Irish Slang for Champlain Abroad Students


Champlain Abroad students have been in Dublin for almost a month now. The time is moving quickly, and while becoming familiarized with the zigzagging streets and vibrant nightlife of the city, it can be difficult to grasp the more subtle, covertly charming aspects of life in Ireland, especially found in casual Irish conversation.  Thanks to the help of Champlain Abroad Dublin alumni, a list of such common slang terms has been compiled which one is likely to hear in any Dublin bar, cafe, or street corner.

Small Talk:

The Black Stuff – Guinness

It’s one of the things Dublin is best known for.

Class – Cool

Image result for leo dicaprio gatsby meme

Just a classier way to say it.

Craic – Fun

So don’t get freaked if someone asks you where the craic is. You’re not in America anymore.

Eejit – Idiot

Image result for eejit

The Fear – The regret one feels after a night of heavy drinking.

Garda – Police

Image result for irish police

Still getting used to the idea of Irish Police not carrying guns like American police.

Gas – Hilarious

Image result for laughing gif

Grand – Ranging from fine to great (context clues)

Image result for great thumbs up

“Brilliant” is also just as common.

Lads – You guys

Not always gender-specific, though.

Pet hate – Pet peeve

Image result for annoyed gif

Savage – Awesome

Image result for savage meme

Some even throw this term around back in the states. 

Scarlet – Embarrassed

Image result for embarrassed gif

The same color your cheeks turn when your mom calls during class because she forgot about the time difference. Again.

The Shift – French Kissing

Image result for kiss cheek gif


Slainte! – Cheers!

Image result for cheers beer gif

Thanks a mil – Thank you so much!

Or Merci beaucoup! like our Champlain Abroad peers in Montreal will be saying all next semester. 

What’s the story? – What’s up?

Image result for what's the story

They don’t actually want you to tell them all about the James Joyce novel you’ve been reading in Lit class.

Wrecked – Tired

How everyone felt that first week after jet lag got the best of us. Knackered means the same thing.

Everyday items:

Beermat – Coaster

Image result for irish beermat

So you don’t leave rings of condensation on Stay City’s countertops.

Bobbin – Bobby Pinn. 

Image result for bobby pins meme

Also called long Kirbies. A hair bobbin can also be used for an elastic hairband

Jacks – Toilet facilities

Jumper – Sweater

Image result for baggy sweaters

Dublin: the magical place where every day is sweater weather

Plaster – Band-Aid

Image result for band aids

It’s a good idea to always keep some of these with you. Walking around Dublin every day is great, but you’re bound to get blisters.

Purse – Wallet

Almost the same as back in the states, but not quite.

Rubber – Eraser

Image result for eraser

A Champlain Dublin alumni once were shocked when a child asked him for a rubber. Yeah, they just meant an eraser.

Rubbish – Trash

Image result for trash can

Could also be used in place of the word “nonsense.”

Serviettes – Napkins

Tills – Cash Register

Image result for modern cash register

Vest – tank top

Image result for tank top

So if you see a sale on vests at the mall, it’s probably not quite what you’re thinking.

Wellies – Rainboots

You could use these just about any day here in Dublin.


Chicken Goujons – Chicken Nuggets

Chips – French Fries

Gerkin – Pickle

Image result for pickles meme

Rocket – Arugula

Pretty much the whole world calls it this apart from North America.

Sambo – Sandwich

Poulet Bonne Femme near Trinity College won “Best Sambo” for 2016. Sounds worth a 15-minute walk.

Take-away – Take-out

There are many places in Dublin with take-away options. Some even deliver, though there’s no Mr. Delivery like back home in Burlington.


Champlain Abroad
More Dublin
Studying Abroad As a Student of Color
Life in Dublin During COVID
Creative Minds Hackathon in Dublin