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18th Sep 2023

Here’s 51 niche Dublin slags that you probably haven’t heard of- ya big dope

Emily Mullen

The land of saints and scholars has some choice words when it comes to rebuffs

Talking about things like our feelings, emotions and past traumas g’luck. But when it comes to slagging people we really excel. This phenomenon might have something to do with all the unexpressed thoughts we carry around with us each and every day. For us slagging sometimes replaces any real form of communication, between parents, partners, friends and relations. You truly know you are getting along with someone when you are comfortable enough to slag them, the bit beforehand is just plain weird. So we’ll leave the guff out and get cracking on our top 51 niche Dublin slags:

51. Des Kelly wouldn’t lay you down

A relitively new recent one to the vernacular but a quality one none-the-less

50. Do you think I came up the Liffey in a bubble?

Code for do you think I’m stupid?

49. Don’t be Abbey acting

Reference to the Abbey theatre, where all the proper actors work

48. A fur coat and no knickers

All flash and no substance

47. Get up the yard, there’s a smell of Benjy off you

An old phrase coming from the 1960s RTE drama The Riordan’s Benjy Riordan

46. Here’s your hat, what’s your hurry?

A line that the character George Bailey uses in the winter classic “It’s A Wonderful Life” is a typical Irish saying encouraging someone to go without explicitly saying it (similar to “I’ll let you go”).

45. They’d rob the eyes out of your head and come back for your eyelashes

This niche saying is a play on the “robbing you blind” saying beloved by so many

44. Do you think I came down in the last shower?

Typically used by a Ma/Granny to describe their disgust at whichever child thinks they could pull the wool over their eyes

43. If I sent you to the well you’d come back without the water

Someone without a bit of cop

42. They’d live in your ear and make a meal out of the wax

Used to describe someone who is on the cheaper end of things who makes the most of your generous hospitality

41. He’s a real go by the wall and tiddle the bricks

A lad you simply can’t trust, can also be shortened to a ‘go-boy’ (as in he’s a real go-boy)

40. You’ve a face like a bag of spanners

A face that’s hard (and disjointed) to look at.

39. If me arse had a nose on it, it’d be nicer

If someone is behaving in a less-than-desirable manner/has an ugly face

38. You couldn’t kick snow off a roof 

Is a great slag, which could lead to a demonstration of snow removal which is not to be advised.

37. You’re as useless as a one-legged man in an arse-kicking competition

Extremely niche but beautifully descriptive

36. You’re as useless as an ashtray on a motorbike 

The old joke is, you don’t need one you just throw it on the ground.

35. Your Da is the fella who sits in the middle seat of the van

“Your Ma” and “your Da” are surely the backbone of anyone’s slagging repertoire, and this has to be up there as one of the best. It speaks to the uselessness of whoever’s Da it is, that they get the dud seat.

34. You’re as far out as a lighthouse 

When someone has missed the mark to a shocking extent/or if they are just a bit too out there for your liking.

33. A coat wouldn’t wear you 

You are so awful even an inanimate object wouldn’t go near you- ooo burn.

32. Wouldn’t get on you to get over a wall 

This slag really speaks to the level of disgust that you feel for the person you are slagging.

31. Your Da votes Fine Gael 

A relatively new entry to the Dublin slag repertoire, but an effective one nonetheless

30. They could smoke in the shower

If someone has a big nose

29. You couldn’t organise a fire in a match factory

This slag is near perfection, it’s got a great sparsity to it which makes it a great one in terms of delivery.

28. Face like a slapped arse 

A wonderful slag, which once you start using it you’d be surprised how many occasions it will come in handy.

27. If ya had two brains one would be lonely 

A great slag for that useless so-and-so in your life

26. Ya couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery

This is arguably not a niche slag but the quality of its entry lets it lie.

25. You’re as useless as the “g” in lasagna 

A great one for the useless fecker in your life.

24. If my dog looked like you I’d paint a face on its arse and teach it to walk backwards 

A long enough one, but effective nonetheless.

23. If you’d half a brain, you’d be lopsided 

One of those slags that stays with you and you mull it over quite a bit after it’s been said to you.

22. You’re as useless as a plane’s horn

A solid entry into the “You’re as useless as” genre of slags is the aviation-themed one.

21. You’re as effective as a chocolate fireguard

This is a great one as it’s a riff on a well-known slag “you are as useless as a chocolate teapot” and it shows the Dubliners’ pure talent for escalating slaggings into the stratosphere.

20. You’re as useless as the traffic lights down the bottom of Grafton Street 

A classic niche slag, which plays on the enduring uselessness of those traffic lights that after several years of disuse still flash green, yellow and red.

19. You’re useful like a fork in soup

A nice literal one here, that really encapsulates the “you’re as useful as” genre with just the right amount of absurdity.

18. I wouldn’t ride you into battle 

A classic from the school-yard slagging battles but still a goodie.

17. If brains were dynamite you wouldn’t be able to blow your nose 

This slag could confound some people which is one of its greatest strengths.

16. You wouldn’t get your hole in a polo factory

A great entry into the “factory” genre of slags.

15. You could chew an apple through a letterbox

For those big-teethed amongst us, also works with other iterations like You could chew an apple through a tennis racket

14. You’re as tight as a nun’s knickers 

A great one to say to your friend the next time they duck out on a round.

13. If I’d a back garden full of mickys. I wouldn’t let her look over the wall 

A brutal slag but much beloved of the fellas in Dublin.

12. A head on them like a rottweiler chewing a wasp

A great descriptive one

11. Seen bigger shoulders on a worm 

Another true blue niche classic, a great one if whoever you are slagging has sloapy shoulders.

10. Bacteria wouldn’t get up on yea

Slagging the undesirability of a person through the prism of a germ is particularly funny.

9. You’ve a face that’d turn a funeral down a side street 

There hasn’t been too many entries into the “your face” genre of slags, but this one is a niche classic.

8. You could fall into shite and come out smelling of roses 

Actually, this is quite a kind slag, it signals that the person you are saying it to is particularly jammy/lucky.

7. Your da watches James Bond in the bath and calls himself bubble 07

There’s a lovely absurdity to this slag which makes it a real winner.

6. Seen bigger men on top of wedding cakes

This has all the trappings of a great slag, it’s blatantly mean, direct and exceptionally funny. Typically this would be said about someone not to someone.

5. Kiss you under the mistletoe? I wouldn’t kiss you under an anaesthetic 

This is an excellent slag which well deserves an entry into the slag hall of fame. It’s got a great level of viciousness which is key for a proper Dublin slag.

4. The mouth on ya it’s like a skipping rope between your ears

A fantastic niche slag reserved for those folks with a big gaping mouth.

3. The tide wouldn’t take her out 

A true Dublin classic, funny on several levels and one that can be used again and again.

2. There’s no flies on your shite, if there were they’d be paying rent 

There’s few better slags than a big shite slag

.1 Cillit Bang wouldn’t shift ya 

Very tough to pick a number one but this slag has it all- the nostalgia aspect, the snappy delivery and the serious level of viciousness that makes it so wonderful.

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