• What’s The Craic, Bhoy?: A Guide to the English Spoken in Cork, Ireland

    The province of Cork in the south of Ireland is known for its beautiful scenery, castles and the famous Blarney Stone, which, when kissed, is said to endow the person kissing it with the gift of the gab or eloquence. However, it is also known for its particular vocabulary which is unlike that spoken in the rest of the country or indeed anywhere else.

    Here is a guide to the English spoken in Cork.


    Bhoy is a random term of endearment like mate.

    If someone says what’s the craic they are asking you how you are.

    If someone is brassed off, it means they are annoyed.

    If someone has no intention of doing something they will say, in an ironic fashion I will ya. 

    Comere timmy boi means come here. 

    If you do something very stupid, a Cork person will say nicewanbiy.

    To meet someone means to kiss them on a night out.

    If someone wants to tell you to go away they will say whistle on.

    Food and drink

    If someone has had too much to drink they are said to be langers.


    An attractive woman is called a bure.

    Policemen are called shades

    Money is called moolah.

    An idiot is called a muppet.

    An egocentric person is said to be septic.

    If something/someone is dirty, it/he/she is said to be manky.

    If someone thinks you are stupid they will call you an eejit.

    I was panned out means I was relaxing.

    If someone thinks you are particularly stupid they will say if you had two brains you’d be twice as stupid.

    If an event is very enjoyable it is said to be savage.

    You’re as useless as a Kerryman with a hurley means you’re pretty useless as typically Cork people believe that those from the neighboring province of Kerry can’t play hurling, the Irish national sport.

    While we are talking about the English spoken in Cork, let’s enjoy one of its most interesting musical exports, The Sultans of Ping with their classic Where’s Me Jumper.

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