Many visitors find it hard to understand often with hilarious results
People always comment on our humour here in Ireland maybe because they can’t understand the unique art of communication that the Irish have. We use English words that have a different meaning the world over than the way we uses them here in Ireland.
The famous ‘Press’ is a great one to confuse even the most diehard linguist. We have a hot press, the kitchen press and the look of complete and utter bewilderment on visitors faces when you tell them that “the teabags are in the press”, is often hilarious.
We’re always ‘sucking diesel’ when things go right and we always say ‘I will ye’ when asked to bring in ‘the messages from the boot’ (you know then that the messages will never be brought in and the response often to this is, ‘go way owra that’). ‘Jumpers’ are synonymous to Ireland and if you don’t wear one you could get the ‘dose that’s going around’. ‘Ah sure look it’ is a perfectly acceptable way to answer any question. What it actually means, no one seems to know.
And don’t forget the ‘Immersion’! This is a famous one that perplexes most visitors. Have a look at Des Bishop and his experience in Waterford in the early noughties with the ‘Immersion’.
If something goes wrong then it went ‘arseways’ or it was ‘banjaxed’. ‘Quare’ can’t be confused with queer because they have two very different meanings! ‘Twas quare good lad’ simply means that something was great! (You’re getting quiet and education here).
There is an old Waterford joke that goes ‘Who died on the Cross’? Well we think we know the answer to that one don’t we? The answer to this is ‘I haven’t a bull’s notion, sure I came up the Back Lane’.
When you are out socialising you might be asked if you’d like a ‘mineral’! This is simply a soft drink but we came up with our own name for it.
From the outside looking in our humour is not about jokes but it’s all about what we say and when we say it. It’s a fine art form that was created and sculpted over hundreds of years. But then again there’s nothing like a bit of ‘craic’ is there?