Skip to content

11 words that prove Irish people do insults better than anyone else

Ya gowl.
Apr 6th 2016, 1:08 PM 40,482 5

THE IRISH CAN lay claim to being the best in the world at quite a few things – ranging from mortifying weekly chat show moments to quality spice bag reviews.

We’re also world beaters at the creation of unique insults – and some words prove it:


dry Source: flickr

So much can be summed up about a person’s character with just one cutting phrase. They know what it means, you know what it means – exactly how language should be.


geebag Source: flickr

Breaking down the literal definition of this doesn’t do it justice – geebag is more than the sum of its parts.

And a quintessential Irish insult.


gowl Source: flickr

“Ah, you’re some gowl” is one of the finest insults ever uttered. And it sounds so much better in a Limerick accent, too.


insult1 Source: flickr

Prefaced with “ya little” makes this insult extra jaunty.


dirtbird Source: flickr

Absolute mank.


shitehawk Source: flickr

A minus craic bird of prey.


gom Source: flickr

Throwback to the old days, where our nation knew the value of a good, ridiculous-sounding slagging.

This current generation has taken on their good work.


eejit Source: flickr

Mild, but still extremely effective in getting across the point that you think someone is an absolute clown.


wagon Source: flickr

Most people have a bit of wagon in them, given the right environment. Using this word to describe someone else brings with it a unique sense of Irish satisfaction.


muppet Source: flickr

Rest of the world: hilarious characters from your childhood and/or A Christmas Carol.

Ireland: An absolute dope.



Given the inherent inventiveness and flexibility of Irish insults, you can add “-bottle” to it to give it that extra oomph.

Our gifts to the world.

DailyEdge is on Snapchat! Tap the button below to add!

snapcode with text cropped (1)

More What’s the harshest insult you can deliver to a fellow Irish person?

Send a tip to the author

David Elkin


    Back to top