When you come to study English in Ireland, you will be opening yourself up to a unique and colourful linguistic world. Like all English speaking parts of the world, Ireland has words, expressions and phrases that are unique to the country and here are just a few. By the way, before we begin we should warn you that Top of the morning to you is not one of them.
What’s the craic? What’s the story?
Let’s start with one (well…two) that you are likely to hear straight off the boat (or plane as the case may be).
What’s the craic and/or What’s the story? are ways of asking people how they are. It is the same as the exprsssion Any news? or How are things? or How are you?
The response to What’s the craic? is I’m well or better still I’m grand. I’m grand is probably better because it is not as good as I’m well and people might think you have won the Lotto if you say I’m well. Humility (of sorts) is a big part of Irish culture.
If you want to say that you don’t have much news (at least at the beginning of the meeting) you might say Divil the bit and/or Not much now.
Acting the maggot
Maggots are those disgusting little wormy creatures that eventually become flies. Yuck! When you are acting the maggot you are messing or playacting. This expression is often used with children when they are playing rough or doing something they shouldn’t be. We can also use it with adults if they are taking things too far.
Dave is acting the maggot at the moment. He’s out drinking every night and turning up late for work.
Effin’ and blindin’
This great expression describes someone, or a situation where someone, is using a lot of bad language. The effin part of this phrase is easy enough to explain as people who do this will often use what we describe as the f word. The blindin’ bit is a bit more difficult to explain.
This man walked in to the bbar effin’ and blindin’. He was horrible.
He might dress well but he has no manners. He spent most of the dinner effin’ and blindin’
This is one you will probably hear quite a bit. When it is raining hard in Ireland we say it is bucketing down. Like someone in the sky is throwing bucket loads of water down on top of us. You can also use the expression lash. It started to lash rain but you will hear this all over the world.
I just came out of the haridressers and it started to bucket down.
Give it a lash
Speaking of lash, we use the same word in this great expression. When you give it a lash it means to give something a go or to try something and see what happens. This expression became very famous back in the 1990s when the Irish football team was managed by Jack Charlton and reached the quarter finals of the World Cup. Around that time a song came out called Give it a Lash Jack. Good times!
Your Language School in Dublin City Centre
City Language School is right in the heart of Dublin City Centre. Dublin is the proud and vibrant capital of Ireland and with its cosmopolitan and modern feel, it has repeatedly been voted Europe’s friendliest city by Trip Advisor. Dublin boasts strong links with literature, music, dance and storytelling. As you walk through the streets of Temple Bar, you can absorb the musical tradition which spills onto the streets from the many bars and restaurants; truly a city of enormous beauty! Dublin is surrounded by breath-taking natural scenery that will leave you with lifelong memories. It is perfectly located on the eastern coastline of Ireland and is a convenient gateway to the rest of Europe.
We are conveniently located in the heart of Dublin on Dame Street, giving you easy access to the whole city of Dublin as well as bus and tram lines for you to get around.