I miss Ireland with a fiery ache in my chest. Maybe it’s the acid reflux from drinking 40 bottles of wine in my friend’s camper last night – who really knows? But since everyone and their dog is going to Ireland this summer, I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I miss it.
1. What’s the craic?
Craic, pronounced like “crack”, is the Irish word used to describe the country’s spirit. It’s a positive thing. “What’s the craic?” is pretty much “what’s up?” “He’s great craic” or “that’s the craic” means something was wonderful, pleasing, delightful.
My favourite: “Let’s knock a little craic out of it tonight.”
2. Your man
“Your man over there” confused the hell out of me whenever my friend David from Sligo used it. I don’t have a man. We’d be sitting around having a pint of Guinness at a pub and then someone would say, “Your man over there is drunk.” If I had a man, he probably WOULD be drunk.
I’ve also heard it used to describe a woman, although the more common expression is “your one” (which sounds more like “wan”).
3. I’m grand, sure
We use this one commonly in Newfoundland as well. “I’m grand, sure” means everything is fab and wonderful and life is happy fun. The “sure” is just there for fun.
4. Did you give her the shift?
A “shift” in Ireland means a French kiss. When a friend asked me “Did he give you the shift?” I was appalled he’d be so forward. I figured it meant something more sexual. But nope, it turns out a cheeky shift with an Irishman is actually a lot of fun.
5. Go way outta it
This is another common expression in Newfoundland, usually meant to convey either disbelief or frustration. Yeah, those are two completely opposite things, I realize.
“Are you going to the pub for a pint?” “Nah, I quit drinking.” “Go way outta it, you loves da Guinness!”
6. Acting the maggot
Meaning something’s being disagreeable, upsetting. If someone’s acting the maggot, they’re being a jerk. “Jonny’s acting the maggot again.”