Some people collect stamps, some  postcards, others  recipes. As fond as I am of language, it should come as no surprise that I am a collector of words. Sometimes, when I’m stressed I just start making lists of my favorite words, writing out all the ones I particularly like, because of their meaning; the way they sound; or how they’re spelled (for instance perspicacious, curmudgeonly, and effervescent make the list). While I’ve been in Ireland I’ve been “collecting” some of the words or phrases that I’ve heard here that I liked or found unusual or strange. So, as I’m getting ready to leave tomorrow I give you my collection from the past four weeks (plus my running commentary because I always have something to say about anything).


This is one of my new favorite words, period. It was used by  a cute little tour guide in St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  While I have since learned that it can mean slightly intoxicated, when I first heard it she was using it to mean:

Awkward, wrong, lopsided, ruffled or strangely different.

Only it’s a way cooler sounding word than any of those used above.


When we were all together and someone would address us as a group they would refer to us as “lads.” This occurred despite the fact that we were all girls.

Grand, Super, Lovely, Cheers

This isn’t one phrase I just wanted to group them together  because I think they’re all superior to the synonyms I typically use. I  find grand, super, and lovely to be way more interesting adjectives than “great” and cheers to be a better way to say “goodbye.”

As the fella’ says…

We had a bus driver in Dublin who kept saying this, we weren’t even on his bus for very long and he said it three or four times. I’m still wondering who this fellow is and why he had so much to say…


I prefer this to counter-clockwise, it makes it seem evil or negative. Like clockwise is the lovable hero and anti-clockwise is the villain trying to force people to go the other direction!

What’s the craic, lads?

Craic generally means fun or even news or entertainment.  I think I’d like to replace my use of “what’s up” or “how’s it going” with this (of course if I have to explain what I’m asking this will considerably lengthen many conversations intended to be brief).

I will ya

I never heard this used, but someone told me that if you hear an Irish person say this they are actually being sarcastic. It’s sort of the equivalent of  “yeah right.” I am all about snarky so I really wanted to hear someone use this.

You’re a star

One of my friends was told this after doing a really simple favor for someone. I just like how easy it was to get a rather glowing compliment.

Thanks a million

Another example of especially effusive responses to everyday occurrences, being a fan of hyperbole I appreciate these.

Tomorrow I’m flying out, and while I’m glad to go home I’m sorry to leave. Thanks a million,  Ireland. It’s been grand.  I’ll be back.