Often tourists struggle with the local lingo and wonder what the heck we are talking about, and it’s arguably for good reason.

Whilst we might not have coined ALL of the words and phrases ourselves – we’ve most definitely adopted them as our own. Then there’s some that are just completely and utterly Norn Iron.

Here’s a list of some of the most weird and wonderful words and phrases we’ve made our own in Northern Ireland. How many are you guilty of?!

1. Dander (A stroll. Or if you’re intending on motoring a bit quicker, a saunter)

2. Bout ye! (An elated greeting)

3. It’s baltic (Used when cold)


4. It’s roastin’ (Used when warm)

5. Wee (Everything is wee in Belfast, even when it’s big, eg when you get asked for the wee number on the front of your bank card – the 16 digit one!)

6. Steamin’ (When you’ve had a few too many)

7. Eejit (Idiot)

8. Wind yer neck in (Most commonly used in a misguided attempt to calm someone down)


9. Awk sure ya know yerself (A means of confirming)

10. Scundered (Mortified for you)

11. Ragin’ (Used when seriously annoyed)

12. Banjaxed (When something is broken)

13. Swall / Swallin’ (AKA having a drink/setting out to get drunk)

14. Windee (Window)

15. Craic (Popular throughout Ireland, but you couldn’t leave out this one!)

16. Big Lad/Love (Terms of endearment reserved for their respective sexes)

17. Poke (Ice-cream, preferably a Mr Whippy from an ice-cream van, or chips if you’re of a certain age)


18. Aye sure why nat? (A means of justifying/laughing off something everyone involved realises is an inevitably bad decision – before doing it anyway)

19. Here’s me wha? (Used in conversation to emphasise disbelief)

20. Bake (Face)

21. Dead on (Ok, or that’ll do. Often used sarcastically to emphasise a silly idea)

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