Irish insults can be, both creative and hilarious. There just something about bringing seemingly innocent words together, to mean something insulting, that’s rather funny. Most just sounds like humorous nonsense, so I’ll include a definition for each (definitions and use may vary, in different parts of the country).
Don’t worry, I’ve not turned into an offensive monster. These insults are usually used amongst friends, as a bit of harmless banter, for a laugh and in good fun. Also, they’re mainly used to, endearingly tease someone (also known as slagging). However, I should warn you that, said in the wrong way, these words could really offend someone, so be careful.
Most insults in this list, are used throughout Ireland, but I’ve also include some that are unique to, the area I live in and unique to my own dialect. They were just too funny not to include.
(Warning there may be words in this post, that look and sound similar to swear/curse words. These are technically not swear words, but I will admit they’re Irish peoples’, best attempt at avoiding cursing. Some people may still find these words offensive) I think the best place to start this list is, with my personal favourite insult:
Humpy-looking- This doesn’t really have a meaning. It’s just used on anyone, you don’t like the look of, for whatever reason. However, a stereotypical humpy-looking person is, a middle-aged male, with the posture of a pervert and generally looks like a creep (e.g. Kureo Mado from Tokyo ghoul or Beetlejuice). Can be used on, young, old, male or female.
Boar-head- A person with a huge head or unpleasant demeanour
Calf’s-head- A person with a gigantic head and unfortunate in the looks department
Rough as a bear’s arse- Extremely unattractive or unpleasant in some way. Including things like behaviour, demeanour or dress sense. An example being, mutton dressed as lamb.
Gombeen- An annoying idiot. Can also be used on, someone who’s crooked or dishonest.
Gebdaw- So much of an idiot, they’re a lost cause. Worse than a gombeen or gobshite.
Gobshite-A know it all, that knows nothing or a person that considers themselves smart, but is really an idiot. Basically, someone that talks rubbish or a mouth piece.
Hair-brush- Can be used in two ways. One, to describe a friend, that has a head of wild-looking hair, that’s styled like, they were electrocuted or dragged through a bush back ways. Basically, in dire need of a hair brush. Two, to describe a bald man in an ironic fashion.
Dry- A person that is missing a sense of humour, usually always grumpy and pulling a sour face. The type of person, that never cracks a smile and if they did, their face would most likely crack and shatter.
Tight arse– Someone who refuses to part with their money. They never spend any money and if made spend money, they act like they’re having a limb unwillingly amputated. They’re happy to let other people, pay for them and you never see their wallet. You suspect they don’t even, have a wallet and if they do, it’s never been opened. If this wallet was ever opened, you’d expect a swarm of moths to come rushing out of it. If they ever give you money, you would closely inspect it for moth or mice bites, then frame it and very proudly hang it on your wall.
Bollix or in my dialect Bowl-lux– A very annoying person, that does shady, bad, dishonest, dishonourable or horrible thing. You also really want to punch this person. Essentially, a prick.
Skunk– A person that dresses like a thug and engages in thug want-to-be behaviours, just as harassing elderly people, stealing pointless or unnecessary things, damaging others’ property (just for the sake of it), taking illegal substances, threatening weaker people and fighting people, for the stupidest reasons known to man. They also see nothing wrong with these behaviours and think it’s something to be proud of.
Gargoyle– Someone with a horrible temperament and a personality and face, only a mother could love.
Tool– An extremely annoying idiot, that constantly mucks things up.
Header– A person who does crazy things, for no obvious reason. This is usually very amusing and entertaining.
Fecken Eejit– A loveable idiot. They’re harmless and mean no hurt. They get themselves into amusing predicament, due to being completely oblivious. They are often clueless and say the weirdest or most inappropriate thing, due to their cluelessness. But luckily, this is always, very amusing and you love them, for being a complete idiot. (I get called an eejit and header a lot, and can’t really argue otherwise.)