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Irish Slang and Dialect Quizzes, Trivia and Puzzles
Irish Slang and Dialect Quizzes, Trivia

Irish Slang and Dialect Trivia

Irish Slang and Dialect Trivia Quizzes

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And you thought the whole United Kingdom spoke the same language!
7 quizzes and 75 trivia questions.
  High Till Speak Norn Iron   top quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
I spent a few years living in Northern Ireland (or Norn Iron as Belfast natives would pronounce it). This quiz takes a look at some of the interesting slang that I encountered and the blunders I made trying to grasp the local dialect.
Average, 10 Qns, alice_cullen7, Jul 11 21
Jul 11 21
842 plays
  'Tis a Fine Broth of Words    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Much of my source for my information and delight came from a book entitled "The Lilt of the Irish" by Henry D. Spalding.
Easier, 10 Qns, Irishrosy, Jun 04 23
Jun 04 23
810 plays
  Irish Sayings   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
These sayings can be heard and understood throughout Ireland. Do you know what they mean?
Average, 10 Qns, 1916, Jul 19 23
Jul 19 23
2000 plays
  'Give it a lash'    
Multiple Choice
 15 Qns
Inspired by Bruyere's 'the foggiest' quizzes, this is a playful offering of expressions in spoken English in Ireland. Enjoy and as ever have fun.
Average, 15 Qns, fiachra, Feb 06 18
Feb 06 18
1391 plays
  Youthful Irish Sayings   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
This is a quiz I made up of some of my favourite Irish sayings, words and phrases that I have learned by living here. I hope you enjoy! These are sayings from the Republic and are mainly used by younger citizens.
Average, 10 Qns, Daragh, Aug 22 11
571 plays
  Irish Idiomatic Expressions    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
I've noticed there are a few quizzes on British and American idioms, but none from the "Emerald Isle". This quiz is to redress that balance and introduce you to the rich and varied ways that Irish people contort the language!
Tough, 10 Qns, pangalactic, Mar 05 23
Mar 05 23
853 plays
  A Night Out in Northern Ireland    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
As with many areas we have a language all of our own. Some of these may be slightly on the edge - no offence is meant.
Average, 10 Qns, mega44, Mar 02 19
Mar 02 19
267 plays
trivia question Quick Question
If you are in Ireland and someone says to you, "What's the crack?", what are they asking?

From Quiz "Irish Sayings"

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Irish Slang and Dialect Trivia Questions

1. Norn Iron translates as what?

From Quiz
A Night Out in Northern Ireland

Answer: Northern Ireland

Simply Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom and is made up of six counties predominantly in the north east of Ireland.

2. What is wheedling or flattering talk known as?

From Quiz 'Tis a Fine Broth of Words

Answer: blarney

I started this quiz with the definition of blarney (which can mean to cajole or beguile), as I thought I might just use my Irish charm and some blarney and get this quiz through quickly. It is said that blarney differs from malarkey in that blarney implies wheedling with humor and is more acceptable than malarkey, except for when malarkey is used in conjunction with wooing a lass.

3. What is a brogan?

From Quiz 'Tis a Fine Broth of Words

Answer: shoe

We humans wear brogans (two shoes). The leprechaun is usually depicted working as a "leith brogan" (one-shoe maker). Perhaps the leprechaun is not always mischievous but sometimes wise in the sense of "one foot at a time"?

4. If someone told you, "Not a child in the house washed", what would they mean?

From Quiz Irish Sayings

Answer: I'm late/behind with housework.

This saying has to be one of my favourite sayings. Its meaning is light hearted and originates from Woman of Ireland - Mna na Eireann. When the common workplace for a woman was in the home, children would be washed and dressed before any other housework duties would be carried out. If a woman commented on the time of day and said, "Not a child in the house washed", it meant she was very far behind with her daily duties. Today it refers to being late.

5. After solving the "craic" mystery, I moved on to another inscrutable phrase. What does the phrase "bout ye" mean?

From Quiz High Till Speak Norn Iron

Answer: How are you?

Bout ye is an abbreviated form of the greeting "How's about ye". If one is feeling particularly lazy, these two syllables can be reduced to a simple skyward nod. For those who insist on verbal communication, other common greetings in Northern Ireland include: "How's you?" "How's the form?" "Is that you?" (which can also mean "are you finished?")

6. In particle physics, the little tiny things that make up protons, neutrons and electrons are called "quarks". In which book by Irish writer James Joyce does the word first appear? (In the original context, it has nothing to do with physics).

From Quiz Irish Idiomatic Expressions

Answer: "Finnegan's Wake"

The original phrase is "Three quarks for Muster Mark!" and as far as I know it doesn't actually mean anything at all. Caltech physicists Murray Gell-Mann and Richard Fenyman first gave the name to the sub-atomic particles in the 1960s.

7. In Ireland which of your relatives would someone be talking about if they said "Yer Auld One"?

From Quiz Youthful Irish Sayings

Answer: Mother

Although the term may sound derogatory it is actually not, and is very common to hear from any person of any age in Ireland. The term "yer auld/aul man" is used when talking about someone's father.

8. What does it mean to keen?

From Quiz 'Tis a Fine Broth of Words

Answer: wail loudly

If one has ever heard an Irish peasant woman keen it is an unforgettable experience of participating in a woman's sorrow. My first experience of this is when my Irish Grandmother stood at the coffin of her son. Her expression of anguish in keening made an indelible impression on a teenage granddaughter.

9. "That's a cracker" was the catchphrase of which Belfast comedian?

From Quiz A Night Out in Northern Ireland

Answer: Frank Carson

Belfast comedian Frank Carson started in "Opportunity Knocks" and starred in many other variety shows. He died in 2012. "That's a cracker" means it is great, smashing, super.

10. If someone in Ireland (particularly in the Midlands), asked you "How's she cuttin'?", what do they mean?

From Quiz Youthful Irish Sayings

Answer: Hello, how are things with you?

The proper response to this saying is "like a blade", which implies that everything is fine. It is a much more common greeting in Ireland than the stereotypical "Top o' the mornin' to ya", which I have never heard spoken in real life.

11. What does it mean to be full of malarkey?

From Quiz 'Tis a Fine Broth of Words

Answer: misleading

Hopefully this quiz maker is not full of malarkey and has been careful to be clear and factual not full of tricks and obfuscation as those "full of malarkey" might be.

12. One of my most embarrassing moments in Belfast happened when I made the mistake of asking a coworker for a ride (which, in Northern Ireland, essentially amounts to asking someone to sleep with you). What should I have asked for instead?

From Quiz High Till Speak Norn Iron

Answer: A lift

In addition to completely humiliating myself by accidentally making passes at my coworkers, I also made a fool of myself in front of a local pastor. While I was visiting his home one afternoon, he offered me something to eat. I refused by telling him I was full, only to find that in Northern Ireland, the term full means drunk.

13. What is a banshee?

From Quiz 'Tis a Fine Broth of Words

Answer: fairy

I do not know exactly what constitutes an "old family" in Ireland, but it is said that the banshee (fairy) follows these old families, and when the banshee wails it is a portent that a member of the family will soon die. Memo: avoid banshees.

14. If the statement "It's lashing down" is made, what does it mean?

From Quiz Irish Sayings

Answer: Very heavy rain

To say "It's lashing down" in Ireland refers to the weather and simply means that it is raining very heavily.

15. What does "the divil a one" mean at all, at all?

From Quiz Irish Idiomatic Expressions

Answer: none

This is a queer saying, and a wee bit auld-fashioned, but it can still be used by the young 'uns to confuse foreigners!

16. What is a beour (also spelled beore or beur) to an Irish person?

From Quiz Youthful Irish Sayings

Answer: A pretty girl

Spellings of the word beore are different throughout the country but the meaning is the same countrywide. "Beoir", a completely different word, means beer in Gaeilge (Irish).

17. What does "slainte" mean?

From Quiz 'Tis a Fine Broth of Words

Answer: health

My first experience of a toastmaster using slainte as he raised his whisky glass was perplexing. What could "s'lahnje" mean? Seeing my confusion, my friends explained that slainte was the word for health in Gaelic. I comfortably next time raised my glass and said slainte. Imagine my surprise when the dictionary gave this as its pronunciation guide, /ˈslɑːntʃə.

18. "The head on you and the price of turnips!" In Ireland, what does this mean?

From Quiz Irish Sayings

Answer: Something said to person that is not looking their best/often hung-over

"The head on you and the price of turnips" is widely used as a derogatory reference to a person's appearance. It is most commonly used to someone who looks as though they are suffering from the effects of a hangover. Although 'turnip' is the most commonly used word in this saying, it has been known to differ from each county. Some counties use the word 'cabbage' instead of turnip in this saying. The usage and meaning remain the same.

19. What does the prefix "Mc" mean before a name?

From Quiz 'Tis a Fine Broth of Words

Answer: son of

Now I am very familiar with the definition of "Mc" (son of) as it is part of my maiden name. So my father might have been "son of Guinness". Actually there was an Arthur McGuinness who began the Guinness Brewery in the 18th century and to this day this beer has stayed as popular as it was then. Imagine I, as a "McGinniss", could really be the son of a famous brewer. I shall have to investigate this new fact in my genealogy research.

20. Widely used in Ireland is the quote "Some langer", but what is it referring to?

From Quiz Irish Sayings

Answer: Someone foolish

Originating from Co. Cork but widely used and understood throughout Ireland, "Some langer" is a reference to someone who is foolish and/or acting in a foolish manner.

21. How would you say "Hello there" in Norn Irish?

From Quiz A Night Out in Northern Ireland

Answer: 'Bout ye

A familiar welcome which can be followed with an identifier such as son, mucker or u mawn.

22. In Ireland if you are a jackeen, then you come from which county?

From Quiz Youthful Irish Sayings

Answer: Dublin

A "skanger" also means a person from Dublin, especially one with the distinctive, thick Dublin accent. A "culchie" implies someone from a rural area. One of the meanings of the word "langer" is a person from Cork.

23. From what name does paddy as in paddy wagon come?

From Quiz 'Tis a Fine Broth of Words

Answer: padraic

Would that there were MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) on the slum streets of New York and Boston when the impoverished Irish immigrants of the early 20th century, many with the name Padraic (nickname Paddy), would revel on those streets! In their drunkenness the police came to pick them up in their wagons, giving rise to the nickname "paddy wagon". Perhaps also the expression about Irish drinking, "the curse of the Irish", would not have come into existence.

24. "Begrudger" - what is this a common reference to?

From Quiz Irish Sayings

Answer: A person who is envious

This is widely used in Ireland. The word begrudger, from the verb begrudge, is mostly heard in the saying "Feic the begrudgers". English translation for the Gaelic 'Feic' is 'to see'. Its meaning is a dismissive reference to someone who is envious of another people.

25. What derogatory term do people in Northern Ireland frequently use to describe a tawdry, vulgar, or uneducated girl?

From Quiz High Till Speak Norn Iron

Answer: Millie

The term millie came into use in Northern Ireland during the nineteenth century, when the word was used to describe the young, working class mill workers. The word is now a generic insult for any girl who is considered rude or tacky.

26. Blattered, blitzed, blootered and blocked all mean what?

From Quiz A Night Out in Northern Ireland

Answer: Drunk

Unsurprisingly, they all mean drunk and they are only the "Bs". There are plenty more.

27. What is a shillelagh?

From Quiz 'Tis a Fine Broth of Words

Answer: cudgel

The name for this cudgel comes from an oak forest, Tomnafinnoge Oak Wood. This forest is between the towns of Tinahely and Shillelagh, hence the name. The oak from the forest was used to make a "bata" (fighting stick) or now commonly called a shillelagh and with humor it is sometimes called "Irish Boxing Glove." Regardless of its name, I think I would like to avoid experiencing a shillelagh.

28. "Tis only massive". What does this popular Co. Cork phrase mean?

From Quiz Irish Sayings

Answer: It's great/brilliant.

This saying originates from Co. Cork Ireland and is understood nationwide. 'Tis' is a local phrase for 'It is' and 'only massive' refers to the brilliance of something or someone.

29. "Have a ball of malt." Which alcoholic drink are you being offered?

From Quiz 'Give it a lash'

Answer: Whiskey

This refers to a measure of whiskey. Uncle Arthur is a glass of Guinness.

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