Poor Mouth

Complaining dominates conversation in Dublin. The rich are overtaxed, the poor struggling - everyone has the same bank balance. The secret is to recognise that what is good is bad, and what is bad is desperate altogether. Here's a short guide

  • If you are

All right ?
Doing a good job

You say

'twill have to do
Not too bad
Not too good
No spring chicken
Well, considering
'twill have to do

  • If someone says

That was very good
Who's there?
How's the form

You say

't wasn't bad
'Tis only me
I'm on my last legs

Excessive Modesty

An important custom in Dublin conversation is to belittle yourself, so as to appear more humble than you are.  In Dublin, you can never be too humble.   In conversation your companion should not feel inferior to or your abilities.

  • If you are;

Thanked for something
Complimented on a meal
Complimented on clothing

You say;

'Twas nothing
No bother at all
'Twas nothing fancy
Yer pulling me leg
I did my best


Dubliners have long realised that the ability to charm the pants of their companions is frequently rewarded with good friendship. Visitors too can gain from this.

  • Address


You say

My dear man / woman
My good fellow / woman
Howya head? How's head-the-ball?/ How's the lads
Is it himself /herself?
Howya / Hi there


You cannot successfully be charming unless you can convince a speaker that you are really interested in what they are saying.

  • If you wish to convey;


Enrapture with the conversation
Divine praise
Divine intervention

You say;

Go 'way out o' that!
You're havin' me on!
You don't say!
And what happened then?
Glory be to God, that's marvellous
God between us and all harm

Active Listening

You chances of making friends in Dublin will improve if you show real interest in what is being said in conversation.   Be sympathetic to the speaker's viewpoint, and be ready and will to respond

  • If you wish to convey;

A desire to continue the conversation

You say;

Carry on, tell me more

Isn't that marvellous
Is that so?
I know

Two Dublins

Dublin has expanded quite allot recently, but Dubs have not forgotten that originally there were two very separate parts of the city separated by the River Liffey. The Northside where the real black Dubs live, and the Southside is where the Protestants, academics, teetotallers, and foreigners live. Foreigners are those who speak without a pronounced Dubbelin ackcent. Such people generally work in the civil service and the police, listen to Daniel O'Donnell or Big Tom and are known as;
bog men, boggers, muckers, muck savages, culchies or mulchies.
For a true Dub, it is the worst possible insult to be called one of these above names, the only honest response being to respond with immediate violence or emigrate. This simple classification is no longer valid however which makes life in Dublin that little bit trickier.

To confuse matters, there is also now the Wastside.   This a newer part of Dublin as it was only built up in the last 30 years. It is made up of many new housing estates. There is no slag for it yet. Includes Tallaght, Clondalkin, Lucan(South of the Liffey) , Blanchardstown and Castleknock( north of the Liffey)

This concept is further explored in Dublin has two sides

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Most recent version 22-Aug-2005
To be updated from time to time
© Neil. O'Byrne

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