7 Things People from Northern Ireland Say (that we don’t actually mean)

We’re very poetic here in Northern Ireland. Such is our literary prowess that often our sayings have scholarly undertones that aren’t always apparent. In other words, we don’t always mean what we say.

Still with me? Good.

So, have you ever stopped to consider what the following expressions REALLY mean?

Please, let me enlighten you…


1.  “Sure Give Me a Wee Shout Sometime.

We often use this phrase when we bump into someone we’ve not seen in a while; it refers to inviting them to visit us at a later point.

What we actually mean is, “Don’t dare be comin’ near me. My house is a tip and you’ll be lucky if you get half a stale Rich Tea rattlin’ about the biscuit tin. I’m only saying this to be polite. Stay. Away.


2. “Righty-O…right now…bye now….bye…bye…bye.

Usually said at the end of a telephone call.

What we actually mean is, ‘Bye.


3. “It’s Baltic th’day!”

This is usually wholly inaccurate.

What we actually mean is that it is slightly chilly outdoors.

(We do not of course mean that temperatures have plummeted to -10°C or so.)


4. “Come ‘ere'”

Usually said whilst engaging in conversation with a person standing a matter of centimetres away.

What we actually mean is “I’ve a quare bit of gossip for you…

For example, “Come ‘ere, did you hear that big Susan got them hair extensions she wears singed ’cause she was standin’ too close to the bonfire the other night?


5. “This place is a pigsty!!”

What we actually mean is that the house is a touch messy.

Just a word of warning in relation to this one – if a Northern Ireland mum shouts this, it should be interpreted as a code red. Household members should immediately drop what they’re doing and tidy as fast as they are able.


6. “These Jeans Are Hangin’ Off Me.”

Often said whilst forcibly hoisting our jeans up using the belt loops.

What we actually mean is “Check. Me. Out. Get Alison Clarke’s modelling agency on the phone. Now.

What our jeans actually mean is, “I have in fact been forced down here by your vast belly fat and/or saddlebags. Try me in a bigger size next time.


7.  “Ach isn’t he a wee dote.”

Usually said whilst gazing lovingly at the contents of a pram belonging to someone we’ve met down the town.

What we actually mean is,  “Jaysus that’s one ugly looking baby.

Perhaps now you realise that we’re like onions of literary genius here in Northern Ireland. There are so many different layers to our favourite sayings.


Such depth and mystery.


Such……….what? Wind my neck in?!


Told you.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *