Ten Irish quirks

The idiosyncrasies of Ireland… they are everywhere if you open your eyes. WordPress asks us to write a list today so I didn’t need to think long about my subject because I always write Irish quirks when I meet/see/hear them. And believe me, after living in Ireland for 10 years and almost 6 months now, I still find new ones! (Daily Prompt: The Satisfaction of a List: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/daily-prompt-list/)

  1. Pedestrians waiting to cross the roads and staring at the little red man to go green… only tourists do so. You can spot who’s a tourist by the look on their faces when they see Irish residents dodge the traffic and jump in front of oncoming traffic. Yep, we’re a risk-taking kind of society!
  2. The sad and confusing look on the faces of said tourists when, upon arrival in Dublin city, they spot a tall building bearing the name ‘Heineken’ instead of ‘Guinness’ on O’Connell Bridge. Despite the huge economy Guinness brings to Ireland, you are confronted by ‘Heineken’ first and ‘Guinness’ later!
  3. French fries are called ‘chips’ while English and European ‘chips’ are ‘crisps’ in Ireland. Like I said… quirky!
  4. ‘You’re/That’s gas’ means ‘You’re/it’s so funny’. Just when you think of ‘gas’ meaning the old flatulence issues, the Irish use it as a description to indicate that someone is funny, weird, strong, wild etc.
  5. The belief that alcohol is absolutely healthy for you, refusing to believe that ‘Wait, it can actually kill you?!’
  6. Irish people always finding a reason to party, even when they just found out they’ll have a party. Therefore they party because of the knowledge that another party is waiting for them (I have friends who had a party after finding out they’d have a day off after 9/11, which basically means ‘We don’t care who died or how many died, we will have a party anyway!’)
  7. If you have to spell your name, make sure you pronounce it as ‘hhhaych’: pronounce it so that people will straight away know you are Irish because if you pronounce it as ‘aych’, they will think you are English and the Irish do not want to be called English. Seven hundred years of English/British dominance will do that to you! Or like dear old Winston Churchill once said: “We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English.”
  8. Irish summers sometimes lasts just one day. Yes… ONE day! A couple of years ago it happened on a Friday. And we still remember that day because it was warm and sunny. And it was at the end of a working week.
  9. When you plan to meet Irish people, allow them as much time as possible to arrive without you losing every single inch of your patience. Time management is something unknown to them. So meet them at 7pm, but tell them to meet up at 6.30pm, that way they will think they’re on time and you will still have some of that patience left.
  10. When you meet Irish people and they’re in a hurry, they will ask this: ‘How are you?’ or ‘Howaya?’ (in Dublin), yet they will keep on walking without waiting on your answer about er… how you…er… are. ‘How are you?’ is just a way of saying ‘Hello!’ Just call it a wonderful lack of respect if you are not used to this!

© WVE and Ireland, MS and Me, 2011-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, MS and Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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