As anyone who grew up in Ireland knows, your Mammy is the font of all wisdom. You wouldn't want to cross her -- ever! -- but especially not now, during the holiday season. She has no time for anyone "acting up."

Cork comedian Colm O’Regan originally began the @Irishmammies Twitter account, where he regularly tweets funny statements from your average Irish mammy such as, “Did one of ye pinch a bit off The Cake?... In. The. Name. Of. God. Can I not turn my back for ONE second in this house?”

He got such a response to his witty take on Irish mothers that he released a new book ,“Isn’t It Well For Ye – The Book Of Irish Mammies,” in which he explores the phenomenon of the Irish Mammy.

Here is a snapshot of O'Regan's book and a rundown of some common terms used by Irish Mammys.

A good one:

A coincidence or chance meeting. The coincidence chiefly relates to relations. ‘And it turns out wasn’t she the same Cathy Buggy that was a first cousin of Kieran Buggy who used to teach you the tin whistle. Isn’t that a good one?’


A bed that has been treated with radiator, electric blanket and general worrying for a period of seven days prior to being slept in by visitor or returning child. See also Damp.


Any item of clothing, or something capable of being sat or slept on, that has not achieved the sort of dryness one would expect.

Read More: Top ten things that Ireland does better than the United States - from soda bread to Guinness

You needn’t:

It is better for the sake of cohesion or privacy within the family/community that you do not impart what Irish Mammy has just told you. ‘You needn’t bother telling your sister about that now,’ from a Dead Sea Scroll kept in a sealed jar in a desert cave. See also Aired


Abbreviated form of ‘Indeed, I’, but used to emphasize that the Mammy has very definitely not taken a course of action promulgated by legislators or the more vulgar aspects of society. ‘Deedn’I did not get any spray tan.’

Fostuch / Luadramán:

Children, usually male, who are at home watching telly when they should be:
• Out in the fresh air on a grand day like today
• Getting up to let their father sit down there, it’s his seat
• Helping their mother around the place. They’re well able.

Read More: A cup of tea is the way to Irish people’s hearts - how do you take yours?

Horseplay / trick-acting / hi-jinks:

The chief cause of an unfortunate event, according to the
intuition of an Irish Mammy. ‘How in the name of God did they manage to break that toilet? You may be sure there was horseplay involved.’

Hot press:

The spiritual core of the house. A small cubbyhole containing a large hot-water cylinder.

Acting up:

Opportunistic bad behaviour by children during a visit by someone else in the hope that they will be placated by a treat. However, if the behaviour has been diagnosed as acting up, it is less likely that it will be appeased. Further incidents may be referred to simply as ‘more of it.’
See also More of it.

For more Irish Mammy wisdom check out Colm O'Regan’s “Isn’t It Well For Ye – The Book Of Irish Mammies.”