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11 words and phrases that have a totally different meaning in the West of Ireland

Going lushin’ tonight, lad?

LIKE ANY PROVINCE worth its salt, the West of Ireland has a strong line in slang terms and phrases unique to the area.

Any native of the West will immediately understand what you’re talking about when you say these words. Everyone else… not so much.

1. Wahu

shutterstock_161159084 Source: Shutterstock

What it usually means: An expression of happiness.

What it means in the West: Hi friend, how are you?

2. Buck

800px-United_States_one_dollar_bill,_obverse Source: Wikimedia

What it usually means: A dollar; a male goat.

What it means in the West: To engage in sexual intercourse. Mostly used in Sligo.

3. Buff

4d Source: Irish Farmer Calendar

What it usually means: To polish something; can also be used to describe someone in good physical shape.

What it means in the West: A country person, most likely into farming.

4. Sham

play-it-again-sham2 Source: Sawdoctors

What it usually means: Something that is not what it purports to be.

What it means in the West: A friend, or alternatively, someone who has a high opinion of themselves. Also can be used to refer to an entire group of people – specifically, men from Tuam, Co Galway.

5. Shtall the digger

13911774369_bbaf6a8159_k Source: Flickr/city-amsterdam

What it usually means: Stop the heavy machinery.

What it means in the West: Slow down; wait up.

6. Ah nix!

wutcat Source: Way Of Cats

What it usually means: Nothing. It’s a phrase that was almost entirely made up by the people of Ballina, Co Mayo.

What it means in the West: An expression of surprise, joy, and sometimes disappointment.

7. Weak

shutterstock_93305002 Source: Shutterstock

What it usually means: Lacking strength.

What it means in the West: Unable to stand from laughter. (Pron: “Waaaaake”)

8. Lush

7567531646_f20606e259_k Source: Flickr/shankaronline

What it usually means: Having a rich, healthy quality.

What it means in the West: Drink. “Lushing” means “to go drinking” – “bush lushing”, to go drinking outside.

9. Feen

shutterstock_154417187 Source: Shutterstock

What it usually means: Someone mispronouncing ‘fiend’.

What it means in the West: Man.

10. Chill the beans

2384005652_61c596d099_b Source: Flickr/sshb

What it usually means: Put the beans in the fridge.

What it means in the West: Calm down.

11. Soonie the beure

hennight Source: Flickr/garryknight

What it usually means: ???

What it means in the West: Look at the state of yer one. (This phrase is mainly used in Mayo.)

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