IRELAND ISN’T just home to some of the world’s finest poets – it’s also the birthplace of some of the very best insults in the world.
While they may lack the poetic power of Seamus Heaney and the like, there’s no denying that the Irish do amusing insults better than most.
Proof of that fact was provided by Ciara Nic Sheáin, who decided to poll her followers on the very subject.
"What’s your favourite Irish insult that’s usually quite amusing and acceptable?" she asked on Twitter, before giving an example.
"Eg: ‘still has his communion money in the credit union’ when calling someone cheap."
It didn’t take long for the answers to come pouring in, with the hilarious Irish insults flying in from both Twitter and Reddit.
The Twitter-based insults were impressive enough.
A variety of topics were covered. Like laziness...
"if there was work in the bed, he'd lie on the floor" - about a lazy person.
"floor" is pronounced the correct way, i.e. "floooo-er"
— James Quinn (@JamesQuinn87) September 6, 2018
When desecrating an individual for their lack of intelligence - "He/She knows just about enough not to ate himself/herself"
— Micheál Murphy (@mmurphy017) September 6, 2018
“She’d go down your throat for news” , describing someone who is very nosy
— Ciara Devlin (@CagsDevlin) September 6, 2018
and generally odd behaviour.
“He’s as odd as 40 weasels”
— Róisín O'Hare (@OHareRois) September 6, 2018
Oneupmanship was covered...
Of someone who always has to one-up your story:
“If you told him you were away to Tenerife, he’d say he was going to Elevenerife”
— Brian Q (@brianbrianquinn) September 6, 2018
...as was funeral etiquette...
"She'd catch the bouquet at a funeral"
— Myles na gCovid-19. (@EXECUTIVESTEVE) September 6, 2018
...and talking sense.
"getting sense out of him is like getting holy water out of an orange hall"-my granny
— Sarah Creighton 🍂 (@Saraita101) September 6, 2018
Some were a little harsh...
She's like the heel of the bread: everyone touches her but nobody wants her. Harsh but gold!
— For want of a better Dan... (@DanIsBanned) September 6, 2018
...others were spot on.
About someone overly amorous - “he’d get up on himself if he could turn around quick enough”
— Alice Mckeon (@alicemckeon11) September 6, 2018
Bono got a mention of course.
"If he was made of chocolate, he'd eat himself" - My mam on Bono.
— shane arrowschmidt (@ChipSArr) September 6, 2018
Mainly, they were hilarious.
He has teeth on him that'd eat apples through a tennis racket
— Denis Browne (@SPE32) September 6, 2018
Some of the insults...
About a fella so boring that you'd do anything to avoid him: 'That fella? Sure, he'd drive a funeral up a by-road.'
— Liam Cahill (@LiamCahill2013) September 6, 2018
“She’d be in the crib but the Virgin Mary got there first” — about a performatively pious woman at the centre of all parish activity.
— Kate Devlin (@drkatedevlin) September 6, 2018
Like really funny...
' you make a good door but a bad window' to someone standing in front of the TV.
— Shaun | Seán Ó Conchúir (@oconchuir) September 6, 2018
...to the point where we were crying...
He could peel an orange in his pocket -for a mean person 😊
— barry phelan (@donniedarko77) September 6, 2018
...with laughter, of course.
He was accused of breaking into a tenner. Also for a mean stingy person...
— @kudzu_dub (@kudzu_dub) September 6, 2018
Grannys often got a mention...
"Where's the snow that fell last Christmas?" my granny would say disdainfully if someone asked where was the leftover money... drink.. anything 😁
— Niamh (@DeiseDreamin) September 6, 2018
...as did mums...
My mom: "you'll never be half as funny as you look !"
— ellen mary sullivan (@emcsull) September 7, 2018
Elsewhere, the insults came thick and fast on Reddit too, where things were short, sharp and pretty brutal.
Looks featured a lot...
...for both men and women...
Others were familiar classics...
...crude but classics all the same.
Cheeky lads got a mention...
...and stingy gits also got a ribbing...
Mostly, they were distinctly Irish.
And by the end, no one could have been in any doubt that when it comes to amusing insults, no one does it quite like the Irish.