Funny Irish Phrases

One of the best way to explain funny Irish phrases is by way of jokes and tall stories.

Irish Speak - Their Funny Ways and Irish Phrases

Irish joke denephew Irish people speak English; but it's an Irish sort of English, which can take some getting used to. So, if you are going to have any chance making your way round the island, a few helpful tips on the local vocabulary would be helpful. How To Say Hello Greetings tend to vary from place to place. In the southeast it might be 'Well, boy'; while up north you might be greeted with 'Bout ye'.  In parts of Dublin it could be 'Howyiz', while in County Cork you might be confronted with 'Howsitgoin' boy'? A more rural equivalent is 'How's she cuttin'?'  A suitable reply is 'Grand altogether' if you are in good form, or 'Survivin' if not. Having FunIrish Drinking stories Irish people like having fun, and have many words to describe this national propensity.  Even "fun" has its own word - the crack - spelled craig. Inebriation and the Irish Drunkenness, for some strange reason, has a rich lexicon in Ireland.  You can be ossified, fluthered, in the horrors, langers, locked, paralytic, plastered, scuttered, stocious, twisted and sozzled, to name but a few - so many different words to mean the same thing.

Miscellaneous Funny Irish Phrases

  • Wayward children are never naughty - they are bold.
  • To be tired or broken down is to be banjaxed or knackered.
  • To procrastinate or delay something is to put it on the long finger.
  • A sub-standard dwelling is called a kip.
  • If someone is annoying you, they are blaggarding.
  • To ask someone to be quiet you might say whisht!
  • A scratcher is a bed, and the jacks is a toilet.
  • To emphasise something the word fierce is often used, as in 'fierce hard' [ie difficult] or 'he has a fierce strong accent'. The words quare8or awful can also be used to denote emphasis.
  • To accomplish something quickly is to do it fairly lively.
  • Shenanigans refers to intrigue, trickery or hidden manoeuvres designed to effect a certain outcome.Irish Eyes - Up to something

Will and Guy's Top Twenty Funny Irish Phrases

  1. You've got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.
  2. The longest road out is the shortest road home.
  3. The Irish are very fair people; they never speak well for one another.
  4. A quarrel is like buttermilk: once it's out of the churn, the more you shake it, the more sour it grows.
  5. God invented whiskey to keep the Irish from ruling the world.
  6. The Irish gave the bagpipes to the Scots as a joke, but the Scots haven't seen the joke yet.
  7. The Irish ignore anything they can't drink or punch.
  8. He is bad that will not take advice, but he is a thousand times worse that takes every advice.
  9. One of the worst things that can happen in life is to win a bet on a horse at an early age.
  10. A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book.
  11. Every St. Patrick's Day every Irishman goes out to find another Irishman to make a speech to.
  12. An Irishman is never drunk as long as he can hold onto one blade of grass to keep from falling off the earth.
  13. If it was raining soup, the Irish would go out with forks.
  14. Here's to our wives and girlfriends: May they never meet
  15. My mother's menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it.
  16. God is good to the Irish, but no one else is; not even the Irish.
  17. If one could only teach the English how to talk, and the Irish how to listen, society here would be quite civilized.
  18. The Irish forgive their great men when they are safely buried.
  19. Other people have a nationality. The Irish and the Jews have a psychosis.
  20. I can resist everything except temptation.  Oscar Wilde (He was the master of the Irish phrase)
Thanks to the BBC for help in compiling this material.

Irish Leprechauns

Many cultures have fairies as part of their folklore, but few have little people with such a rich source of humour, funny stories and different guises as leprechauns.  To begin with leprechauns are exclusively male which immediately gives them great scope for mischief.  Classic Irish phrase for someone who's a bit loopy, or maybe a daydreamer, 'He's away with the fairies'. Funny Irish Leprechaun Pictures

Examples of Funny Irish Phrases in JokesIrish Irish Phrases in Jokes

One of the best way to explain funny Irish phrases is by way of jokes and tall stories.  However, certain words and phrases should never be uttered in Ireland itself, despite the common misperception that they are "typically Irish."  They died a death decades ago, if they were ever used at all.  Such phrases include bedad and begorrah, top of the morning, or faith, me darling.  Calling a woman a "fine colleen" is likely to lead to you getting a kick in the shins.

Bejeezus (And to Be Shure)

Soon after O'Shaughnessy clocked in for work, the foreman called him over and told him that he had a phone call in the front office. When O'Shaughnessy returned, he had a mournful expression on his face and his head hung low. His foreman noticed and asked if it was bad news.' To be shure it was, Boss, 'he replied, 'I just found out from Ireland that my mother died earlier this morning.' 'Gosh, that's awful, 'replied the foreman, 'Do you want the rest of the day off?' 'No, 'replied O'Shaughnessy. ' I'll finish the day out.' About an hour later, the foreman returned to inform him that there was another phone call for him in the office. This time when O'Shaughnessy returned he looked twice as glum, and the foreman asked if everything was alright. 'Bejeezuz Boss, its even worse news. That was my brother, and his mother died today too!'

The Fame of Red Adair - Another Example, To Be Shure

At the height of the gulf wars, the expertise of Red Adair (that well known fire fighter) was called upon to go out to the gulf and put out the oil rig fires. On his way his plane landed in Ireland for an overnight stop so Red took advantage to visit the local bar for a pint of the black stuff.  On entering the bar two old Irish boys witnessed him walk in and one said to the other. 'Isn't that Red Adair'?  The other replied, 'No'. The old boy then said, 'I'm sure it is and I'm so shure that I will bet you a pint if I am wrong'. The doubting one said, 'Ok' and they both went over to Red and the one said, 'Are you Red Adair'? to which Red said he was. The doubting Irishman said, 'Are you still dancing with Ginger Rogers'?

Could be Worse (Begorrah) Irish Story - Unkind cut

I first met O'Reilly when I was in St Peter's Hospital, Chertsey, England. He was in the same ward as me and was lying, quite still, in the bed next to me when I awoke early on that Friday morning. I was taken aback because he was swathed in bandages from head to toe, with just two little slits for his eyes and this made it difficult to engage him in conversation. However, later that same day, his best friend, Dermot Callaghan, came in to visit O'Reilly and I listened in to their conversation which went as follows: 'What happened to you?' asked Callaghan. 'I staggered out of The Invincible pub, in Shepperton Road, and a lorry hit me a glancing blow and knocked me through the Co-op's plate glass window,' mumbled O'Reilly.' 'Begorrah,' exclaimed Callaghan in his broad Munster accent, 'It's a good job you were wearing all those bandages or you'd have been cut to ribbons!'

Irishmen Flying High - Begorrah

Two Irishmen hired an open cockpit aeroplane to fly over Dublin on St Patrick's Day. As they were winging their way through the air, O'Toole turned to his friend, Murphy and said, 'Murphy, I'm going to fly upside down.' 'Begorrah, O'Toole', shouted Murphy, 'don't do that, we'll fall out.' 'No we won't,' responded O'Toole, 'I'll still talk to you.'

Short Funny Irish Phrases

So It Would

'Ah, that was a lovely dress,' announced Colleen, 'and it would have fitted me if I could have got into it, so it would.'


Siobhan followed her husband to the public house, 'How can you come here', she said, taking a sip of his pint of Guinness, 'and drink that awful stuff?' 'Now!' he cried, 'And you always thought I was out enjoying meself.'

PoteenIrish Drinking

The Irish are known all over the world for their fondness for drinking alcohol and for making some of the finest beers, stouts, ales, and whiskeys which are famous internationally. Will and Guy once knew of a more popular Irish drink in Ireland and almost unknown anywhere else; it was once illegal and is known as poteen. Illegal Irish poteen was an extremely powerful Irish drink [often 90-95%ABV] that only the most hardened drinker in Ireland dared to drink, it was so strong that it's known to cause blindness and sometime even kill people who end up suffering from alcohol poisoning, which was the reason why it was made illegal in Ireland to brew poteen. Today, however, now legalized, two Irish brands are officially licensed to produce poitìn: Knockeen Hills, and Bunratty,

The Irish Police Force (Garda and Gardaì)

Police Humour This is one of the funniest examples of police humour that Will and Guy have encountered for many a year. To be sure, your man Prawo Jazdy is a slippery fellow.  He's wanted for 50 different driving offences all over Ireland.  Now, Prawo is clever because every time we book him, his driving licence has a different address. All the Gardaì in Ireland have a different theory about how this 'Scarlet Pimpernel' escapes the clutches of the law.  Finally, the penny dropped, Prawo Jardy is not a Hungarian name, but the Polish words for Driving Licence. The Garda had caught 53 different Polish drivers, but thought they were dealing with the same man.  Naturally, the Polish community in Ireland are having a good laugh about Mr Prawo Jazdy. *Garda is the Irish Police force, it also means one policeman. Gardaì is the plural, it means more than one police officer.

Old Flame - (Another Example of Gardaì and Garda)

An elderly couple were driving through County Kerry, Ireland. Irene was driving when she got pulled over by two ardai, one of whom asks her, 'Ma'am did you know that you were speeding?' Irene turns to her husband, Mick and enquires, 'What did he say?' Mick yells out, 'He says you were speeding!' The Garda said, 'May I see your license, please ma'am?' Irene, once again, turns to Mick and says, 'What did he say?' Once more, Mick, shouts out, 'He wants to see your license!' Irene gives the policeman her driving license.  The Garda retorts, 'I see you are from Kerry. I spent some time there once and had the worst date I have ever had.' For the final time, Irene turns to Mick and asks, 'What did he say?' Mick yells very loudly, 'He thinks he knows you!'

Two Irishman Meet a Suisse TouristClean Irish Jokes

A Swiss man, on holiday in Dublin, needed directions. He was standing outside Davy Byrne's pub when he saw two youths walking by so he stops them and asks,  'Entschuldigung, koennen Sie Deutsch sprechen?' The two lads look at each other blankly and stare back at him. 'Excusez-moi, parlez vous Français?' He tries. The two continue to stare. 'Parlare Italiano?' Still absolutely no response from the two lads. 'Hablan ustedes Espanol?' The Dublin lads remain totally silent. The Swiss guy walks off extremely disappointed and downhearted that he had not been understood.  One of the boys turns to the second and says, 'Y'know, maybe we should learn a foreign language!' ''Why?' says the youth, 'That guy knew four languages, and it didn't do him any good!' Footnote: Please write to Will and Guy if you have a funny Irish phrase.

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