25 May 2014
I remember having a conversation a few months back with my friend and colleague Kendal Peiguss where she asked me something along the lines of, “Miles you gotta tell me what it’s like to talk with the locals in Ireland!!!” (Extra exclamation points are an effort to capture her seemingly never-ending energy and enthusiasm).
Now that I’ve been in Galway a few months I can say for the most part there has been a minimal communication barrier (save for a few local cabbies whose accents are so thick I just laugh every few minutes to provide positive feedback on their bits). However there are definite differences in what I would call the local slang. Maybe not “by the book” perfect English, but commonly used phrases that are unique compared to what you would hear walking the streets back home in the US. Realizing today is my 10-week anniversary of moving to Galway I’ve put together a list of the top 10 commonly used phrases I’ve heard so far in my time across the pond:
1) What’s the craic? Most common and iconic local Irish saying, meaning “What’s up” or “What’s going on?”
2) How ya keepin? Commonly used to start a conversation, meaning “How are you?” or “How have you been?”
3) Ey lads how ya gettin on? Similar to above, when referring to a group of gentlemen.
4) Happy days! No real direct translation to American slang. Generally used to mean your enthusiasm that something works great for you. Eg: “I have an extra ticket to the concert tonight for you. Oh, happy days!”
5) Brilliant, Grand, Class – Replacing terms like ‘awesome’ ‘sweet’ or ‘cool.’
6) Bullocks, Rubbish, Shite. Common phrases when describing something you don’t like.
7) Ya’right? For the bartenders out there, meaning, “Are you all set?” or “What can I get you?” when ordering at the pub.
8) Does that suit? I see this a lot in emails. Meaning “Does that work for you?” when scheduling a call or meeting.
9) H’ya! Used mostly for quick exchanges when passing by someone.
10) (and technically 11 but that would’ve screwed up the Top 10 theme) A tenner = $10 bucks, and No panic = no worries.
So there you have it. A crash course in Irish slang. Thanks again to Kendal for the inspiration. Hopefully you will get over to the new Galway office this summer to experience first hand the local culture!
And keeping with the anniversary theme, here are 10 shots I’ve recently taken around town. Hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend back in the US. #forever1066 #resteasyBT
P.S. – late breaking news right before I was about to post this tonight – the Kanye and Kim honeymoon is taking place in Cork?????? Take that as a sign the apocalypse is upon us. http://www.independent.ie/woman/celeb-news/exclusive-kim-kardashian-and-kanye-west-jet-into-ireland-for-their-honeymoon-30303520.html