Common Irish Language Expressions

I know that in Ireland everyone studies the Irish Language in school, but that the only people who regularly converse in Irish are individuals who just happen to be very fond of the language and see value in keeping it alive.

But are there any common expressions, proverbs, speech fillers, exclamations that enter into daily conversation that just come out of common cultural consciousness? Expressions in Irish that would causually be included in a conversation that is otherwise in English?

Anything that would be analogous to the way American Jews of Eruopean descent commonly use Yiddish expressions?

If the answer is “no”, well, I guess we’re done. But if you do have examples please, to the best of your ability, provide:
The Irish phrase
A word for word literal translation
An explanation of the intended meaning (if different from the literal meaning)
Context in which it would be used
Pronounciation tips

I am particularly, though not exclusively, interested in funny ones.

Thanks in advance!

P.S. What is the Straight Dope on how we are supposed to refer to this language?
Among Irish-Americans who love and study the language there has been an effort to stop using the term “Gaelic”, to use the term “Irish” to distinguish it from Scottish Gaelic.
The TY series of instructional books uses “Irish” for Irish Gaelic and “Gaelic” for Scottish Gaelic.
However, when I have heard Irish people from Ireland reference the language, they tend to say “Gaelic”.

This is an erroneous assumption. There’s significant numbers for whom it’s their mother tongue.

I’ve only ever heard Irish people call it Irish, although in Irish it’s called Gaeilge.

Irish people speaking (in English) among themselves invariably call the language “Irish”.

There are lots of Irish words and phrases that people either use colloquially (when speaking in English) or recognise when others use them. Some of them are regional. A few are used because there is no convenient English equivalent. They are rarely used in formal speech or writing.

A couple spring to mind:

Meas: A good opinion of someone or something; a sentiment stronger than respect but not so strong as affection. Often used in a negative sense, e.g. “he doesn’t have much meas on it” (meaning he doesn’t think very highly of it).

Craic: Amusement, enjoyment, conviviality. Always communal; you can’t have craic on your own. This is actually a Norman-English loan word into Irish, which has since disappeared from English.

And of course there’s the usual slew of greetings, toasts, etc that you would expect.

D’oh, forgot to add that here’s a page that provides fully anglicised words. To it I’d add sláinte (cheers), and various words used as official positions, such as taoiseach (prime minister), dail (parliament), and garda (police).

That’s an o.k. link, GorillMan, and I appreciate you posting it for me, but I’m looking more for phrases, proverbs, figures of speech.

Well . . . ? Are you teasing me keeping them to yourself? C’mon don’t be shy.

Interesting topic. I know that among my friends, who are not people who speak Irish as their first language, Irish words are often thrown into the general (English language) conversation in passing. As I didn’t do Irish in school - being a foreigner - I can’t spell in Irish to save my life, so I am wary of writing down any of the other words here that I routinely hear around the place, but two that I (think) I know how to spell are these:

His maith = his girlfriend.
Eg - John and his maith were there.

When my friend Barbara was pregnant and she called her bump Barbar-eile.
Pronounced in English as per the Jane Fonda film and meaning, more or less “other Barbara”.
Eile is used a fair bit in our circle, for all manner of things.
Eg Did you want this blue bag or the blue bag eile?

For info., eile means ‘other’. A mate of mine has a daughter called Ella and we always refer to her as An Quigley Eile (the other Quigley).

I’m not at all sure about maith. Maith, pronounced like the first syllable in ‘momma’*, is the Irish for ‘good’ (‘goodnight’ is ‘oiche mhaith’). I don’t know whether that’s the origin of ‘mot’, a slang term for girlfriend.

Amadán, meaning ‘fool’, is occasionally used directly in English. So is Bean an tí (ban on tee) or Fear an tí (far on tee), meaning, respectively, woman and man of the house. This is sometimes used to refer to a bar owner. A ‘citeog’ (kitogue) is someone who is left handed.

My wife regularly throws Irish words into conversation but I wouldn’t say they form part of hiberno-english or anything. She’ll refer to her ‘gruaig’ (grewigg - hair), drink ‘bainne’ (bonnya - milk) etc.

There are many more but the most pervasive influence of Irish is on syntax and phraseology. An Irish person might say ‘Has he english’ meaning ‘can he speak english’. This comes from the Irish formulation ‘An bhfuil Bearla aige’. This is also evident in usages such as ‘he has five pints drunk’, ‘he has two rooms painted’ etc. An Irish person ‘waits on the bus’ rather than ‘for the bus’ - this is because ‘waiting for’ in Irish is ‘ag fanacht ar’ - literally ‘to wait on’.

*Not in Donegal but we won’t get into that.

Sorry, Curly Chick. I don’t know how I missed your translation of eile.

Na habair é, a MhWAP

See, told you I couldn’t spell anything. :smiley: