Irish Slang – You know yourself

old Irish man laughingAh, Ireland! Begorrah! Top of the morning!

Yes, two phrases you may have heard on Darby O’Gill and the Little People but that you will never actually hear spoken in Ireland. Most people have heard the Irish speak, but there are a lot of little things about their slang and turns of phrase that are often misunderstood by visitors.

Irish slang is definately the thing that tickled our ears the most when we first moved here and that frequently tends to confuse our stateside guests. Below is the ninth in a series I’m publishing of some common Irish slang that used to confuse us when we first arrived.

You know yourself – This phrase is dropped into Irish conversation as often as “you know” is dropped into Californian conversation; almost constantly. It means either “you understand,” or “it’s up to you.”

It’s used when making a point: “I had to tell her what I thought, you know yourself.”
It’s used to avoid a lengthy explanation: “It was grand, you know yourself.”
It’s used to encourage: “You’ll be fine, you know yourself.”
It can be used to avoid responding to an inquiry: “How are things?” “Ah, you know yourself.”
It can be used to avoid making a decision: “What would you like to do?” “Whatever you think, you know yourself.”