Dubliners are undoubtely one of the most colourful characters you are ever likely to meet.  This is in part due to the unique embellishments a true Dubliner will bring to any conversation.  Ordinary Dublin conversation has a quota of fillers, but it is the unlimited quantity and range of curses, that makes the conversation truly worth getting into; that is of course if you get to Dublin despite the signposting.


Strangely enough, Dubliners tend to wear everything except green, which is associated with too many national tragedies, including 1798, the Famine, and the current Irish international rugby team. It's possible that green just doesn't suit the typical Dublin skin colour, which is generally pale blue.

Dublin Embellishment

A feature of true Dublin conversation or 'Dublinese' is the unique accent and the addition of an extra syllable to words.

  • 'E' before 'Z'

You might hear

I took the childer to the ezoo!
I scored a big ezero!

  • Extra syllables

You might hear

I got me edge_e_me_cation at the skeuw_ell around the corner

The Dublin accent is unique, and there is no way to do it justice on a web page.


Conversation in Dublin contains alot of words, sounds and phrases that do not have a specific meaning, but are important to give an authentic feel to any discussion

  • Yerra

No specific meaning, but used to buy time in a discussion

How's it goin'? Yerra , I'm fine
What time is it? Yerr, I'm not sure

  • Wisha

Similar to Yerra, but favoured by the older generation

Wisha, what good's money without health
Wisha, I'll be as right as rain in no time

  • Sure

Used as an openers infers a mild rebuke

Close the door! Sure, I was goin' to anyway!

  • Begob / Begor

All purpose mouthwash substituting for a curse. It can also be used to reassure tourists, particularly Americans, who arrive full of pre-conceived notions of Dubliners, only to find a modern cosmopolitan city.

Did ye make me a dinner? I did, begob
What time is it? Begor, it's five already!

  • Like

Verbal punctuation

I was, like, thinking of feckin' off home

  • You know / Ye know

Used to add some emphasis

He was, ye know, absolutely scuttered


Dubliners are known throughout the whole world for their use of curses in everyday conversation. Its a vice shared by all, from statesman to priest. Even elderly devout old ladies will tell you where to stick it if pushed far enough. The true meaning of a Dubliners' curse is in the combination of the word, phrase and the way its' said.

  • Feck

Mild expletive derived from 'fuck'

Feck off! = Go away!
Feck off, are you serious? = Surprise

  • Shite

Replaces shit in Dublin conversation.
Persons who's conversation lacks sound facts are said to be 'full of shite'.
Such a person can be referred to as a 'Gobshite'

  • Me Arse

Used often to end a phrase

I will in me arse = I will not!
I couldn't bother me arse = I didn't care!
I went to work, me arse = Of course I didn't go to work

  • Bollix, Bastard, Fucker

Derogatory terms emphasised by preceding with 'right'

Yer man's a right bollix!

  • Fecker

Annoying messer emphasised by preceding with 'right'

Your'e a right silly fecker!

  • Cow, Trollop

Derogatory female term often emphasised by preceding with 'right'

She's a right cow

  • Hoor, Langer, Maggot

Dislikeable fellas

  • Eejit


  • Boyo, Bucko

Devious, unreliable, wild or energetic fella


This is a cause of much cursing in Dublin.   In most countries, road signs are used to help motorists get from one place to another. In Dublin, it's not so simple. Signposting here is heavily influenced by Einstein's theories (either that or the other way round) of space/time, and works on the basis that there is no fixed reference point in the universe, or not west of O'Connell Street anyway. Instead, location and distance may be different for every observer and, frequently, for neighbouring road-signs. Dublin is officially bilingual, a fact which is reflected in the road-signs. This allows you to get lost in both Irish and English.

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Most recent version: December, 2006
To be updated from time to time!
© N. O'Byrne

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