A Beginner's Northern-Irish-English to American-English Dictionary

In case you read my interview with Darryl yesterday and struggled with some of his word choice, or if you’re planning a trip to Northern Ireland in the near future, or for the just-plain-fun-of-it, I’ve listed some of the common words and phrases used in Northern Ireland and their appropriate American “translations.” I remember that in what was somewhat of a lonely year for me, noticing the language differences was one of the little joys I experienced every day. Yes, of course, the Northern Irish speak English, but as one would expect, they rely on different slang, pronounce words differently, use words that Americans would know but rarely use, etc. I suppose this is a bit of an informal linguistics project, which is funny because I tried to take a linguistics class in grad school, and I lasted all of one day before dropping it. I’m sure my list isn’t completely exhaustive, and the words and definitions are listed in no particular order:

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Growing Up in Ardoyne: An Interview about Northern Ireland with Darryl Petticrew

Darryl, far left, joins me and a few others for Thanksgiving dinner in Belfast.

Darryl, far left, joins me and a few others for Thanksgiving dinner in Belfast.

My In the Fray essay about Northern Ireland from a couple days ago focuses a lot on the Protestant side of things. Below, you’ll find an interview I conducted a couple years ago with Darryl Petticrew, a Catholic friend of mine. Darryl grew up in Ardoyne, a part of Belfast that is mentioned in the essay. I think you’ll find the transcript of our conversation interesting:

Me: “What was growing up in Ardoyne  like? How often did you cross over into the likes of, say, the Shankill?”

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In the Fray Published my Essay about Northern Ireland and the 12th of July

379483_684283868043_1018071529_n-2I feel a day late on this, but I’m grateful to In the Fray for publishing my essay about Northern Ireland. A little more than a week after our 4th of July, this piece is well-timed, as July 12 is a big day for Northern Irish Protestants. I hope it was safe one this year.

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