As St. Patrick's Day fast approaches, do you know how to wish someone a "Happy St. Patrick's Day” in Ireland’s native language?

While many will be toasting their drinks with a hearty "sláinte," which actually means "good health," you can impress your friends or family this St. Patrick's Day with these simple Irish phrases.

How to say “Happy St. Patrick's Day” in the Irish language?

The most common way of wishing someone “Happy St. Patrick's Day” in Irish is: “Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona duit!”

The expression means “Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!” and is pronounced: “Law leh Paw-drig suna ghit.”

"Lá Fhéile Pádraig" means “St. Patrick's Day." "Sona" means “happy”. "Dhuit" means “to you,” when speaking to one person.

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How to say "Happy St. Patrick's Day" in Irish to a group of people

The phrase changes slightly when you are wishing "Happy St. Patrick's Day" to more than one person.

Simply change the word "duit" to "daoibh" which also means "to you," but in the plural form, giving you: “Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona daoibh.

Pronounce this Irish greeting as “Law leh Paw-drig suna yee-uv."

A St Patrick's Day blessing in Irish

A more religious way of wishing someone "Happy St.Patrick's Day" is to say: “Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig dhuit!”

This phrase means “St Patrick’s Day blessings to you!”

"Beannachtaí" means “blessings” but also “greetings.” Traditionally, almost all Irish greetings were blessings.

It's pronounced, “Ban-ukh-tee nah Fay-leh Paw-drig ghit!”

To a group of people, you would say: “Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!” Pronounced, “Ban-ukh-tee nah Fay-leh Paw-drig ur-iv.”

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How to say "wetting the shamrock" in Irish

"Wetting the shamrock" is an old Irish saying meaning "to go for a drink,", particularly on St. Patrick's Day, so if you plan on meeting someone to celebrate try this:

"Cá mbeidh tú ag fliúchadh na seamróige?" which means, "Where will you be wetting the shamrock?"

"Cá" means “where,”  "mbeidh" means “will,”  "tú" means “you,”  "ag" means “be” or “by,”  "fliúchadh" means “wetting,”  "na" means “of the,” and  "seamróige" means “shamrocks.”

This phrase is pronounced, "Caw meg too egg flyuh-ka nah sham-roh-ih-geh?"

How do I ask for a drink in Irish?

After impressing with your Irish lingo don't leave it all go to waste when calling for a drink! Here's how you can call a drink or a pint at the bar!

“Píonta Guinness, le do thoil,” means “a pint of Guinness, please.”

"Pionta" means “pint,” Guinness" means, well, “Guinness!" and "le do thoil” is an Irish way to say “please.”

And it's pronounced, "Pyun-tah Guinness, leh duh huh-il."

How to say a toast in Irish

According to a reader poll, the Irish word "sláinte" is the most used Irish expression in America. 

Pronounced as "SLAHN-chə," meaning to "good health," it can be used in different contexts, but it's perhaps most often used as a toast before drinking.

Offer a "sláinte" as you begin to sip your pint of Guinness or glass of whiskey on St. Patrick's Day!

*Originally published in March 2019. Updated in March 2024.