1. Gossip is the glue that holds you together.

Your Irish friend loves to talk shite about others and hear all the latest water cooler gossip from the office. Conversation ebbs and flows between Mary, who made a proper state of herself last night, the drunken hookup of her best friend Cindy, and Mark, who’s put on a lot of weight in the past few months. Without gossip, your friendship would cease to exist. Just remember that if they tell you, you can’t tell anyone!

2. They are the whitest person you’ve ever met.

Not just in physical appearance, but also in how they carry themselves. An Irish person attempting to fit in with other cultures is usually incredibly painful to watch. Even thinking of your friend trying to say “Sup, brah?” or attempting to rap to any song besides “Ice, Ice Baby” in a serious manner sends chills down your spine.

2. They believe their musical taste is the best in the world.

Irish folks are proud of their taste in music, but can act incredibly snooty toward your thoughts on the subject. “Yea, I heard of Kings of Leon before they started fucking people outside of their family tree,” is the sort of comment to be expected when a discussion centres on an old favourite of theirs.

“What?! You’ve never heard this song before?” is a regular phrase you’re pretty sick of hearing, especially when referring to indie bands NME told them to like!

4. They still use phrases from the 90s.

Had Saved by the Bell been looking for an Irish foreign-exchange student, your mate would have been the perfect fit. Words such as “totally,” “like,” and “whatever” fill out their vocabulary and that won’t be changing, like, anytime soon.

5. They keep watching the same shows.

Sons of Anarchy can wait, because your friend is still holding on to the hope that if they watch this repeat of Friends one more time, maybe Ross and Rachel won’t go on a break! For God’s sake tell them to start watching something you can have a conversation with other people about!

6. They speak of harsh times, although they never lived through any.

They talk of the potato famine as if they starved for years on a diet of grass, and of The Troubles of the 1970s as if the IRA came into their home and kidnapped their entire family. Realistically, your 22-year-old, university-educated friend’s harshest life experience to date has been the time they had to spend two nights camping in a field at a music festival.

7. No one else could possibly have a more twisted sense of humour.

Borderline racist / homophobic / sacrilegious / sexist jokes are just a part of their arsenal of conversation topics. You run the risk of offending every other person at the bar if your chat is heard aloud, but that would probably give you two a bit of a thrill.

8. They downplay anything you’ve gone through in comparison to their own life.

“Yea, Lollapalooza was great, but you need to go to an Irish festival!” or “Yea, winter here is tough, but it rains all year at home!” Go ahead and throw anything at an Irish person, there’s no doubt your buddy will try and make the Irish version of things sound just that little bit more extreme — for better or worse depending on the topic.

9. They never fail to remind you when something good is Irish.

Midway through your trip to the cinema, a ruggedly handsome man enters the scene. Bound to the screen in a never-ending gaze, your attraction is interrupted by your pal’s sudden need to inform you, “He’s actually Irish.” Discussing the current affairs of the European Union won’t be a big talking point for your best friend!

10. You pick up their slang.

The Irish way of talking can be infectious, which has led to you insisting on pronouncing select words in some sort of mashed-up British Isles accent. “Shite” is now one of your go-to words when describing that something has gone awry, and you say “lovely” way too much.

11. They’ve got your back…no matter what you did wrong.

They’re the most-loyal country in the world. When the Irish national soccer team finished Euro 2012 with no points, the fans sang until the very last minute, a fantastic sight for losers like them. No matter the confrontation, you’ll be sure to have a fake-tanned friend in your corner.

12. They’re at their most Irish when they’re drinking, and you’ll join in too.

The Guinness you see them drinking at the bar is actually turning your stomach, but you have to put on a brave face to be the best Paddy imaginable. A couple of pints later, and you’ll begin to scream the lyrics to “Molly Malone” at the top of your lungs. Pretty soon you’ll be swearing loudly and singing random words to songs featuring crazy instrumentation like the one that sounds like a violin and that pipe you thought was from Scotland.

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