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18th Apr 2013

10 Things…  Words and Phrases That Are Impossible to Say if You’re Irish

Cup of tea? Oh, no thank you. The weather's lovely isn't it?

The Irish use language like it’s a never-ending song.

Lyrical, descriptive and imaginative, it’s no wonder that poets and scribes from our small Isle remain some of the most lauded writers in the world. Despite our great love of language, however, there are some words you will NEVER hear an Irish person say…



Thank you. (After you receive a compliment)

This old thing? God no. Penneys finest. Sure it’s as old as myself.


Yes (When offered a cup of tea for the first time) 

An Irish mammy would think it the height of rudeness to be offered a cuppa only once, and for an initial no to be taken at face value. Everyone knows the conversation should go something like this: 

Cup of tea?

No, I’m grand.

Ah you will.

No, honestly, I’m fine, thanks.

Ah you will.

(Repeat 3-5 more times)

Ok so. I will.


Great (When asked how an exam, job interview etc. went)

You might jinx yourself. “Ah, I totally f*cked it up”.


This weather is perfect 

We battle through howling winds and pouring rain for a large part of the year, peppered with sleet, hail, frost and snow, but the minute we get more than two days of sunshine it’s “awful hot out there” and the ‘won’t somebody think of the farmers?” brigade appears.



I’ll get you next time…

Even if you’d rather be at home digging into a Supermacs/Abra/Whatever your poison, by the time your round rolls around, you will NEVER leave a bar without getting your shout in. There are few worse things one can be accused of than being stingy. 


Father Ted? Can’t stand it, never got it. 

Get out.



The current government is doing a great job

Unless if course it’s followed by a long pause and… “Of ballsing things up even MORE!”


I’d love to see Kilkenny win it.

Unless you’re actually from Kilkenny, then you never want to see them win anything. Nothing against the cats or anything, but they’ve had more than their fair share of victory, and the Irish adore an underdog. Read also for Dublin, we’re all delighted to see them win after a long spell in the wilderness, but once is enough. Back to the norm of everyone outside Dublin complaining about Dubs. Also Kerry. Cocky feckers.


Bono’s just brilliant, isn’t he? 

Tall poppy syndrome, even if he’s permanently wearing heels and is anything but tall. The rest of the world can think he’s the bee’s knees, but we know where you came from Bono. Stick to making the next ‘With or Without You’ and leave changing the world to the foreigners, now, like a good rock star. 


Let’s talk about sex

Ok, we know NOBODY says this unless they’re covering some Salt ‘N’ Pepa at karaoke night, but we’re getting at the sentiment. We’re not exactly the most open country in the world when it comes to talking about getting it on. Years of Catholic guilt and shame will do that for you. As will mammy turning over ‘that filth’ as soon as a sex scene appeared on the telly for the entirety of your formative years. Sex and the City was one of the worst offenders. Filth.