St. Patrick’s Day is about more than green beer, pinching those who forgot to wear green, and searching for gold coins. The Irish have many witty, snarky, and funny sayings and proverbs, and there’s no better time to learn a few than during St. Patrick’s Day. Whether you want to impress your friends at a St. Patrick’s Day party, or just learn some for fun, check out the 15 Irish, St. Patrick’s Day sayings we’ve compiled below.
“May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.”
Many people associate good luck with shamrocks and with the Irish. This St. Patrick’s Day saying wishes the reader good luck and many blessings throughout their life and travels.
“Sláinte” (pronounced Slan-Tcha)
This word — meaning “health” or “good health” — is a traditional Irish Gaelic word used commonly throughout Ireland, but particularly on St. Patrick’s Day. Why? Because people use it when toasting over their pints of beer!
“Everybody’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.”
This famous saying explains the phenomenon that a vastly higher number of people celebrate the holiday of St. Patrick’s Day than those who are actually Irish.
“Is fearr an tsláinte ná na táinte” (“Health is better than wealth”)
While many Irish phrases focus on gold coins and wealth around St. Patrick’s Day, this phrase talks about how much more important one’s health is. It is a commonly used phrase in English as well.
“If you’re lucky enough to be Irish, you’re lucky enough!”
This saying also celebrates Irish national pride during St. Patrick’s Day, celebrating all those who come from Irish heritage. It also plays off of the idea of Irish luck.
“May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light,
May good luck pursue you each morning and night.”
This Irish proverb also plays of the common themes of St. Patrick’s Day: gold and luck. The proverb wishes the reader wealth and good fortune throughout their life.
“A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures.”
After a long night of drinking on St. Patrick’s Day, this Irish phrase offers a suggestion for a cure to the fatigue or hangover one might have.
“Wherever you go
Whatever you do
May the luck of the Irish
Be there with you”
This Irish blessing also wishes the reader good luck, particularly on St. Patrick’s Day when many people are out drinking and sometimes fighting.
“A drink precedes a story”
St. Patrick’s Day is full of drinking, talking and storytelling. This phrase captures the idea that people are often more willing to share stories or more enthusiastically tell stories after they have been drinking.
“Aithníonn ciaróg ciaróg eile” (“It takes one to know one”)
This phrase is fairly famous in English, however, it is also an Irish saying, similar to the phrase: “the pot calling the kettle black.”
“Kiss me, I’m Irish”
Another very common phrase and often seen on shirts and other memorabilia in Ireland, this phrase captures the passion and vivacity of people who are Irish and who may be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.
“It is often that a person’s mouth broke his nose”
This phrase also captures the raucousness of St. Patrick’s Day and warns that a person often gets into a fight because of the things they say to someone else.
“What’s the craic?”
Essentially meaning “What’s up?”, if you’re spending St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland, this phrase will come in handy as it is very common. The word “craic” is pronounced as “crack” so many tourists are often confused when hearing the phrase.
“Acting the maggot”
This common Irish phrase is used very commonly when someone is acting obnoxiously, especially after drinking during St. Patrick’s Day.
“Is fearr Gaeilge briste, ná Béarla clíste” (“Broken Irish is better than clever English”)
Only about 30% of Irish people speak Gaelic today, so there are many movements to revive the language. This phrase captures the national pride of St. Patrick’s Day and uses it to encourage people to speak Gaelic.