Guest sayings

Ned Carlson (Chicago): "Did you hear about the Irishman who walked out of a pub?"

"No, I haven't"

"I haven't either!"

Steven Derbyshire (Edgesworthtown County Longford):

Capering = to go out dallying with the opposite sex whether married or not!

Michael Mac Fheorais (Dublin):

Caught rapid = caught red handed.

Frank (Wales):

Well tickle me tits til Friday! = it is no big deal

Anon (Ireland):

yoke = can refer to any item as in "pass me that yoke there", "thingymajig" is the Scottish equivalent. A yoke is not a lad.

John (Dublin):

S/he's on fire = he's doing really well. usually refers to a particular job at hand and not at life in general.abha, clare and Olivia (London): savage = good looking, attractive, (not a monster)

Michael Mac Fheorais (Ireland):I wouldn't have it kicked after me = I wouldn't want that that at all, especially if it was implied I actually wanted it. E.g. "John told me you wanted a double brested suit". Reply "I certaintly did not, I wouldn't have it kicked after me". Only ever heard my mother say this, I always thought it meant something like "I wouldn't have it even if you threw it at me".

Chris Bombardier (USA):I'll be there in three shakes of a dead lambs tail = (I'm not sure if that is fast or slow, my mother used to say this.)

John Ryan (Dublin): (s)he is a peculiar genius = a quare fella, eccentric or idiot

Chris O'Dania (W Texas): It's come a gully-washer! = It's raining to beat the dickens; it's raining in torrents

Anon (Kerry via Ohio!): ye shitepokes = good-for-nothings [typically said to her children by a woman]

Maggie (Dublin): he didn't lick it off the stones = someone's behaviour, whether good or bad, is inherited or taught to them by their family.

Chris O'Dania (Texas):

The first time you get kicked by a mule, it's the mule's fault.... The next time, it's YOUR fault!


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  • "As good as gold..." = usually describes the excellent behaviour of a child
  • "I'm loosing the will to live..." = hurry up, you're taking too long/boring me etc
  • "I believe you...thousands wouldn't..." = I'm not sure you're right...
  • "I'm pulling the divil by the tail" = I am in great form thanks!
  • Englishman to Irishman: "You're talking far too fast"...answer, "You're not listening quickly enough...!" I'm grateful to a friend whose father comes from Ballymoney for this retort! "S/he's a chip off the aul block" = copy of original (usually refers to a person identical to a relative, typically a child)
  • "S/he's got a chip on his/her shoulder = someone who holds a grudge [more chip meanings here]
  • He's a bit fond of the jar = likes drinking
  • "That doesn't wash very well" = something is not credible or believable
  • "I'll take you down a peg or two..." = to humilliate someone
  • "You're a hard act to follow" = you are good at what you do [presume this is a theatrical or music hall expression]
  • "No great shakes" = not great, sub-standard etc. This is possible a dancing expression!
  • "...with brute force and ignorance!" = to describe maximum effort for a physical task.
  • "Go and take a long walk off a short pier" = get lost, youre annoying me!
  • "(S)he's the worse for wear" = has had far too much to drink
  • "Where's she goin in that rigout?" = What is she wearing, it looks far too posh for the likes of her!
  • "Finders keepers, loosers weepers" = playground phrase that describes possession is 9/10ths of the law!
  • "S/he worships the ground s/he walks on" = s/he is totally devoted (usually in the sense that love is involved but not exclusively). I love the imagery - the use of language is very Irish.
  • "The world and his granny was there" = a large crowd was there.
  • "I'll show me nose" = I will put in a brief appearance (very difficult to do in Irish homes since you're expected to stay a while and have a cup of tea or stronger...)!
  • "Hold yer horses!" = take it easy, calm down, relax a bit, etc.
  • "Up to me eyeballs" or "up to me neck/oxters" = I am very busy!
  • "Nothing to write home about..." = Nothing special. Probably a phrase for which we can thank our emigrants.
  • "So there...put that in yer pipe and smoke it...! = add this to a good retort/reply to someone being clever.
  • "The devil you know is better than the devil you don't know..." = leave things alone, don't change for the sake of change.
  • "They'll see ya comin.." = You look like a total eejit and someone is going to take advantage of you!
  • "That'll go through ya for a short cut...!" = A way of describing a potent liquid (usually alcoholic!) or food!
  • "He'll meet himself coming backwards" = He is far too organised for his own good (in other words, he's a complete pain)
  • "Beggars can't be choosers"
  • "Long may you wear" = your good wishes to a friend who has just received a new gift, etc. The gift can be anything new, not just clothing!
  • "Me stomach thinks me throat's cut" = I am very hungry!
  • This is from my favourite nephew, Joe and inspired by "Father Ted": "You're not the boss of me!"
  • "I'll learn ya...' = I'll teach you a lesson (usually to a child)
  • "Put your money where your mouth is!" = support your boast with evidence
  • "Fine bit of stuff altogether!" = good looking etc (thanks to Niamh from Louth)
  • "Takin a mug of scald to me scratcher" = cup of tea and going to bed

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