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Dublin: 10 °C Friday 21 February, 2020

7 Irish words and phrases that English just can't match

A tense silence? “The slumber of the sneaky pig.”

DARACH Ó SÉAGHDA IS the curator of @TheIrishFor, an excellent new Twitter account curating linguistic gems as Gaeilge.

Here are some highlights so far: a selection of descriptions that English just can’t match. For more, follow @TheIrishFor here.


Source: whatleydude

… isthe Irish for ‘he has a violent hangover’ (literally, ‘a poisonous drop in his head’).


Source: Shutterstock

… isthe Irish for ‘trying to talk while bawling crying’.


Source: USFWS Mountain-Prairie

… is literally ‘trout weather’ in Irish – meaning weather that is neither very good nor very bad.


Source: Michael Coghlan

… is one way to describe a tense silence in Irish – literally, “the slumber of the sneaky pig”.


Source: Jesus Solana

… is the Irish for ‘dawning light’, literally meaning ‘ring of the day’.


Source: danbruell

… is the Irish for skimming stones across water, based on the word ‘sciotar’ meaning ‘giggle’.


Source: Pavlina Jane

… isthe Irish for ‘it was raining heavily’. (Literally, ‘the arse fell out of the sky’).

In case you needed another reminder, follow @TheIrishFor here for more gems like this…

More: 7 Irish words that don’t exist in English>

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About the author:

Michael Freeman

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