21 sayings you’ll only understand if you’re Irish

The Irish saying “away with the fairies” is used when someone isn’t facing reality or is living in la-la land.

northern ireland fan


An Irish sports fan wearing face paint.


This phrase got its origin thanks to the folk tales about fairies picking people up and taking them away. 

In the Emerald Isle, if your friends are getting rowdy or making a fool of themselves, you’d say they are “acting the maggot.”

st patricks day


A woman at a St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

This phrase could also be used to talk about anything that isn’t acting properly, like if your phone is on the fritz or the trains are running way behind schedule.

“On me tod” translates to “on my own.”

irish landscape


An Irish landscape.


People will say this when they’re going out alone or just alone in a general sense.

It is said to come from Tod Sloane, an American jockey whose parents were out of the picture, leaving him a lone wolf during his childhood. He was a successful horse racer in the West, but when he moved across the pond he was made fun of for his riding style, and therefore “alone” once more. 

“Look at the state o’ you!” implies that a person’s attire, personal hygiene, intoxication level, or general demeanor is worrisome.

A drunk man passed out behind his beer at a bar.


A drunk man passed out behind his beer at a bar.

Zoriana Zaitseva/Shutterstock

It’s a popular exclamation used in inner Dublin. One might also describe his drinking companion as being in a “bleedin’ state” if he gets “wrecked” at the pub.

“What’s the story, horse?” — abbreviated as “story horse?” — is how you ask a buddy what’s up.

kissing the blarney stone


A person kissing the Blarney Stone.

Thomas Barrat/Shutterstock

It’s a less breezy greeting than its American counterpart and invites the other person to really dive into what’s been going on in life.

“Your son is your son today, but your daughter is your daughter forever” is one of the more misogynistic sayings.

Dublin, Ireland.


Dublin, Ireland.

Getty Images

This phrase is pretty misogynistic. Basically, it means a man is only a son until he takes a wife, but as a daughter gets older, she will stay near the family, draining it of money and time for years to come. 

In Irish Gaelic, it’s Is é do mhac do mhac inniú, ach is í d’iníon d’iníon go deo.

This post was originally published on Insider

Share your love