Irish Slang Words

What are your favourite Irish slang words? There's a good few, here are our absolute favourites!

"The jacks"

Note this is not speaking about a person called Jack.

Not to be confused with "banjaxed," which means something is broken. You'll learn soon enough.


To do something the wrong way, or for something to go wrong on you.


This is fairly common in the south of Ireland. It's an odd pronunciation of "queer," but it's used as a replacement for "very."

"The press"

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."


If you're very tired. Normally used after a big night out.

In use: "We were out last night until half six this mornin'. I'm wrecked now though."


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!"

"The fear"

The fear is what you will have the morning after you were ossified, and ate said curry cheese chips. Also called "the beer blues," "drinker's remorse," and "the chronics" – it sums up how you feel when you can't remember large chunks of the night before.

Other symptoms include unexplained depression, cuts and bruises, and not being able to find your shoes. Why do we do it to ourselves?!

In use: "I'm afraid to show my face in there again. I'm crippled with the fear."

"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."

What are your favourites? Tell us in the comment section below.