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Irish Phrasebook For Your Trip To Cork

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After two years of no international travel, there has never been such an intense demand to travel again. We are certainly gearing up for a busy season as we welcome back our international visitors to our city-centre boutique hotel in the heart of Cork City; for many the real capital of the Emerald Isle. Of course, getting back into the swing of travelling again involves a little bit of preparation. There’s packing to be done, itineraries to be drawn up, and of course, some local knowledge to be acquired. One such element is undoubtedly getting familiar with the local slang. You never know when it might come in useful as you enjoy a refreshing cocktail in our bar after a day of non-stop action.


Feeling confused? Fear not, allow us to help you get to grips with some local expressions you are bound to hear on your next trip to Ireland with some of the most commonly used local expressions. Who knows you might even find yourself conversing with some locals and using them yourself over a pint of Guinness or Beamish (the preferred beverage here in Cork).

1) Your ‘oul fella’ and your ‘oul wan’:

These terms refer to your father and mother respectively. Sample sentence: ‘My ‘oul fella’ is great at the tin whistle.

2) You’re fluthered!

You’re very drunk. Sample sentence: ‘You’re fluthered, no more drink for you tonight’.

3) Happy Out:

Content in your current situation. Sample sentence: ‘I’m happy out. Spent the day fishing with the lads’.

4) Awful:

Frequently used to mean ‘very’. Sample sentence: ‘I had an awful good weekend last week’.

5) Quare:

Another word for ‘very’. Sample sentence: ‘It was quare good Saturday night’.

6) Donkey’s Years:

A long time ago. Sample sentence: ‘I hadn’t seen her in Donkey’s Years’.

7) The Jacks:

The bathroom. Sample sentence: ‘Where’s the jacks in this bar?’

8) Go way outta that!

An expression of shock or disbelief. Sample sentence: ‘Go way outta that, there’s no way you won the table quiz’.

9) A whale of a time:

A really brilliant time. Sample sentence: ‘We had a whale of a time over the St Patrick’s Day festivities’.

10) Sure look it:

A nice way of closing down a conversation or changing topic meaning ‘It is what it is, we’ll get on with things’. Sample sentence: ‘Sure look it, not much that can be done now except hope for the best’.

11) Great drying out:

A good day to hang out clothes to dry as the weather is good. Sample sentence: ‘Great drying out today, I must do a wash’.

12) I’m knackered!

I’m exhausted. Sample sentence: ‘I’m knackered from the weekend’.

13) The craic was 90:

The atmosphere was great. Sample sentence: ‘The craic was 90 at Sinead’s party’.

14) It’s grand:

Definitely one of our most commonly used expressions to say ‘It’s fine’. Sample sentence: ‘It’s grand, I’m not annoyed’.

15) There’s a grand old stretch in the evenings:

The evenings are getting longer. Sample sentence: ‘By the time February comes, you’ll notice a grand old stretch in the evenings’.

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