Common Irish Insults

Yesterday, I brought you some of the best insults that have been used by/against me in an argument. Today, I bring you something greater: Insults that us Irish people exchange when aggrieved:

1. Gobshite
(also, Gobdaw, Gom, Gombeen)

This is usually reserved for an idiot of the highest order.

‘What’s that gobshite doing?’

2. Muppet

Nope, not the cute kind. Again, reserved for times of real annoyance. I usually use it when driving:

‘Turn on yer feckin lights ya muppet!’

(I think it originated in the United Kingdom, but it’s uttered a lot here.)

3. Cute Hoor

Everyone knows a cute hoor. This is the person that is crafty, shrewd, sneaky even. And it annoys the shite out of you. Cute in this context means cunning. Hoor is a derivative of ‘whore’ but it doesn’t mean that. It refers to someone who is resourceful and clever and seems to get away WITH EVERYTHING. Feckin cute hoors.

4. Eejit

A fool. Usually combined with ‘feckin’ for added emphasis.

‘Ah here, you’re a feckin eejit, dya know that?’

5. Geebag

Our very own equivalent of the American insult ‘douchebag’. Lovely.

6. Bollix

A references to the testicles.
‘I just got a kick in me bollix.’
If you’re tired, you can say you’re ‘bollixed’. Or, even better, you can use it as an insult:

‘Yer man is some bollix.’

7. Thick

If you’re called a thick (and we usually pronounce it as ‘tick’), you’re being called an idiot.

You’re some thick eejit.’

8. Not the full shilling

If someone is ‘not the full shilling’ they are ‘not all there’ or ‘a few sandwiches short of a picnic’ or ‘not the brightest penny in the fountain’. If you don’t get any of these, then maybe you yourself are not the full shilling. Here’s a ball, go play with it.

9. State of ya!
(Also, ‘cut of ya’, ‘hack of ya’.)

You say this to someone you believe is dressed inappropriately/looks less than acceptable/is intoxicated.
It must be uttered with maximum disdain.

‘You’re wearing THAT?! State of ya!’

10. Spa

Nope, not the lovely relaxing kind. It refers to someone who is of less than average intelligence.

‘You’re an awful spa!’


29 thoughts on “Common Irish Insults

    • janeybgood says:

      I’m also from Limerick! I see from your blog you’re in NZ, cool (I stalked your page, I’m weird like that) and you have a guinea pig. I have four…man we’re practically related.

      • heffronsarah says:

        Haha that’s so weird! I’m still new to the blogging world and ur the first other Irish blogger I’ve come across, I’m looking forward to reading ur posts!

      • Justin O'Reilly says:

        Well met. American-born, raised in Co. Cavan til the wee age of 5, and then brought my Brogue to Halifax, NS (Irishtown neighbourhood) until I was 12, and hopped around Brooklyn, NY and South Boston, MA for a year. Came back to and now living in Denver, CO, my birthplace, where, as I grew older, I came to find has one of the largest Irish communities in the Rockies. Even belonged to one of the State’s Irish societies (Colorado United Irish Societies – CUIS, which we Gaelicise when pronouncing the acronym), the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

        My dad and great Uncle Liam say a lot of these. I do too to some extent. Of course I mix in the Canadian and Scottish jargon (Nova Scotia still has people that speak with Scots jargon and a Burr), producing some unique speech patterns, and of course, insults, usually reserved for the special moose-titted, baw-faced cockmucks (see?) in my life.

        Nice to meet you. Céad míle fáilte.


  1. dweezer19 says:

    Wow! It’s like a foreign language class. 😉 these are awesome. My favorite? Eejit. Think I may have unwittingly used that before, just swearing at someone with an Irish accent. In my head. Oh, and around here we would say, ” He ain’t playing with a full deck.” Great post.

  2. Photobooth Journal says:

    My sister (Australian) and her Irish hubby and 2 kids areDubliners. I LOVE the slang. So much fun to see it here. Geebag, Eejit and Bollix are my faves from this list. There are so many more great ones that you wouldn’t want to print, eh? (Thanks for visiting my blog!)

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