachtain na Gaeilge, in the run up to St Patricks Day.


I was hoping someone else would jump in on this thread, but here's a few other suggestions.

The truth is, you'll be speaking English most of the time in Ireland, but there are some phrases as Gaeilge that you can use/encounter in day to day usage.

Sin a bhfuil - That's it.
Maith an Fear! - Good man!
Ceart go Leor - OK/All Right.
Is maith liom cáca milis - I like cake!
And don't forget An bhfuil cead agam dul go dtí an leithreas :-)

You might also encounter some rhyming phrases

Cúla Búla - Cool
Éasca Péasca - Easy Peasy
Sabháiste Cabáiste - Savage Cabbage. Savage is a term of approval in Hiberno-English
Rí Rá agus Ruaille Buaille - you had to be there.

And don't forget to say Go Raibh Maith Agat to your bus driver!


Thank you for your help. I hope that i will encounter some Irish speakers on my trip. I am headed all around Ireland including the Gaeltachts like Galway and Donegal.


Ironically, you're likely to encounter Gaelgeoirí in Dublin and other towns and cities, but just not know it. If you're the gregarious type who can start a conversation with anyone (don't worry, it's generally considered acceptable to chat with complete strangers that you encounter on public transport or in other public places, though not everyone will respond), you'll have to throw An bhfuil aon Ghaeilge agat? into your conversation.

There was a time when people wore a small gold or silver ring - An Fainne Nua - on their lapel to indicate their ability and willingness to speak Irish, but changing fashions mean that few people wear brooches or lapel pins these days. The Cúpla Focal badge is more visible, and might be worth a try, if you can get your hands on one.


I had an irish teacher who said 'ceart go lore' or 'maith go lore' at the end of every sentence. I was really frustrating because at first we had no idea what she was saying. But I can attest they're both good slang.

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