Irish Slang – Collect

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 thirty-first in a series I’m publishing of some common Irish slang that used to confuse us when we first arrived.

Collect – To retrieve someone or something from somewhere.

Rather than setting something amongst a cache of similar things one possesses (a “collection”), in Ireland this means one is simply retrieving something. The phrase most yankees would use instead is “pick up,” as in ” Could you pick me up from the cinema?” Here in Ireland, “pick up” is something single people do in night clubs. If romance doesn’t enter the equation, the word here in Ireland is “collect;” “Could you collect me from the cinema?”

This occurred to me after posting last week’s post about “a ride,” as these are related. In the states, someone is picked up and gets a ride somewhere – in Ireland that scenario would describe prostitution.

To avoid confusion, remember: an Irish person is collected and gets a lift somewhere.