30 Limerick Slang Terms Explained For Outsiders

By una

April 28, 2019 at 8:38am

30 Limerick Slang Terms Explained For Outsiders


Limerick, you're a lady. Except maybe when it comes to your ludicrous language and preposterous phrases.

From tackies to shams, the county's vernacular is unmistakable... and we absolutely love it.

So, here's a definitive list of all the words and phrases you could possibly encounter if you ever find yourself Shannonside.

Yurt yurt kid!

1. Tackies

Tackies are an essential in every Limerick man and woman’s wardrobe. It is another word for runners.

A daycent pair of Nike Airs now and you’re flying it, kid.

2. Gowl

A person you do not want to be. An eejit or a fool. It is the go-to Limerick term if you want to really slag someone off.

“He’s some gowl.”

3. Gomie

Similar to ‘gowl’ but not quite as strong.

“What a gomie.”

4. Beour

An attractive female.

I’m convinced the origins of this word come from the Irish word for ‘beer’, which would be beoir, and is pronounced in the exact same manner. It’s also sometimes pronounced like ‘bure’.

“Jaysus, check out that beour over there!"

5. Feek

In reference to the above tweet, this is a verb used either ‘to kiss’ or ‘to have sex with’. It seems to have gone out of fashion in recent times.

“Yeah, we feeked last night ‘round the back of Supermacs.

6. Feen

The male counterpart of ‘beour’. Similarly, I believe the origins come from the Irish for wine, fíon.

“Oh, your man, sure he’s a pure feen."

7. Unreal

Although we’re all familiar with the definition of this word in the regular English language, one cannot quite comprehend its importance until one hears it being used in Limerick.

It’s all about the pronunciation, with the emphasis on the latter syllable executed by extending ‘ea’ sound based on how ‘UNREAL’ something is.

“The gravy from Chicken Hut is unreeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaal.”

8. Daycent

Not quite unreal but still pretty good to be fair. A more everyday go-to phrase to describe something that’s quite ok.

“Dem new tackies are daycent.”

9. Well kid

The ultimate greeting in Limerick City. Doesn’t matter if young or old, everyone in Limerick can be referred to as a ‘kid’.

“Well, kid. What’s the story?”

10. Hun

It may be hard to believe, but the household phrase ‘hun’ used today actually originated from Limerick. A Limerick hun can be described as someone who shops in Penneys, puts up Facebook statuses consisting of Drake quotes and thinks Brown Thomas is pure posh.

“Your one is some hun!"

11. Baltic

The weather in Limerick is nearly always Baltic, particularly in the winter months.

“Christ, it’s baltic out today.”

12. Took a hopper

Taking a hopper in front of all the gomies is pretty embarrassing. They’ll laugh at you and slag you because taking a hopper is falling flat on your arse.

“Poor thing took a hopper last night getting out of the taxi onto William Street.”

13. Mup

‘Mup’ is a general form of encouragement used in Limerick if your ma wants you to get up out of the bed for school or mass or dinner etc.

“Mup out of it!”

14. Yurt

Most dictionaries will tell you that a yurt is a circular collapsible tent used by nomads but in Limerick ‘yurt’ is a replacement for ‘yes’.

“Yurt kid!”

15. State of ya

This is used to point out when something has a poor appearance, perhaps after being langers or maybe even after a fight, but we wouldn't know anything about that, us Shannonsiders!

“State of him after last night!”

16. Dose

A dose is similar to an eejit or a fool but you must have done something quite outrageous to have been referred to as a dose!

"Oh he was some dose last night!"

17. Shades

The Limerick word for the Gardaí Síochána. Famously referenced by the Rubberbandits in their guide to Limerick City.

“Do a runner, Sham! The shades are coming!”

18. Copper pipe

An instrument commonly found in most Limerick kitchens used to mix ingredients together. It is pronounced like “copper piiiiiiiiiiiiiiipe”.

Refer to yet another Rubberbandits video for more tips on the pronunciation.

19. Sca

‘Sca’ is short for scandal because all the huns ain’t got the time in Limerick to say the word in full because they need all the goss RIGHT NOW.

“Any sca, love?”

20. Nippy

‘Nippy’ is used when it’s not quite baltic outside but it’s still fair freezin’.

“Jaysus tis nippy outside. Might pop on me new scarf I got from Penneys in the Crescent last Saturday.”

21. Gawk

If you’re having a gawk then you’re looking for sca. In other words, you’re being a bit nosey.

“I might go down to Charlie’s to see if I can have a gawk at this new wan with your man.”

22. A boy the kid

A simple greeting, ‘a boy the kid’ is almost also used when one is passing someone in a rush. It is a sign of support and affection for your good ol’ fellow Limerick sham.

“Oi Marty! A boy the kid!”

23. Sham

A sham is an acquaintance. Everyone can be referred to as a sham, unless of course they’re a gomie.

"Well sham! Any sca?"

24. Story?

We don't have time for full sentences in Limerick for some reason so we've shortened 'what is the story' to just one word, 'story'?

"Story, kid?"

25. Rapid

'Rapid' can be used as an alternative for 'unreal'. It is usually preceded by the word 'pure'.

"Drake's new album is pure rapid."

26. Cmereiwantcha

Some argue that this phrase is consisted of five words but I believe it is all a single word. 'Cmereiwantcha' is generally spoken as fast as is humanely possible and is used to get someone's attention.

27. Langers

This gowl is drunk, drunk, drunk.

28. Mank

If something is mank then it is dirty or disgusting.

"Dem new sauces from Chicken Hut are absolutely mank."

29. Morris

This one's a bit more old school so the new kids on the block may not be using it currently but it's basically another word for 'sham'.

"Well Morris, what's the craic?"

30. Head like a chewed toffee

God bless ya and save ya if you have a head like a chewed toffee because you won't exactly be attracting yourself many suitors throughout the course of your life.

"Oh sure god help him, he has a head like a chewed toffee!"

Off with ya now to the Treaty County to try out your UNREEEEEAAAAALLLL new vocab!


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