How to spake Norn Irish: 20 expressions only folk from Northern Ireland will understand
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How to spake Norn Irish: 20 expressions only folk from Northern Ireland will understand

WITH tourist numbers in Northern Ireland higher than ever it's probably a good idea for outsiders to learn a bit of the lingo.

Back in 2005, the late Northern Irish humourist Owen Kelly compiled a definitive introduction to the local vernacular, which has now been brought back by O'Brien Press due to popular demand.

Here are 20 of the greatest Northern Irish expressions thanks to Essential Norn Irish:

1. Beetle knockers

Example: “The dactar has me on beetle knockers”

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Translation: “My GP has prescribed medication for my high blood pressure”

2. Beg

Example: “Thee quid for a wee beg of spuds?”

Translation: “I consider three pounds for a small sack of potatoes to be exorbitant”

3. X-caped

Example: “They x-caped”

Translation: “They eluded their captors”

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4. Dig

Example: “I gave him a dig in the bake”

Translation: “I struck him on the face”

5. Chew

Example: “Stop at chew!”

Translation: “Cease that unacceptable behaviour at once”

6. Mar

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Example: “Wassa mar way you?”

Translation: “What is the cause of your present distress?”

7. Yuman bean

Example: “Ama yuman bean”

Translation: “I am a member of the human race”

8. Emmy Grate

Example: “They all had to emmy grate”

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Translation: “For economic reasons they were all forced to go and live in another country”

9. War

Example: “Gissa glassa war”

Translation: “Can I have a drink of water, please?”

10. Ulster

Example: “She had a very coarse ulster on her leg”

Translation: “She had a painful condition associated with varicose veins”

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11. Bap

Example: “Use yer bap”

Translation: “Think before you act”

12. Tardy

Example: “Am tardy at”

Translation: “I am bored/fed-up/exhausted with this present activity”

13. Dee-teary-ate it

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Example: “Things have dee-teary-ate it”

Translation: “The situation has worsened”

14. Sarong

Example: “Sarong way at?”

Translation: “What are your objections to that?”

15. Zizz

Example: “Wanna bitta zizz”

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Translation: “I desire a short nap”

16. X-ylem

Example: “Them x-ylem seekers is everywhere nigh”

Translation: “The number of economic migrants in this country is rising steadily”

17. Daisy

Example: “Take a daisy”

Translation: “Please relax”

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18. Flan

Example: “I’ll break your flan neck”

Translation: “I will administer corporal punishment”

19. Historical

Example: “She was historical”

Translation: “She reacted in a hysterical manner”

20. Scot

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Example: “Scot nothing tae do with you”

Translation: “This does not affect you whatsoever”

Find out more about Owen Kelly's Essential Norn Irish here.