4 Commonly Heard Irish Words and Phrases Explained

4 Commonly Heard Irish Words and Phrases Explained

If you’re planning trip to Ireland or you just want to be in the know around Irish-speaking friends, brush up on the meaning and usage of these four phrases, all of which are frequently heard on the Emerald Isle. After learning these sayings, you’re sure to be considered a local when making a toast, giving a greeting, or pledging your allegiance.

Craic

Pronounced “crack,” this term most simply means fun. The Gaelic word lacks a definitive English translation, thus leading to lots of confusion around its true meaning. For example, you might hear “How was the craic?” in reference to a weekend or night out. This means, “How was the atmosphere, the scene, the party, and the entertainment?” If someone responds by noting that the craic was 90, it means it was out-of-this-world or amazing.

Céad Mile Fáilte

There’s no Irish phrase more inviting than this one, which means “a hundred thousand welcomes.” This is a Gaelic term that carries over to modern day, conveying the spirit of the Emerald Isle and appearing on numerous home décor plaques (including the beautiful stained glass version shown here) as well as in public spaces.

Erin Go Bragh

This short phrase (pronounced err-in go bra) means Ireland forever. It is a term used to show allegiance to the Emerald Isle and to celebrate pride in the country.

Sláinte

This commonly heard phrase is meant to convey a form of the popular English toast, “cheers.” The next time you propose a toast—especially if you’re in Ireland—use this popular saying (pronounced slan-che), which also literally means health. Add the words “agus táinte” to propose both health and wealth to all who drink.


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