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14 words and phrases that have a totally different meaning in Dublin

Excuse me, what does that mean? “Ask me bollix.”

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AH, DUBLIN. WHERE words take on a different significance altogether.

1. Lee Marvin

Wikipedia Wikipedia

What it usually means: Vintage American actor known for playing bad guys in Westerns.

What it means in Dublin: Hungry. “You going to the chipper? I’m Lee bleedin’ Marvin.”

2. Crips

AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

What it usually means: Feared US street gang known for its violent rivalry with the Bloods.

What it means in Dublin: Crisps, which come in packages. To wit: “Gis a package a crips willya?”

3. Spanner

zzpza zzpza

What it usually means: Handy tool for tightening bolts, basic plumbing repairs, etc.

What it means in Dublin: Eejit. “He slipped over in the jacks? What a feckin spanner.”

4. Banjoed

wackystuff wackystuff

What it usually means: Unclear. Perhaps someone who has listened to an awful lot of bluegrass music?

What it means in Dublin: Hungover to f***. “Ah stop. I’m banjoed.”

5. Dirtbird

winnu winnu

What it usually means: A bird that has somehow soiled itself, perhaps by accidentally flying into a patch of mud (see above).

What it means in Dublin: Someone who is fond of the smuttier things in life. “Shut UP ye dirtbird, the ma’s asleep in the next room.”

6. Bucket of snots

tanjila tanjila

What it usually means: Stuff from your nose, which in this case has been collected in a bucket for some reason.

What it means in Dublin: Ugly person, as in: “HIM? He looks like a bucket of snots.”

7. Puss

Tomi Tapio Tomi Tapio

What it usually means: Familiar, informal way to address a cat whom you know well.

What it means in Dublin: Face, in a bad way. “Puss on her like a badly smacked arse.”

8. Mawldy

Benimoto Benimoto

What it usually means: Nothing really. Mouldy, but you did a little yawn while saying it?

What it means in Dublin: A term of disgust for any unappealing object. “Jesus, look at the mawldy head on that lad.”

9. Hole

Graham Hughes Graham Hughes

What it usually means: Pit, crater. A hollow place in a solid body or surface.

What it means in Dublin: A below-the-waistline orifice. Either one, in fact – it’s useful like that.

“Where’s Danny?” “He’s gone to Coppers to get his hole. But while you’re here Seanie, I wanted to ask about that money you owe me.” “Ask me hole.”

10. Pox


What it usually means: A disease with a vaguely medieval air.

What it means in Dublin: Anyone who’s a nuisance, especially Bono. The perfect example: “Bono is a pox.”

11. Skinny Malink

Quinn Dombrowski Quinn Dombrowski

What it usually means: Absolutely nothing. Nonsense words that a child might say.

What it means in Dublin: A thin person. “Yer wan over there, skinny malink, is giving us the stinkeye.”

12. Yoke

Svadilfari Svadilfari

What it usually means: “A wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plough or cart that they are to pull.”

What it means in Dublin: Absolutely anything. But particularly, an ecstasy tablet.

“Pass us the thing, you know, the yoke there.” “No idea what you’re on about … [long pause] … Any yokes?”

13. Ask me bollix

Daquella manera Daquella manera

What it usually means: “Sir, please address your question to my testicles.”

What it means in Dublin: All-purpose response to any question you don’t want to answer. “I’m asking you to have that on my desk by this afternoon.” “Ask me bollix.”

14. Bang

(davide) (davide)

What it usually means: A sudden, alarming noise

What it means in Dublin: A terrible smell. “Yeah, I think he was going out. Bang of CK One off him would sink a horse.”

More: 12 words and phrases that have a totally different meaning in Cork>

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