Irish Slang – The Jack’s

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

Jax – Pronounced just like it sounds, it means lavatory/toilet.

I suppose this particular slang term has a sibling in the US term “John,” to refer to the bathroom.

Irish people refer to the lavatory by the term reserved stateside for the porceline throne itself: toilet. It’s not considered rude, in fact it’s the defacto term for the lavatory in Ireland: toilet. Why not “bathroom,” you may wonder. Well, a bathroom in Ireland is literally a place where you would bathe. Not to worry, people understand when you say “bathroom” in an Irish restaurant that you won’t be having a shower, but it’s far more common to ask for the “toilet” or, in casual company, the “jax.”

IMPORTANT:You need to be careful in Ireland not to ask for the “restroom” when you really need to relieve yourself. By the time they’ve sorted out that you didn’t say “restaurant” or something else, it may be too late . . .