Say what...?

I thought I'd clarify some common Irish/Ulsterish words and sayings, just for funsies.

Faffing - Used to describe time wasting, usually when the time waster is actually very busy doing something, but with no direct outcome or nothing to show for their work. Not to be confused with Dossing about.

Dosser, Dossing about - Sitting on you bum doing absolutely nothing except taking up valuable space and using up valuable oxygen.

Chuffed - Feeling happy or incredibly pleased with yourself.

Poke - An ice cream cone and Toots personal favourite treat.

Craic/Crack - Fun.

I tell a lie - used in conversation to to correct yourself when you realise you've remember something incorrectly. Usually preceded with "No, wait".

So it is - Can be used either on its own as in "Its cold out", "aye, so it is" or at the end of a sentence to help get the point across as in "Its cold out, so it is".

Is that you? Please don't try to be clever and answer "Nooo, its Madonna". The person wants to know if you're finished.

Yer Da - Your father.

Yer Ma - Your Mother.

Does my Da know yer Ma - Is my father "familiar" with your mother. An insult, use with extreme caution.

Eejit - Idiot.

Numpty - Idiot.

Bin lid - Idiot.

A drop of the black stuff - A pint of Guinness.

The Funny Fortnight - Northern Ireland's fifth season or the Marching Season (i.e. Spring, Summer, Marching, Autumn, Winter). Usually a time when trouble would break out, angry mobs, rioting that sort of thing, although I haven't seen much of it the last few years. Also a time of the year when, if you work in Belfast and your boss is very nice, he may allow you to go home early in case the roads were blocked by an overturned bus or more often than not a couple of tires, a sofa and a few teenage boys with bumfluff.

Bumfluff - Barely pubescent facial hair commonly seen on young teenage boys. Also known as "The Barcode Moustache".

Brickie - Bricklayer or builder.

Spark - Electrician.

Chippie - Carpenter, not to be confused with Chippy.

Chippy - Purveyor of deeply delicious fried food such as fish, chips (fries), pasties (past-ees), sausages and the ever present Ulster Fry.

Ulster Fry - Soda bread, potato bread, pancake, white bread, sausage, bacon, egg and mushrooms all fried and served with baked beans (Heinz) and generous amounts of red or Brown Sauce.

Red sauce - Ketchup.

Brown sauce - always HP its made with vinegar, fruits and spices. Think chutney only completely smooth and very lovely.

Bap - a small bread roll.

Belfast Bap - a large bread roll, more of an entire loaf to be honest but usually consumed by a single person in one sitting, sometimes filled with cheese and onion crisps (Tayto).

Butty - Sandwich.

Ok, so that'll do for the minute. If anyone finds this to be a useful reference, let me know I'll do more.

There are thousands of these, so there are.


  1. This is by far my favourite post.

    But, Chippy/Chippie: do they sound the same phonetically?

  2. Did you write this one for me?!? ;)
    LOVE it!

  3. But, Chippy/Chippie: do they sound the same phonetically?

    Yeah, you should try having a conversation about a mirror, a female horse, a mayor and the the stuff they gave Jesus that wasn't gold or frankincense


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