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Here's a list of all the Irish slang that Jamie Dornan translated for Vanity Fair

“Boys a dear, dears a boy.”

PastedImage-439 Source: Vanity Fair

JAMIE DORNAN HAS been charming interviewers across the world in recent weeks, as he’s been promoting the new Robin Hood movie (which he stars in, btw – he’s not just doing it because he loves Robin Hood). On top of that, he’s got a new series called Death and Nightingales in the works too, which will premiere on BBC on the 28th of November. 

In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Jamie was tasked with defining a list of slang words that are commonly used in Ireland. Here’s his list, in alphabetical order: 

Any more of this and there’ll be less of it: I mean, that’s so stupid. That’s as Irish a statement as you’re ever likely to read. It’s like “Put an end to it, stop it or you’ll get what’s coming to ya.” 

Bout ye: If you don’t greet someone with “What’s the craic?”, you’ll say “Bout ye?” which is just “How about you?” I’ve found the longer I’ve not lived in Northern Ireland, the less I say bout ye and I’m quite pleased about that. 

Boys a dear: I say this all the time! When you’ve been jarred by something or you’ve received some news, you go “Oof… Boys a dear.” I have my own spin on it, I always say “Boys a dear, dears a boy”, which really annoys people. I once tried to do a whole conversation with these builders who were working in my dad’s house by only saying “Boys a dear” to them, and I talked to them for twenty minutes.

Buck eejit: A term that I love. It basically means somebody’s stupid. Eejit is an Irish term for idiot, or someone who’s annoying. 

Craic: Well, that’s the most famous expression we have in all of Ireland. ‘Craic’. When you say, “What’s the craic?” That’s the first thing you say to someone from home, like “What’s the craic?” It’s all encompassing. 

Dead-on: Dead-on means that you’re sound – someone who’s cool. We either say they’re sound or they’re dead-on. 

Faffin’: Oh, I use this a lot. It means you’re wasting time. You’re trying to leave the house and someone’s struggling to find their sunglasses, I probably say it more to my wife. “Stop faffin’ about”. 

Source: Vanity Fair/YouTube

Kex: Kex are your underwear. 

Jammie: Jammie means lucky, like “You jammie bastard.” 

Pull: To kiss someone. 

Steamin’: Steamin’ means drunk. 

Wee: If there’s any phrase that’s used more than ‘craic’, it’s ‘wee’. “Oh, I’m going to have a wee cup of tea”, even though you’re going to have a totally normal sized cup of tea, people will say a wee cup of tea. Or if you’re in a shop, the man or woman will be like “D’ya want a wee bag with that?” But you’re just getting a normal sized bag. 

Yarn: Like a story. “We had a good yarn last night, in the pub.” 

Yoke: You could apply that to anything. It’s also used to describe something you might not know the word for – the thing, we’d say “the yoke”. 

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About the author:

Kelly Earley

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