Welcome to our four part guide to Dublin Slang for visitors to our fair city. We have provided a decent translation of the sayings to get you speaking like a local in no time.
Where this Dublin slang originated from is hard to tell in most cases. Over the centuries Ireland has had invaders from Scandinavia, France, England and beyond, and over 7 languages were spoken in medieval Dublin alone. It is no surprise that a few odd expressions have crept into our speech. A small mention must go to our literary greats like Joyce, Wilde and Swift who loved playing around with the English language and bending the words to their will.
Here are your first 6 expressions to get you blending in when you arrive in our fair city of Dublin – Diflin – Dubla.
- ‘Watch yer house’ – Be careful of where you are walking – also used in sporting events to tell someone of an opponent’s proximity.
- ‘What am I like’ – To imply to someone near that you have been inappropriate in your actions.
- ‘What are ye at?’ – What activities are you going to fill your day with.
- ‘What’s the craic?’ – How is your general demeanour and outlook.
- ‘Whats da story?’ – Do you have any information about world events, local news or some personal gossip perchance.
- ‘A quarter te’ – The person is telling you that it will be fifteen minutes before the event.
Here is a video made in 2013 by Jenny Keogh highlighting the best way to learn Dublin Slang is to listen to a local.