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Irish Slang – chancer

old Irish man laughingBegorrah! 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 definitely 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 twenty-second in a series I’m publishing of some common Irish slang that used to confuse us when we first arrived.

Chancer – An initiative-taking opportunist; a risk-taker.

A “chancer” is a mildly unscrupulous person who tries to get away with things when the opportunity presents itself.

For example: a friend of mine recently told me about how he would avoid paying the entrance fee at nightclubs by telling the doorman he was “with the band.”

What a chancer.