Funny Irish Phrases
One of the best way to explain funny Irish phrases is by way of jokes and tall stories.
Irish people speak English; but it's an Irish sort of English, which can take some getting used to. So, if you are going to have any chance making your way round the island, a few helpful tips on the local vocabulary would be helpful.
How To Say Hello
Inebriation and the Irish
Thanks to the BBC for help in compiling this material.
Many cultures have fairies as part of their folklore, but few have little people with such a rich source of humour, funny stories and different guises as leprechauns. To begin with leprechauns are exclusively male which immediately gives them great scope for mischief. Classic Irish phrase for someone who's a bit loopy, or maybe a daydreamer, 'He's away with the fairies'.
One of the best way to explain funny Irish phrases is by way of jokes and tall stories. However, certain words and phrases should never be uttered in Ireland itself, despite the common misperception that they are "typically Irish." They died a death decades ago, if they were ever used at all. Such phrases include bedad and begorrah, top of the morning, or faith, me darling. Calling a woman a "fine colleen" is likely to lead to you getting a kick in the shins.
Soon after O'Shaughnessy clocked in for work, the foreman called him over and told him that he had a phone call in the front office.
When O'Shaughnessy returned, he had a mournful expression on his face and his head hung low. His foreman noticed and asked if it was bad news.' To be shure it was, Boss, 'he replied, 'I just found out from Ireland that my mother died earlier this morning.'
'Gosh, that's awful, 'replied the foreman, 'Do you want the rest of the day off?'
'No, 'replied O'Shaughnessy. ' I'll finish the day out.'
About an hour later, the foreman returned to inform him that there was another phone call for him in the office. This time when O'Shaughnessy returned he looked twice as glum, and the foreman asked if everything was alright.
'Bejeezuz Boss, its even worse news. That was my brother, and his mother died today too!'
The Fame of Red Adair - Another Example, To Be Shure
At the height of the gulf wars, the expertise of Red Adair (that well known fire fighter) was called upon to go out to the gulf and put out the oil rig fires.
On his way his plane landed in Ireland for an overnight stop so Red took advantage to visit the local bar for a pint of the black stuff. On entering the bar two old Irish boys witnessed him walk in and one said to the other. 'Isn't that Red Adair'? The other replied, 'No'.
The old boy then said, 'I'm sure it is and I'm so shure that I will bet you a pint if I am wrong'. The doubting one said, 'Ok' and they both went over to Red and the one said, 'Are you Red Adair'? to which Red said he was.
The doubting Irishman said, 'Are you still dancing with Ginger Rogers'?
Could be Worse (Begorrah)
I first met O'Reilly when I was in St Peter's Hospital, Chertsey, England. He was in the same ward as me and was lying, quite still, in the bed next to me when I awoke early on that Friday morning.
I was taken aback because he was swathed in bandages from head to toe, with just two little slits for his eyes and this made it difficult to engage him in conversation.
However, later that same day, his best friend, Dermot Callaghan, came in to visit O'Reilly and I listened in to their conversation which went as follows:
'What happened to you?' asked Callaghan.
'I staggered out of The Invincible pub, in Shepperton Road, and a lorry hit me a glancing blow and knocked me through the Co-op's plate glass window,' mumbled O'Reilly.'
'Begorrah,' exclaimed Callaghan in his broad Munster accent, 'It's a good job you were wearing all those bandages or you'd have been cut to ribbons!'
Irishmen Flying High - Begorrah
Two Irishmen hired an open cockpit aeroplane to fly over Dublin on St Patrick's Day. As they were winging their way through the air, O'Toole turned to his friend, Murphy and said, 'Murphy, I'm going to fly upside down.'
'Begorrah, O'Toole', shouted Murphy, 'don't do that, we'll fall out.'
'No we won't,' responded O'Toole, 'I'll still talk to you.'
So It Would
'Ah, that was a lovely dress,' announced Colleen, 'and it would have fitted me if I could have got into it, so it would.'
Siobhan followed her husband to the public house, 'How can you come here', she said, taking a sip of his pint of Guinness, 'and drink that awful stuff?'
'Now!' he cried, 'And you always thought I was out enjoying meself.'
The Irish are known all over the world for their fondness for drinking alcohol and for making some of the finest beers, stouts, ales, and whiskeys which are famous internationally.
Will and Guy once knew of a more popular Irish drink in Ireland and almost unknown anywhere else; it was once illegal and is known as poteen. Illegal Irish poteen was an extremely powerful Irish drink [often 90-95%ABV] that only the most hardened drinker in Ireland dared to drink, it was so strong that it's known to cause blindness and sometime even kill people who end up suffering from alcohol poisoning, which was the reason why it was made illegal in Ireland to brew poteen.
Today, however, now legalized, two Irish brands are officially licensed to produce poitìn: Knockeen Hills, and Bunratty,
This is one of the funniest examples of police humour that Will and Guy have encountered for many a year.
To be sure, your man Prawo Jazdy is a slippery fellow. He's wanted for 50 different driving offences all over Ireland. Now, Prawo is clever because every time we book him, his driving licence has a different address. All the Gardaì in Ireland have a different theory about how this 'Scarlet Pimpernel' escapes the clutches of the law. Finally, the penny dropped, Prawo Jardy is not a Hungarian name, but the Polish words for Driving Licence.
The Garda had caught 53 different Polish drivers, but thought they were dealing with the same man. Naturally, the Polish community in Ireland are having a good laugh about Mr Prawo Jazdy.
*Garda is the Irish Police force, it also means one policeman. Gardaì is the plural, it means more than one police officer.
Old Flame - (Another Example of Gardaì and Garda)
An elderly couple were driving through County Kerry, Ireland. Irene was driving when she got pulled over by two ardai, one of whom asks her, 'Ma'am did you know that you were speeding?'
Irene turns to her husband, Mick and enquires, 'What did he say?'
The Garda said, 'May I see your license, please ma'am?'
Irene, once again, turns to Mick and says, 'What did he say?'
Irene gives the policeman her driving license. The Garda retorts, 'I see you are from Kerry. I spent some time there once and had the worst date I have ever had.'
For the final time, Irene turns to Mick and asks, 'What did he say?'
A Swiss man, on holiday in Dublin, needed directions. He was standing outside Davy Byrne's pub when he saw two youths walking by so he stops them and asks, 'Entschuldigung, koennen Sie Deutsch sprechen?'
The two lads look at each other blankly and stare back at him.
'Excusez-moi, parlez vous Français?' He tries.
The two continue to stare.
Still absolutely no response from
the two lads.
The Swiss guy walks off extremely disappointed and downhearted that he had not been understood. One of the boys turns to the second and says, 'Y'know, maybe we should learn a foreign language!'
''Why?' says the youth, 'That guy knew four languages, and it didn't do him any good!'
Footnote: Please write to Will and Guy if you have a funny Irish phrase.
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