With St Patrick’s Day coming soon it is time to get yourself acquainted with some typical Irish phrases, Irish words, and Irish slang.
If you arrive in Ireland and ask someone for the restroom, it is social suicide. It’s either called “the toilet,” or even more commonly “the jacks.” In pubs, the sexes are often written in Irish on toilet doors. So you have the “fir jacks” and the “ban jacks.” Not to be confused with “banjaxed,” which means something is broken. You’ll learn soon enough.
In use: “Tell ye what, you get in another round, while I head to the jacks.”
A press is what we call a cupboard in Ireland. However, the “hotpress”… Well, that’s a different matter altogether!
In use: “Hold on now till I get the biscuits from the press.”
This is what we call soft drinks. Beware if you’re visiting old people: they’ll automatically assume you love a mineral called 7Up and will force feed you with it.
In use: “You can’t drink because you driving? Well sure you’ll have a mineral instead!”
You will hear about people going out to do the messages, or going into town for the messages. Alas, middle-aged Irish women are not part of some secret government organization; they’re just referring to the shopping. The messages are what some Irish people call the groceries.
In use: “Anyone want anything I’m heading into town to do the messages.”
“Naggins” and “shoulders” Naggins and shoulders refer to the sizes of bottles of spirits. A shoulder will get you a good way to being happy out, but a naggin is perfect for smuggling (or “gooching”) into a pub. However, we’re not endorsing such scurrilous actions.
In use: “Get me a shoulder of Captain Morgan, and Aisling wants a naggin of vodka.”