Irish Slang for Champlain Abroad Students

BY KATHRYN GESSER, SECONDARY TEACHER EDUCATION’18, CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE

Champlain Abroad students have been in Dublin for almost a month now. The time is moving quickly, and while becoming familiarized with the zigzagging streets and vibrant nightlife of the city, it can be difficult to grasp the more subtle, covertly charming aspects of life in Ireland, especially found in casual Irish conversation.  Thanks to the help of Champlain Abroad Dublin alumni, a list of such common slang terms has been compiled which one is likely to hear in any Dublin bar, cafe, or street corner.

 

Small Talk:

 

The Black Stuff – Guinness

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It’s one of the things Dublin is best known for.

 

Class – Cool

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Just a classier way to say it.

 

Craic – Fun

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So don’t get freaked if someone asks you where the craic is. You’re not in America anymore.

 

Eejit – Idiot

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The Fear – The regret one feels after a night of heavy drinking.

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Garda – Police

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Still getting used to the idea of Irish Police not carrying guns like American police.

 

Gas – Hilarious

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Grand – Ranging from fine to great (context clues)

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“Brilliant” is also just as common.

 

Lads – You guys

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Not always gender-specific, though.

 

Pet hate – Pet peeve

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Savage – Awesome

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Some even throw this term around back in the states. 

 

Scarlet – Embarrassed

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The same color your cheeks turn when your mom calls during class because she forgot about the time difference. Again.

 

The Shift – French Kissing

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*Sigh*

 

Slainte! – Cheers!

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Thanks a mil – Thank you so much!

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Or Merci beaucoup! like our Champlain Abroad peers in Montreal will be saying all next semester. 

 

What’s the story? – What’s up?

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They don’t actually want you to tell them all about the James Joyce novel you’ve been reading in Lit class.

 

Wrecked – Tired

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How everyone felt that first week after jet lag got the best of us. Knackered means the same thing.

 

Everyday items:

Beermat – Coaster

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So you don’t leave rings of condensation on Stay City’s countertops.

 

Bobbin – Bobby Pinn. 

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Also called  long Kirbies. Hair bobbin can also be used for an elastic hair band. 

 

Jacks – Toilet facilities

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Jumper – Sweater

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Dublin: the magical place where every day is sweater weather

 

Plaster – Band-Aid

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It’s a good idea to always keep some of these with you. Walking around Dublin everyday is great, but you’re bound to get blisters.

 

Purse – Wallet

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Almost the same as back in the states, but not quite.

 

Rubber – Eraser

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A Champlain Dublin alumni once was shocked when a child asked him for a rubber. Yeah, they just meant an eraser.

 

Rubbish – Trash

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Could also be used in place of the word “nonsense.”

 

Serviettes – Napkins

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Tills – Cash Register

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Vest – tank top

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So if you see a sale on vests at the mall, it’s probably not quite what you’re thinking.

 

Wellies – Rainboots

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You could use these just about any day here in Dublin.

 

Food:

 

Chicken Goujons – Chicken Nuggets

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Chips – French Fries

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Gerkin – Pickle

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Rocket – Arugula

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Pretty much the whole world calls it this apart from North America.

 

Sambo – Sandwich

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Poulet Bonne Femme near Trinity College won “Best Sambo” for 2016. Sounds worth a 15 minute walk.

 

Take-away – Take-out

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There are many places in Dublin with take-away options. Some even deliver, though there’s no Mr. Delivery like back home in Burlington.

 

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4 thoughts on “Irish Slang for Champlain Abroad Students

  1. Caroline Elbay

    Good job! ‘Kip’ however is British slang for sleep. In the Irish/Dublin context, ‘kip’ refers to a brothel (old /late 19th and early 20th c Dublinese) or a house/building in a shambolic condition.

    Reply
  2. Mimi Nic Aogain

    Culchie is a derogatory term for people from the country not necessarily purely outside of Dublin as you wouldn’t call some from Cork City or Belfast etc a ‘culchie’. It’s not a term that would go down well with some people so best to avoid it. A ‘Jackeen’ is the city equivalent.

    Reply

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