Irish slang – Gas

old Irish man laughingSo you speak English. Why not travel to the land of saints and scholars where English has been lyrically embellished since the dark ages; a week or two in Ireland and I won’t even need a translation dictionary!

A few weeks of hearing your language dancing gracefully and coherantly across the Irish tongue might be more challenging than you think! Ireland may be a predominately english-speaking nation, but the thing that tickled my ears the most when I first moved here and that tends to confuse our stateside guests is some of the slang. So, below is the thirteenth in a series I’m publishing on some common Irish slang that used to confuse us when we first arrived.

Gas – A person or thing that is astonishing or entertaining.

You know, like the Rolling Stone’s song, “It’s a gas, gas gas”. While it’s not unheard of to hear someone use this word in the states to mean “entertaining,” it is pretty old-timey. Here in Ireland this word is used frequently when someone is amazed, (“You really work as an astronaught? That’s gas!”). But mostly it’s used in conjunction with the slang term craíc to indicate that the craíc was at an almost mind-blowingly good level.

That’s right, when you’ve been in Ireland long enough, you too can speak the phrase “gas craíc and not think of flatulence.

I should ammend this entry by reminding folks that, unlike the states, the petroleum product you put in your car’s fuel tank is not called “gasoline” here. See last week’s slang posting here.