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Dublin: 18 °C Monday 13 July, 2020

8 delightful Irish words and phrases that English could never match

‘A place with an abundance of seagulls’.

IF YOU’RE LOOKING for a charming and informative Twitter account to follow for 2016,  you could do worse than @TheIrishFor.

Delving into the lunguistic wonderland that is the Irish language, curator Darach Ó Seaghda brings humour and a contemporary feel to our native tongue.

A taste…


jell Source: William Warby

… is the Irish for ’jellyfish’. It translates literally as ‘seal snot’.


coff Source: mariano gracia gaspar

… is a word without a direct English equivalent. It’s the Irish for the ‘froth from the mouth of a decaying corpse’.


blas Source: Randal Cooper

is the Irish for ’a fool’. Specifically, it means someone whose ‘head is empty like an old eggshell’.


gulls Source: mamool

… is the Irish adjective for a ‘a place with an abundance of seagulls’. And we know plenty of those.


purr Source: drpavloff

… is the Irish for a ‘purring cat’. It may also mean ‘a person inclined to tell tall tales and instigate low-risk hoaxes’.


satam Source: megan studdenfadden

… is an old Irish name for Satan. Translates to something along the lines of ‘prince of death’. So now.


rain2 Source: kevin dooley

is an Irish word without a direct English equivalent. It means ‘ruined by bad weather’.


ma Source: asim bharwani

… is the Irish for an old sock. Specifically an old sock with a hole where the sole should be.

More at the wonderful @TheIrishFor on Twitter.

7 more words and phrases that English just can’t match>

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About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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