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Social Media Lead at TAFE NSW

It’s that wonderful time of year again, St. Patrick’s Day! And miraculously it’s fallen on a Friday (YAY!).

St. Patrick’s Day, or Paddy’s Day, as we Irish like to call it, is that delightful time of year where we throw on our something green and join in the merriment of high-spirited mascots, marching bands, dancing leprechauns and of course the sea of Irish stumbling the streets in emerald top hats and ginger beards.

Completely defying the Irish stereotype, of course.

St. Patrick's Day gifIt’s hard to believe that just over 40 years ago, pubs in Ireland were actually prohibited from opening to mark the day as a Christian religious event (gasp!).

If you’re heading out to celebrate over the weekend, you will more than likely come in close contact with more than a few over-enthusiastic Irish natives.

The one thing you should know about us Irish is that we love being Irish. We’re proud as punch. Not sure of what exactly, but we are nonetheless. This is the one day of the year where we can exaggerate the Irish stereotype, so expect to see a lot of Guinness, taytos, dancing, singing, stumbling and being greeted with very loud and very misleading Irish expressions.

Our TAFE NSW Irish staff members have chosen 14 of the most commonly used Irish expressions to ensure not only that you survive the weekend, but you go down a big hit with all the celebrating Irish.

Top Tip:

Do not greet Irish with “top o’the mornin ta ya”. It hurts our soul.

1. What’s the craic?

Translation: How are you?

Sentence use: “What’s the craic?” Often shortened to simply, “S’craic?”

2. “Acting the maggot”

Translation: Acting in a particularly foolish manner

Sentence: “Watch John over there acting the maggot!”

3.“Stall the ball”

Translation: Hold on one moment, please.

Sentence: “Stall the ball there ‘til I finish me’ pint”

4.“Were you born in a field?”

Translation: Could you close the door after you if you don’t mind.

Sentence: This accusation is usually used on its own.

5. “Taking the piss”

Translation: Joking.

Sentence: “Relax love, I’m only taking the piss”

6. “Chalk it down”

Translation: You can say that again.

Sentence: “Are you watching the match Sunday?”

                   “Chalk it down, boy!”

7.“I will ya!”

Translation: No. Absolutely not.

Sentence: “Will you go up there and get me a pint?

                    “I will ya!”

8.“Lob the gob”

Translation: Going in for a kiss.

Sentence: “I lobbed the gob on her last night!”

9.“Go way outta that”

Translation: you’re lying.

Sentence: “I just got promoted”

                   “Go way outta that!”

10. “Tell me this and tell me no more”

Translation: I have a question for you

Sentence: “Tell me this and tell me no more, what is your brother doing these days?”

11. Sure, look it

Translation: It happens.

Sentence: “Lads, I just got fired”

                    “Ah sure, look it”

12. Quare hawk

Translation: Peculiar person

Sentence: “Look at the quare hawk over there in the hat”

13. Head on ya!

Translation: looking somewhat unhealthy.

Sentence: “Jaysus, watch the head on ya!”. 

Predominantly heard on a Monday morning.

14.On the lash

Translation: Drinking excessively

Sentence: “It’s Paddy’s Day. C’mon we go on the lash”

                    “Chalk it down” (see no. 6).


There you have it. Now go out, put on your very best Irish accent and get immersed in the culture and celebrations!



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