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“It’ll be grand”… and other things that are different in Ireland!

April 7, 2013 | By | 2 Comments

You might expect some minor culture shocks when moving to a totally different country, but fear not… Audrey Dearing, our University College Cork ambassador is here to help in enlightening you regarding some Irish nuances!

Irish ‘mammies’, not like any others in the world! Credit: twitter/IrishMammies

1. Mammies

Irish mammies (mommies) are a different breed of woman. You will almost certainly meet one if you integrate yourself with a local Irish person, particularly if he is her son. On hearing you’re in a different country all by yourself, it’s highly likely that you will receive an invitation for dinner or perhaps the weekend or… maybe to stay forever. She will call you “petal” and “love” while she force feeds you tea and biccies (biscuits), scolds her son for not wearing a hat outside, because it’s cold and you will catch your death and it will serve you right for not listening to your mother. While you are eating your dinner of roast chicken, roast potatoes, cabbage and gravy… she is doing her son’s laundry, the dishes and making more tea with her left hand while her right one is shooing the dog outside, changing the channel to The Voice, and pouring herself a big old Irish coffee. I ca’’t even begin to describe the magnitude of how much meeting an Irish mammy will make you understand this country. Make every effort to do so, and try not to be scared.

The highest form of wit? Credit: Audrey Dearing

2. Sarcasm

So we all have the sarcastic friend, but there are some subtle differences in Ireland. “I will, yeah” means no, for example. This is a minor point, but one worth mentioning before you’re waiting outside for forty five minutes for your friend to come help you clean up your house after a party.


Pennys! Credit:

3. Penneys

While JC Penny’s in America may be where style goes to die, Penneys in Ireland is where fashion is born. Containing copies of clothes from high street shops for way less, Penneys allows Irish girls to both wear a different thing pretty much every night (which I’ll admit is intimidating for someone who wore skorts in their adolescence) and still able to afford to go out three times a week. I had a Spanish housemate who thought that “Penneys” was Irish slang for “thank you”,  because every time she told someone they liked their outfit they cheerfully responded, “Penneys!”

Don’t forget the Ds! Credit:

4. Paddy, not Patty

Again, a minor point, but one that rustles some jimmies. Patty (as in Patty’s Day) is spelled (and pronounced) Paddy in these parts. Paddy comes from the Irish for Patrick, which is Padraig. So when you’re writing those Paddy’s Day tweets, don’t forget to whip out the D’s.

Keep going, it’ll be grand! Credit:

5. It’ll be grand!

Easily the unofficial motto of Ireland, it WILL be grand. It’s okay, you’re in Ireland now.

If you are interested in studying in Ireland, check out the Education in Ireland website for all the info you need.


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