Our favourite Irish phrases to celebrate the feast of St Patrick! - JWT Travel

Our favourite Irish phrases to celebrate the feast of St Patrick!

With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, you might find yourself on a little green island celebrating the patron saint that is St Patrick. Before you arrive its important to learn some Irish phrases as you may think it’s all fun and good on your way here, but what you may say to yourself is “how the feck can I not understand these people?!”.

But its ok, we’re here to teach you the secret language of Ireland, that is Irish slang! So grab a cuppa, and get ready for the St Patrick’s Day survival guide, where we tell you our favourite Irish phrases.

st.patricks-day-Irish phrases-JWT-Travel

Let’s get this clear first. I wasn’t being rude and using vulgar language earlier on. I was just adding some emphasis to what I was saying. ‘Feck’ is essentially a more polite way of expressing frustration and is used very commonly amongst Irish people, friends, strangers and even families!

For St. Patrick’s day, you’ll be sure to have lots of Guinness and crack. NO, not that type of course. CRAIC! You’ll often hear the locals using the Irish word craic, meaning fun! People will say “let’s have the craic” or “what’s the craic?”, this means “let’s have some fun” or “what’s going on?”.

Are you confused yet?

The Irish are a very happy bunch, so don’t be looking around when you hear a local tell you “ah, sure look”. It’s their way of brushing of negativity. If someone asks how you’re doing and you’re not feeling great, you may say “ah, sure look, could be worse!”

Another one of our favourite Irish phrases which might confuse ye, if used outside of the kitchen is “yoke”. Not the beautiful runny bit of an egg in a Full Irish Breakfast, but that thing! You know? That thing!! If you don’t know what the “thing” is called, you might call it a “yoke”. It’s a catch all term that’s used when you can’t think of the right word. For example, if you’re fixing a car and you’re looking for the Flex-head ratchet, you might be better off asking for the yoke.

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, having lots of Guinness and craic, it’s important to not ruin other’s craic by “acting the maggot”. It’s one of the Irish phrases used to describe someone who’s being silly or misbehaving. If you end up dancing on the table after a few too many pints, your friends can poke fun at you by saying “look at them, acting the maggot again”.

Ending things off, we can’t skip a survival guide without teaching you some Irish, especially as this week is Seachtain na Gaeilge (Irish Week), our international Irish language festival. Since St. Patricks day is on the last day of Seachtain na Gaeilge, we’ll start off with how to say ‘Happy St. Patrick’s Day’ which is ‘Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona duit’.

Moving on with some more day to day words we have ‘Día duit’. Pronounced ‘dee-a-gwitch’, it means ‘hello’ and when you’re out and about, it’s always polite to say hello! Speaking of polite, be sure to say your thank-yous, or go raibh maith agat! Pronounced ‘guh-rev-mawh-a-gut. And at the end of the day, you’ll be saying sláinte, pronounced ‘slawn-cha’, the word has 3 meanings, goodbye, health and cheers. When you say goodbye you say ‘to health’ and the same when you cheers.

So, there you have it. We hope you enjoyed hearing some of our favourite Irish phrases to help you on your visit to the green island. Take a look at our list of wonderful places to visit in Ireland, on a school trip, and check out some of our amazing options for school trips to Ireland too. Now make sure you stay safe, and don’t act the maggot!

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