Ireland of the Welcomes



Old Moore’s Almanac has translated both old and new sayings for you. Just don’t be counting your trouts before you have them on the bank.


Here we have compiled the best of old and new Irish sayings. Please feel free to email us with any more (and their meanings!) to


A friend’s eye is a good mirror.

Or is it? If you friend could possibly savage your head off in a pub so maybe it isn’t such a good mirror. You decide.



Listen to the sound of the river and you will get a trout.

Patience pays off, apparently. Although I’d rather just go to the fishmongers myself.


What fills the eye fills the heart.

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. That is how people like Jedward can get dates. Because someone, somewhere thinks they are hot stuff.


There is no need like the lack of a friend.

Everyone needs company. But you are probably lonely because you are a pain in the ….


Time is a great storyteller.

Time will tell. And it probably won’t be to your advantage.


The raggy colt often made a handsome horse.

Don’t judge a situation too early. What starts out as a hairy mess could end up being a shiny winner.


If you don’t sow in spring you won’t reap in autumn.    

What you learn growing up will help you when you get older and have to go into work combat. Study kids, study your butts off.


To the black crow its offspring is bright.                   

All children are wonderful in the eyes of their parents. Maybe a little too wonderful. And get your face out of the mashed potato.


He who runs away lives to fight another day.      

Don’t fight the fight that isn’t worth it. Besides you might mess up the gel in your hair.


The world cannot make a racehorse out of a donkey.    

Make the best with what you have instead of poncing around like an eejit.


A good word in court is better than a pound in your purse.         

The help and respect from others is what keep you going long term. But try not to end up in court in the first place you crazy criminal.


A good word never broke anyone’s teeth.

Kind words can make a lot of difference to someone. Go spray them out all over anyone who needs them without appearing like a rabid suck-up.


There’s no good in keening when the funeral has moved off.

Don’t be late. It’s annoying and boring for everyone around you.


Beauty does not boil the pot.

Beauty isn’t everything. And if you are totally hot, you STILL have to make the tea.


It is difficult to put a wise head on young shoulders.

Experience does not come easily, in fact most life experience comes from things like breaking your nose, or crashing your car into a hedge while changing a CD.



God’s help is nearer than the door.

You’re the solution to the problem. Now get out of your pyjamas and slippers and go conquer the suburb.


The man with boots does not have to worry about where to put his feet.

Being prepared pays off, and in Ireland that means always bring a raincoat or umbrella so you are at least semi-dry while preparing.


The day of the big wind is no time to be doing the thatching.    

There’s a right time for everything. Being at the pub watching the match when your wife is in labour is doing it wrong.


Praise the young and they will blossom.             

If you do manage to catch them on that rare occasion doing something good for themselves, the family or humanity in general.


Two people shorten the road.  

Company makes a journey fly by. Unless you are stuck with someone who talks about themselves and how awesome and rich they are. Then the road is so long you will need a grant from the European Union Structural Fund.

The hen has ruffled feathers until she rears her brood.

Mothers find it hard to relax until their kids have moved out of home and in with their rock-star wannabe partners, driving souped-up cars and drinking beer. Err…


When a twig grows it is hard to bend it.

Old people can be insanely set in their ways. Just ask my Nan. She refuses to call a radio anything but a “wireless.”


What would you expect from a cow but a kick.

Everything acts according to its nature. So if you decide to befriend a junkie, don’t be surprised when they steal everything in your apartment, and sell it along with your cat and your Nan and her wireless.


The mountain is a good mustard.            

A mountain walk gets up a good appetite. In the same way that hunger is the best sauce. And wine goes with everything. Ever.



Where the tree is felled that’s where the chippings are.             

Don’t overlook the obvious, especially if you are a Garda inspector.


A new broom sweeps clean, but an old one knows the corners.               

You can’t beat experience, especially if your house is minging dirty and you have a crappy old broom.


No one knows where the boot pinches on another person.       

No one knows another person’s troubles, unless they tell you all day and night and you end up giving them your entire wallet and a subscription to 7 online dating websites just to get them the hell away from you.


A fine day is a help to everyone.             

A sunny day lifts the spirits, but we wouldn’t know that seeing as we haven’t seen a sunny day since 2010.

It isn’t a trout until it’s on the bank.

Don’t be making investments or boasts without landing the catch of the day. Don’t go and buy batter and potatoes beforehand.


It’s in the softest wood you find the hardest knot.         

A soft outside can hide a hard inside.  There is always that special someone willing to savage your head off when you are down. Just hit them with the softest wood and hope it has a hard knot.


The tree remains but not the hand that planted it.         

Trees outlive the generations. And your reputation can outlive YOU. Do good deeds so people remember you as a nice person, not that banker who sunk a republic.


Far away hills are green.

Distance lends enchantment. Yes you may want to move to Australia because it is sunny and has jobs. However remind yourself that spiders are a course in some restaurants.


No matter how long the day, the evening will come.    

Nothing lasts forever, especially thing that you have paid 2 euro or under for.


You cannot hang a headless man.           

Stop undertaking futile exercises. Go do something good with your life, like round up some bankers and make them listen to your Nan talk about her wireless.


Little pigs have big ears.              

Children hear more than you think, and they also can find your history on your web browser fairly easily.


An empty sack won’t stand. 

You can’t work when hungry. Or hungover. But you knew that. So did Subways, cos you are there every Sunday after a big night out.


When one goose sits, they are all at it.

Don’t do what everyone else is doing and follow fashion unquestioningly or you will end up looking like a clown sitting on a goose. Who is wearing or even smoking a clown.


An inch is a lot on a nose.           

Everything is relative. Especially when it comes to noses.


There’s no need to fear the wind if your haystacks are tied down.

Be prepared. I’m not sure what for, but it is coming soon and I’m sure it is big news.


It is no use boiling your cabbage twice.

Don’t keep doing the same thing over and over. It’s futile and re-boiled cabbage is just so nasty.



You’ll never plough a field by turning it over in your mind.

Stop procrastinating. Get off the couch and go do your work. You’ll have to take your hand out of the Tayto packet first, however.


If you are looking for a friend without a fault you will be without a friend forever.

Every person on earth is damaged and annoying and may sometimes smell bad. But hey so do you.


Tell it to Mary in a whisper, and Mary will tell it to the parish.

We all know Mary. I know two.


Your son is your son today, but your daughter is your daughter forever.

Yes your son will run off with some hot chick from the other side of the world and occasionally ask you for a top up on his mortgage. Your daughters however will stay near you and drain your finances and time on a daily basis.


If you lie down with dogs you’ll rise with fleas.

If you keep bad company you probably won’t be allowed in certain fine establishments across Dublin.


Marriages are all happy. It’s having breakfast together that causes all the trouble.

True dat. I would like my eggs fertilised.


A wise head keeps a shut mouth.

Somebody please tell this to Bertie Ahern.


Men are like bagpipes no sound comes from them until they’re full.


Ah yes but full of what???




Be da jaysus!

Used for all occasions, weddings, funerals, great orgasm.


She’s a right PIMSY, that one!

She’s a bit loose with her sexual affairs.


Is she good for a go?

Would she be willing to fornicate?


Story horse?

Hello friend, has an event of any great significance occurred in your life in the past few days?


Gerrup outta dat.

I insist that you desist with talk or actions of the nature with which you have currently pre-occupied yourself.


State o’you

Your dress sense/common sense/ personal hygiene/ general demeanour or drunken mannerisms offend me.


Would ye? (+nod)

Would one wish to engage in the act of fornication seen in the direction which the tilted head was aimed?



On me tobler.

I am all alone, unaccompanied and left cold from a lack of human contact. In full; ‘on my toblerone’.


She’s a bleedin spinner.

Makes a great fornification companion.



Quare good, quare bad, sort of “very” originating in Carlow.



Your house. (Which the bankrupt bank owns in total.)


A drop of scald.

A cup of tea.


She didn’t have a screed on her.

A girl with little or no clothes on.


Acting the maggot.

Messing around. “Stop acting the maggot there now you!”


The craic was ninety.

Brilliant fun or great laugh.


I’d give her a lash.

I’d like to get her into my dirty bed.


A ride.

He’s a ride, means he is really hot. Or alternatively, having sex…”Do you love me? Yeah, aren’t I ridin’ ya?”


A sniper wouldn’t take her out.

The girl is a bit on the ugly side of beautiful.


Wile: A Donegal word that is used in place of very, but also used to indicate emphasis.

You’re wile craic. (You’re very funny).

You’re wile cute! (You’re very attractive).

You’re wile! (Your wild, or crazy, or nuts, or great. Emphasis and context based on one’s tone of voice).

That was wile! (Feckin’ deadly man!).

Got any odds?

Spare change, odds and ends.

She’s a butter face.

I like everything about her BUT her face.

Yis shower of scallywags…

You are a group of troublemakers.


The names Dubliners have given statues around Dublin:

James Joyce – The pri*k with the stick.

The Anna Livia – The hewer in the sewer, the floozy in the Jacuzzi.

Oliver Reed – the cock on the rock.

The Spire – the stiletto in the ghetto, the nail in the pale, The Liffey Stiffy.

The Liffey millennium clock – The time in the slime.

Molly Malone – the tart with the cart.


Do you know a great Irish phrase? Email us

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