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The language of Irish English

Explore the language of Irish English, from ‘gobdaw’ to ‘hooley’

Today is St Patrick’s Day, which seems a perfect excuse to not only go out for a few beers and perhaps a couple of glasses of usquebaugh, but also to take a closer look at some Irish English words. However you choose to celebrate today, whether you’re planning to dance your socks off at a ceilidh or end up acting the maggot at some hooley, we hope you have great gas and it puts a big beaming smile on your coupon.

And if you’re feeling a bit bockety after all these celebrations, why not have a sit down with a nice cuppa and explore some more wonderfully colourful Irish English words? Here’s a selection of Irish English words, from gobdaw to pishogue…

Pishogue, n.

A superstitious belief.

Gobdaw, n.

A foolish or pretentious person.

Bockety, adj.

Unsteady; wobbly.

Colleen, n.

A girl or young woman.

Arrah, int.

Expressing excitement or strong emotion

Codology, n.

Foolish or untrue talk or writing; nonsense.

Nixer, n.

An extra or irregular job, the income from which is not declared for taxation purposes.

Pratie, n.

A potato.

Boreen, n.

A narrow country road.

Yoke, n.

A thing whose name one cannot recall, does not know, or does not wish to specify.

Sleeveen, n.

An untrustworthy or cunning person.

Mitch, v.

Play truant from school.

Louser, n.

A mean, unpleasant, or contemptible person.

Hooley, n.

A wild or noisy party.

Fáilte, int.


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