With March being designated as Irish American Heritage month and St. Patrick’s Day hastily approaching, I wanted to share this poem by my good friend and fellow Irishman Greg McVicker from Belfast. Apart from talking fast (I know this as many people keep telling me here to talk more slowly!), us Irish have a slew of slang words, which when mixed with our Native language and Regional expressions, have left more than one American person scratching their heads.

By all means, try your hand at these expressions when having a drink this 17th, but I would urge you to practice them beforehand without the aid of alcohol! You could also invite an Irish person to join you on the big day (for the right offer, I may very well be available meself), that way you would have a bona fide interpreter, should you bump into somebody celebrating from the “old sod.” I must confess, that my favourite phrase here is a “face like a busted sausage” – pure class!

To set the scene for Greg’s humourous poem, Craic means news, gossip, fun, entertainment, and enjoyable conversation. This whole poem is a lesson in Irish slang. Enjoy!

Belfast Craic

A toast with a pint of Guinness

Is how we raise a jar.

And if we talk about the boot,

We mean the trunk of a car.

If we say he’s blootered,

What we’re saying is he’s drunk.

To say that somethin’s boggin’,

We’re saying that it stunk.

If you’re told to shut yer gub,

It’s better not to talk.

And if we tell you to take a hike,

It’s not a mountain walk.

If you’re told to go and shite,

That does not mean the bathroom calls.

But if we ask where to find a bog,

We need the toilet stalls.

If you’re asked “What’s the craic?”

Have you any news to tell?

If you’ve a face like a busted sausage,

It means you’re as ugly as hell.

If told you’re a buck eejit,

We mean you’re a nutcase.

If your bake looks like a Lurgan spade,

You’re looking really long in the face.

When told something’s dead on,

It must be really good.

When told to take yourself off by the hand,

You’ve put me in a bad mood.

When told to put the fire on,

It means a shovel of coal.

If you don’t do what you’re told,

You’ll get my toe up your hole.

Composed by Greg McVicker. All Rights Reserved.

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