Irish slang – The Craíc

old Irish man laughingSo you think – hey, I speak English. I’ll take a holiday (that’s vacation to you, Mr & Mrs USA) in Ireland and get on just fine!

Sure, you think, there might be some problems with understanding accents from time to time, but there’s not going to be any REAL problems communicating; if I don’t understand something, I’ll just ask them to repeat themselves.

Well, you’d be mostly right. Ireland is, after all, a predominately english-speaking nation. You will encounter bits of Irish here and there (more on that later) 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 first in a series I’ll be publishing of some common Irish slang that used to confuse us when we first arrived.

Craíc – Pronounced “crack,” this has to be first word I discuss because it’s used ALL the time. Unlike the others I’ll be discussing, craíc is actually from the Irish language. This word pops up so frequently it can be dizzying, usually in the following ways:

What’s the craíc?
How’s the craíc?
We’ll go for the craíc.
He/she is good craíc.
The craíc was mighty!

To the californian ear it sounds like people are discussing their drug use, but “craíc” is an Irish noun meaning “fun” or “happenings.” Go on, give it a try:

“Howya! Any craíc?”

If you found this post helpful, be sure to check out the rest of our series of Irish Slang.