George Bernard Shaw once described England and Ireland as “two countries separated by a common language.”

America and Ireland are too, because some of the expressions in Ireland make little sense to Americans.

Here are some examples:

Acting the maggot:

Guy who hangs around, up to no good


Guy or gal from the country who usually stands out in the big city.


Pronounced “am a dawn”. An idiot.


Female of amadan, pronounced “own shuck.”

Fine thing:

Very good looking male or female.

Off with the fairies:

Out of his/her head, lost it.

A ludraman:

Pronounced “lou drom awn.” A useless fellow.


A very clever fellow. Gaelic for smart.


A man or woman from Dublin, sometimes used pejoratively.

Cute hoor:

Sly and clever. Nothing to do with prostitution.


Pronounced “streel.” A woman with a bad reputation.

How many of these did you know!? Did we miss any? Leave us your additions in the comments!