Irish sayings thread

His name is Liam, but his mates call him Don Quixote. He’s always tilting at Bushmill’s.

I got my folks Wise and Otherwise for x-mas. There are a lot of Irish sayings in there, but the only one I can specifically remember right now is:

It’s hard to put pants on a cat.

My Irish grandfather used to tell me ther were two kinds of people in the world; Those who were Irish and those who wish they were Irish!
" May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind always be at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rain fall soft upon your fields,
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand."


…And may you never accidentally try out your Latin on a Jesuit.


OttoDaFe beat me to me favorite… Me dear Grandmother used ta say it…

then there’s

Which I first heard from Thin Lizzy singer Phil Lynott at a concert way back when… he prolly stole it from someone else, as I have stolen it from him, God rest him…

“May the wind at yer back always be yer own.”

Heard it (where else?) in South Boston.

I’ve always thought that this was incredibly accurate:

The Great Gaels of Ireland
Are the men that God made mad
For all their wars are merry
And all their songs are sad

Not a “saying,” but something I read years ago that illustrates the Irish mindset.

Someone has put up a poster on a wall that says “Vote for Duffy.” Next to it someone (someone else, presumably) has scrawled, in huge letters, “And Ireland’s dead will rise and curse you!”

An Irishman has an abiding sense of tragedy which sustains him through temporary periods of joy.


Morning is the time to pity the sober. The way they’re feeling then is the best they’re going to feel all day.

“In Heaven there is no beer.
That’s why we drink it here.
And when we’re gone from here,
Our friends will be drinking all the beer.”

I always thought this was a polka.

—Irish, English, German, Polish, French, Norwegian, Native-American PictsiePat

Ó lá go lá, mo thuras,
An bealach fada romham.
Ó oíche go hoíche, mo thuras,
na scéalta nach mbeidh a choích’

From day to day, my journey,
The long pilgrimage before me.
From night to night, my journey,
The stories that will never be again.)

May your right hand always be stretched out in friendship.
And never in want

If God sends you down a stony path,
may he give you strong shoes

May you live as long as you want,
And never want as long as you live.

Um…sorry, but that’s German.

Im Himmel gibt?s kein Bier,
Drum trinken wir es hier.
Denn sind wir nicht mehr hier,
Dann trinken die andern unser Bier.

I always thought it was

May you live as long as you want to,
and want to as long as you live"


The art of Irish diplomacy: telling someone to go to Hell in such a way as to make him look forward to the trip.

And something my Irish mother always says:

Sorry don’t feed the bulldog!

Why did the Irish never try to conquer the world?

We already have the best whiskey, and the most beautiful women.


Reminds me of something from a Clancy Brothers album. Introducing one of the songs, one of them says, “Sheridan once wrote that Ireland is the land of happy wars and sad love songs.” Just then there’s some sort of disturbance; he interrupts himself and yells, “Hit 'em again, boy.” Pause. “That’s one of the happy wars starting.” Then he continues with his introduction.