What Are Some Popular Irish Words and Phrases?


Quick Answer

According to IrishCentral.com, one of the most commonly used Irish phrases is "May the road rise to meet you." This phrase originates from the Gaelic "Go n-éiri an bóthar leat," which means "may success be with you."

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Full Answer

Another commonly used Irish word is "Sláinte," which is the Gaelic word for health. "Slan" is the Gaelic word for safe. In Ireland, it means to keep safe and is used as a farewell. "Erin go Bragh" is perhaps one of the most commonly used Irish phrases, which means "Ireland forever" in Gaelic. "A hundred thousand welcomes" is another common Irish phrase that comes from the Gaelic “Céad Mile Fáilte."

According to BussinessInsider.com, "What's the craic?" is another common Irish expression. This phrase can lead to potential misunderstandings for tourists, because craic is pronounced like "crack." This phrase can substitute for "How are you?" A typical response is "divil a bit," which means "not much."

"May the cat eat you, and may the devil eat the cat" is an Irish insult that essentially condemns the recipient to Hell. "Story, horse?" is a common Irish expression that is used when asking a friend "What's up?" "Acting the maggot" is an expression used when a friend is being irritating or obnoxious. The phrase "that one suffers from a double-dose of original sin" became popular in the 1880s, when proponents of British rule over Ireland attributed the Irishmen's depravity of character (and the famine, some argued) to their second helping of original sin.

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