1. “If you’re ever in Ireland, give me a shout!”

Us Irish like to make friends, but be warned, this friendship may be fleeting. There is nothing we hate more than a casual acquaintance met on a night on the tear last summer in Prague arriving on our doorstep expecting to be put up and shown the town. Think twice before accepting a lukewarm invitation, or you may be hastily presented with a map of Dublin and pointed towards the nearest hostel.

We are not Germans, we do not necessarily mean what we say.

2. “Sure we’ll just go for one…”

Going for “one” drink is the great Irish deceit. In Ireland, “going for one” is shorthand for “I’m not planning on getting absolutely shitfaced, but if one turns into 15, then I can at least say that it was the drink that made me do it.”

Spontaneity is the spice of life, and booze is the spice of spontaneity. So go for one. It’d be absolutely rude not to.

3. “What’s the craic?”

This is Irish for “What’s up?/What’s going on?” Although on the surface it may seem like we are genuinely inquiring as to your well-being, the reality is that we don’t really give a shit. This greeting is a formality, and isn’t supposed to be answered with any ACTUAL information about how you are. An equally vague response is expected in return, such as “grand.” A typical exchange would go something like this:

    Person 1: “What’s the craic?”
    Person 2: “Grand! Yourself?”
    Person 1: “Grand!”
    [End conversation.]

4. “Ah, it’s just up the road.”

Metric, imperial, who knows? Rather than following in the footstep of our European counterparts and measuring distances in meters, or doing it the American way and counting blocks, we Irish prefer a more general system of measurement…”up,” “down,” or “around.” We would rather bullshit and appear helpful than tell the truth and leave you hanging, so even if we have no clue where something is, an answer in the form of an approximation will do.

5. “Sure it’ll stop in 5 minutes.”

Not content with lying to others, we also have to lie to ourselves, mainly about the eternal rain. This self-imposed delusion contributes to our endless optimism; The rain will never stop, but we continue to stay hopeful.

6. “Ah, no, I’m grand thanks.”

We don’t want to seem greedy, so we ALWAYS decline the first offer of anything — tea, pints, whatever. But don’t be fooled; it doesn’t matter what it is, we DO want it. You just have to offer a few more times, a la Mrs. Doyle.

7. “Ah shite, I never got round to it.”

Lies. More lies. It’s not that we “didn’t get around” to doing something, it’s that we weren’t arsed. We’ll never get around to it. Ever.

8. “It was grand.”

Ha. “Grand.” A word meaning completely the opposite when used in Ireland. When we say something was “grand,” it means it was mediocre, alright, or, most probably, shite.

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