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!

“Stop acting the maggot, ye amadan” and other useful Irish phrases.