Summer is approaching. For many that means travel season. One popular destination for American tourists is Ireland. As an American who has lived in Ireland for over seven years, I’d like to share a little insight with you. Here are some phrases or words that are typical here with meanings that are slightly different.
In other words- We all speak English here, right? That reminds me of the I Love Lucy episode: Lucy Meets the Queen, where they say, “You’ll have to excuse us. We’re Americans and we don’t understand English.”
1) Are you all right? -or shortened to You all right? – or even just Y’a’right?
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What it means is — “How may I help you?” and it’s typically used by people in shops or restaurants when taking your order
2) You’re very good.- This basically means- I really appreciate what you did or I’m obliged.
3) Sorry– This is near universal for “excuse me”, although I have on occasion heard younger Irish (think under 15) say “excuse me”. It’s part of an American swing in some Irish ways, that has also included an upsurge in Halloween pumpkins and Mexican food.
4) Trad- This is shorthand for traditional music or dancing, especially music. You may see it on a sign, especially on a pub, saying “Trad Night”.
5) The North– This means Northern Ireland, but you don’t hear locals say Northern Ireland. They always say “the North”.
6) Jelly– This isn’t jam or preserves, but rather what we call Jello.
7) Chips– Not potato chips, but rather french fries- typically very large and dense.
8) Crisps- These are what we think of as potato chips.
9) You’re grand– typically lengthened to Ah, you’re grand– It basically means that it’s all right, as in when you apologize or excuse yourself.
10) Thanks a mil– This means thanks a million, although it’s not used interchangeably as we might use, Thanks very much or thanks so much when we really, really mean it. Instead, it’s pretty much used all the time as thanks or thank you.
Bonus! No one says “Top of the mornin’!” unless they’re in a movie.
My best to you all,