“All slang is a metaphor, and all metaphor is poetry” or so G.K. Chesterton says.

One of the many questions we get asked at Hotel Isaacs is if there are any colloquialisms that are typical of the Cork region that visitors should be aware of.  With this question in mind, we have put our creative heads together to create an insider’s guide to some of Cork’s best slang with the English translations beside it.  As you explore our great city, have a listen out for some of the following:


When to use?  How you doing guuurl?

Translation:       How are you girl? (to any female)


When to use? He was very odd with me today.

Translation: He was very angry with me today.


When to use? That coleslaw is mank!

Translation: That coleslaw is disgusting!


When to use? I think I’m going to be gawk.

Translation: I think I’m going to be sick.


When to use? He is such a langer

Translation: He is such an idiot!


When to use? She was langered last night.

Translation: She was very drunk last night.


When to use? That’s mint!

Translation: That’s cool!


When to use? The pub was jointed.

Translation: The pub was crowded.


When to use? He is a good-looking feen.

Translation: He is a good-looking man.

I will yeah

When to use? Will I do that? I will yeah!

Translation: Will I do that? Not a chance!

I’m in bits

When to use? I’m in bits after last night.

Translation: I’m extremely hungover.


When to use? Sketch!  The police are coming.

Translation: Run!  The police are coming.

I’m allergic

When to use? I’m allergic to him right now.

Translation I can’t tolerate him right now.


When to use? She is some flah.

Translation: She is very attractive

Coola boola

When to use? Coola boola, I’ll be there.

Translation: Sounds good, I’ll be there.

D’ya know like

When to use? I went home early, d’ya know like.

Translation: I went home early (a statement)

Your “wan”

When to use? Would you look at your wan?

Translation: Look at that person!

I’m weak

When to use? I’m weak from the chats.

Translation: I’m weak from laughing.

Of course, even if you don’t manage to hear all of the above during your stay at our boutique city-centre hotel, you will undoubtedly hear the word “like” prop up in almost every sentence we utter.  What does “like” mean?  Absolutely nothing!  However, rest assured, once you start using it, it’s nearly impossible to stop saying it in every second sentence.

Want to find a way of practising your newly acquired Cork slang with the locals?  Pop over to our multi-award winning cocktail bar Cask, indulge in a carefully crafted local cocktail and have a chat with our expert cocktail makers and locals.  Surely the best way to integrate and practice any new language?

For the best rate guarantee contact us today to make your reservation or visit our website to talk to our friendly staff and make a booking today. 

About The Author

Colette is a hotel receptionist working at Hotel Isaacs Cork. Her favourite part of the job is meeting the many guests coming from all corners of the globe and sharing with them all the wonders that Cork City and County has to offer. One of her great passions is travelling and exploring new places especially museums, galleries and castles. "One of the things I feel very strongly about is how so many people in Ireland are completely unaware of some of the hidden treasures right on their door-steps. When people go abroad, they push themselves to see all the cultural delights on offer but too often, they have no idea how great what is right in front of them, readily available every day is. I came to Cork as a student in 2008 and I too limited myself and didn't push myself to explore. It took a friend to take me off and show me how truly amazing this city and county is and this is what I want to share with my guests and readers.

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