18 Irish Words That The English Language Needs To Adopt Right Now

Because sometimes a translation just doesn't do it justice...

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Call us crazy, but we think you guys liked our last Irish piece.

So, we decided to treat you to a second instalment of 18 more words the Irish language has, that the English language needs. Doesn't matter if you love Irish, loathe Irish, or have never heard Irish - we certainly have a word or two, for you.

1. Áilleagán mná

(All-ig-on min-awh)

Literally: ‘a useless, pretty woman’, or bimbo.


2. Banchealgaire


A seductive woman, a siren. Think Jessica Rabbit, with a paddy cap on.


3. Maróg


A pot-bellied person. Maróg is also the Irish word for pudding.



4. Alpaire


A person who eats too much. Possibly too much maróg.


5. Súdóg


A woman who chats the arse off you.


6. Leibide


A foolish, pitiful person who can’t seem to catch a break.

‘'Ah don't bother him, he’s just a poor auld leibide'’

7. [ag] fearaíocht

([egg] far-eee-ukt)

The act of showing off like a prick.


8. Gairbhín


Unseasonal cold and windy weather in early May.

Wonder what that’s like…


9. Glic


A derogative way to describe someone cunning or sly. A cute hoor, if you will.


10. Patalóg


A chubby child, and thus a term whose use amounts to child cruelty.

You monster.


11. Fite fuaite

(fitcha fue-atcha)

Entangled. Fite (woven) and fuaite (sewn), the two ways of holding things together used when making a boat back in the day.

One of those phrases that makes you think that Irish isn’t too far off Chinese.


12. Ciotóg


A left-hander, deriving from the Irish word ‘ciotach’, meaning ‘awkward’.

Shit one, lefties.


13. Faoiseamh


A release, reprieve or relief from pain.

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14. Mí na Meala

(mee na malla)

Literally: ‘a month of sweetness’, really ‘honeymoon’, but referring to new love. This, therefore, gives you licence as an Irish person to go on a month long romantic bender with your new significant other.

You're welcome.


15. Slán


You know this one from school, but did you know how to properly use it?

Both ‘safe’, and ‘goodbye’ – because we Irish love telling people to be safe when they leave – if you pronounce it in a high-pitched elongated format, it can be used to deliver a snide 'good riddance'. Gives us the English ‘So long!’


16. Rí-rá agus ruaille buaille

(ree-raw og-us rue-ill-ya bue-ill-ya)

Bedlam, divilment, good fun, or any sociable activity that improves with fine food, or a shot of whiskey.

''Some craic last night wasn't it?'' ''Rí rá and ruaille fuckin' buaille bud!''


17. Sliabhín


An untrustworthy or cunning person. A cousin of glic.


18. Spraoi


Playing, fun and all round good times. Gives us the English ‘spree’. Also fun to say hammered.

Written By

Kate Demolder

Kate is a staff writer here at Lovin Dublin. T: @katedemolder / kate@lovin.com