25 Sept 2022

A Beginner's Guide to speaking Offlish - the native dialect of people from Offaly

A Beginner's Guide to speaking Offlish - the native dialect of people from Offaly

A Beginner's Guide to speaking Offlish - the native dialect of people from Offaly

In Offaly, we have a language and way of speaking that is unique to us..... and a few surrounding counties.

Unfortunately 'Offish' (we're calling it Offlish because, let's be honest Offalyese just sounds silly) is not as easy for others in the English speaking world to pick up on. 

So to make it easier, we have put together a quick simple guide to some of the keys words and phrases of our language that might make it easier for outsiders to understand..... as long as we are not speaking too fast.


Aaraa - A verbal crutch used by Offaly people at the start of a sentence when they don't know what they are going to say next. Usually followed by a pause. A common use would be when asked an opinion or to make a decision..... 'Aaraa, I suppose'

Aks - Colloquial term used when seeking information

De - Used before nouns to refer to particular things or people. eg - de dog, de mammy, de town

Tellamore - The county town of Offaly

Well – A general greeting that does not necessarily mean you are interested in the other person's general well being.

Lad - Informal term usually used among males when names are unknown - eg 'Well lad'

Trow on - Add more to. Usually in terms of adding turf to a fire.

Shoken – Something that causes shock. Can be used as a single word or in a sentence

Tamarra – The day after today

Waher – Clear liquid that usually flows from a tap

Sound – A term used to describe an individual of good character. Also a general acknowledgement that something is okay

Grand – General expression of contentment that can cover a variety of situations including mood, state of repair of an item or the weather.

I seen – Colloquial term for I saw

I done - Colloquial term for I did

Aks - Colloquial term for to ask

Noh ha bodder – When something is not a problem

No bodders - Another phrase used to signal that something is not a problem

Yer wan – An expression used when not sure of a person's name. Usually used to describe a female.

Yer man - An expression used when not sure of a person's name. Usually used to describe a male.

Trow on - Add more to. Usually in terms of adding turf to a fire

Me Ma – Not to be confused with the sound of an approaching ambulance, it means 'my mammy'

Tree – The number before four and after two. Also a large item with branches and leaves.

Turheen – An unlucky number after 12 and before 14

Turhee – Number after 29 and before 31

Ho – (pronounced like hot without the 't') – Double meaning. An expression that something contains excessive heat and also a standard response when a statement is not heard correctly.

Haymes – To make a particularly bad mess of something.

Feiced – Used to express tiredness or the degree to which something is broken

Totally feiced – Used to express total tiredness or that an item is totally broken

Banjaxed – Used to express a state beyond total tiredness or to describe an item that is beyond repair.

Pints – General description of all alcohol and not just restricted to pints of various beverages.

Session – An expression to describe a light evening's socialising

P**s up – An expression to describe a more robust night's socialising

Jayzus – Used as an expression of surprise.

Mane – Used to describe someone that is less than generous.

Lehher – Item of post delivered by the postman

Fodder – Term used to describe all food but usually invoked after a night of socialising

Shnake – An untrustworthy individual

Yoke – A term that can be applied to any item where the name of said item is not known

Strahaggy – A game plan for a match

De feeld – Where members of the Gaelic Athletic Association are know to gather

Be more pacific – Asking a person to narrow down the number of options

Dem – Used to describe a specific group of individuals

Over dare - A general description of an unknown location

De parish - The boundary of an area that will be fiercely defended during the GAA season

Savage – Describes something as being very good

Shpo hon – When someone is totally correct in their assertion

A lohha – A considerable amount of an item

Dat – Demonstrative pronoun/demonstrative adjective. 

Dare - In, at, or to that place or position eg -'Who is dat over dare?'

Behher – When something improves

Mush – General description of all males in Birr

Daycent – Can be applied to any number of situations but usually applied to an individual

Nohin – An absence of anything

Anihen – An absence of nothing

Hih im a dig – Proper course of action to retaliate when provoked on the field

Are ya havin anudder – Generally used when someone is offering another beverage in the pub

Lave ih wih me – Used when someone currently doesn't have the time to deal with something but who will get to it later

MORE CRAIC: 10 places we can rename to make Offaly a sun holiday destination

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