Your guide to Irish slang

Irish slang – the complete guide. 

The team at INTO Queen’s University of Belfast know that it can be difficult to understand some common Irish slang phrases when you first arrive in Belfast. 

In this blog, we explain the local lingo. 

Did you know: slang stands for short language (short language)!

Have you been to Belfast, and had a moment where you felt like this…

Me too! So don’t worry.

Like most cities in the UK, there are unusual colloquial phrases and regional sayings.

Here are the most common Irish slang words you’ll hear while in Belfast…


Small or little.
Example: Would you like a wee bag with your wee cake?

Belfast words

Bout ye?

How are you?
You’ll feel like the Joey Tribbiani of Belfast using this.
Example: If you run into your friend on the street… bout ye mate?

I’ll run ye over

No, this is not a threat. When you hear this, it means that somebody’s offering you a lift/ride in their car.
Example: I’m going that way as well, I’ll run ye over.

Flying it

Doing well.
Example: I’m flying it. How are you?


To be cold.
Example: Going out during the winter without your jacket will make you foundered.

Slang words in Ireland


Mouth/ face.
Example: Shut your bake!


Exhausted, worn out or tired.
Example: I’ll be knackered after walking up this huge hill.


To have fun, good time.
Example: Me and my friends are heading out for the craic.


Example: You’re an eejit!

Irish Slang


Mate, pal, friend.
Example: I’m so excited to see my mucker.

Slang in Ireland


Funny, humorous.
Example: Adele’s laugh is gas.


Packed full
Example: The restaurant we went to was jammers.

Slang words in Belfast


Example: Don’t worry about it, it’s nothing to be scundered about.

Thanks for the Irish slang tips, Sam!

Now you can understand what the locals are saying when in Ireland, you may also like to read about top things to do in Belfast

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