Crystal Travel & Tours Blog

Irish Vocabulary: American/Irish Dictionary

While Irish people and Americans both share a common language, there are many words, sayings, turns-of-phrase, and different usages of words that can and do cause confusion, sometimes even insult. We have compiled a list of what we think you might need to know before you touchdown in Dublin or Shannon.

medium-Cliff_Coast_Miltown_Malbay_Discussing_Route_WAW_Porsche_011_JWPotato chips are "crisps" and French fries are "chips".

Soda is a "fizzy drink" or "mineral".

You are not on vacation; you are on "holidays".

"Craic" (pronounced crack) is a word you will hear on your trip but has nothing to do with drugs. It is a word associated with harmless fun. Likewise, "dope" is a semi-derogatory word for someone, loosely translating to idiot.

The trunk is referred to as the "boot" of the car.

There are many words, considered to be swears in America that are used playfully in Ireland so don't be offended.

The F word is used widely and freely, often to strengthen an adjective, or if something goes ever-so-slightly wrong.

"Dear" is another word for expensive.

A cigarette is most commonly referred to as a "fag" in Ireland, which has a vastly different meaning in the US.

If you need a ride somewhere, refer to it as a "lift". A ride usually means something entirely different.

"Gas" means funny.

"Petrol", "diesel" or "unleaded" is gas.

Irish people like to refer to some things by brand name. Potato chips or "crisps" can sometimes be called "Tayto". A vacuum cleaner is a "Hoover".