If you’re planning private tours of Ireland, it’s important that you get familiar with the local language or ‘local slang’ as we like to call it. Not only do we all have different accents, but we’ve also put our own little spin on the English language, which makes some visitors think that we’re speaking a different language altogether – we’re not kidding!

Knowing some of these ‘slang’ words and phrases and what they mean will help you, as a visitor, better interact with the locals and understand what they’re saying to you.

On that note; here is a break down by category of some common Irish slang words and phrases. Keep this list handy so you won’t get caught off guard and feel like an ‘eejit’. If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry, read on to learn more.


Pub Phrases

  • On the lash = to go out drinking
  • Black stuff = Guinness (which originated from the Dublin brewery of Arthur Guinness)
  • Langers = drunk
  • Fluthered = very drunk

Put it all together: When we got off the plane, we went out on the lash and ordered lots of the black stuff. We quickly got langers and fell home completely fluthered.


Travel Related

  • The Jacks = toilet or restroom
  • Kip = a dump of a place or to have a sleep
  • Knackered = tired
  • Jammers = packed with people
  • Shattered = exhausted

Put it all together: After our long day of travel, I was knackered and needed to find the jacks quickly after being on the bus for six hours. We were so shattered and looking for nice places to stay, but they were all jammers. So we had to settle in a kip of a place for the night.


Social Cues

  • Snog = a kiss
  • Chancer = a dodgy person who will go to great lengths to get what he/she wants
  • Mot = girlfriend
  • Glad Eye = a crush or in love
  • Acting the Maggot = to be a jerk
  • Take the piss = to tease or make fun of someone
  • Eejit = fool

Put it all together: I was in the pub and spotted Mary, a girl that I have a glad eye for. We started talking but Tommy, the chancer from down the road, was acting the eejit and kept interrupting us. He was taking the piss of me and kept saying, “you’ve found a new mot”. I got annoyed so we left and went straight to the nightclub. It was a lot easier to have a conversation without him around and Mary and myself even had a little snog at the end of the night!


Every Day Words

  • Donkey’s years = a very long time
  • Sucking diesel = doing well
  • Culchie = a person from the rural part of Ireland
  • Gas = funny
  • Craic = fun

Put it all together: I have a cousin called John and he’s a culchie from Leitrim. I haven’t seen him in donkey’s years but he’s a gas man and is always up for the craic. He recently started his own business and although things started off very slow, he’s sucking diesel now and is thinking of investing in property with his profits.


Ireland is unique in so many ways and has so much to offer its visitors. Brush up on your Irish slang words and you’ll be well able to hold a conversation with the locals and they’ll love the fact that you’re up for the craic.

For a full list of common Irish slang, check out slang.ie