33 Things that are unique to Ireland:
Stuff to know before you go
Ireland has some pretty distinctive customs, saying and words for certain items that are used only in Ireland. On your first visit to Ireland be it to family or as a tourist there are certain things you should know about the place, things that are unique to Ireland. Be it North or South there are as many differences in culture as there are sayings and accents. There are however a few things that are relatively common to both areas and stuff you should know before you go. These 33 points are all unique to Ireland.
There are some differences between the North and the South but I would recommend visiting both Dublin and Belfast if you get a chance just to explore the country as both have great craic and beautiful scenery.
Want to check out the various places to see in Ireland take a look at these distinct regions:
There are many things that are unique to Ireland and here is my list of 25 things that are unique to Ireland (even if they came from someplace else they are now Irish). Foods, sayings and things you will only hear in Ireland.
Unique Ireland – 33 things that are only in Ireland
1 The press
Is the cupboard where you store your food.
2. Yer man
Or yer woman a saying that is heard all over Ireland, sometimes because they simply can’t remember the persons name or then again just because.
Not doubt about it in Ireland Kerrygold is the brand to buy but all Irish butter is better. It’s so good you can slather it on your hand and eat it.
Bacon but not just bacon Irish heavenly bacon, beautifully brined pure pork loin, this is not your average streaky bacon like North Americans are used to.
It must be tea, not many Irish homes have coffee makers but all have several teapots the preferred brands in Ireland Bewley’s, Barry’s, and Lyon’s. Tea is served very hot from the pot and milk and sugar are always added. Ice tea is available but unheard of in any restaurant.
6. The Immersion
These are used to provide the home with hot water, many folks turn them off and on when required so you may find yourself washing dishes with cold water or even a brisk cold shower if you forget to turn on the immersion.
Remarkably it seems that everyone swears here, from the youngest to the oldest.
8. The craic
No not “crack” which has several N. America meanings here in Ireland it means the party no other explanation needed except that the Irish find the craic everywhere.
9. Diddly I di
Traditional music also known as Trad, but the Irish who do love trad music tend to take the piss and call it the diddly I di.
10. The guard
Also known as the Garda or the Police.
More things that are unique to Ireland
11. Text alert areas
A cool idea which puts everyone’s cell number on a text alert so they can develop a phone tree when they spot trouble or unknowns in rural areas.
There is only one kind of gas (petrol) in Ireland and it is unleaded the other is diesel there are no grades of gas for sale. (You can even get a full Irish at several petrol stations such as the Apple Green).
Is an interesting subject here. Check for service charge in restaurants – in many areas the tip is already included in the bill so check before double tipping. Ireland is not a tipping culture in many places although in Dublin it is slightly different
14. Tayto sambo
The best sandwich in the world plain white pan bread slathered with butter enclosing crispy cheese and onion chips (crisps as they are known here). According to the Irish Mirror the sambos are now so popular they are now served on Aer Lingus.
15. Pan Bread
Pan bread – also known as batch loaf, there are no crusty sides as the bread sticks together in the “pan” and it is taller than N. American breads.
16 Soda bread
A traditional Irish favourite served with everything. The rise in soda bread is due to the use of baking soda a traditional quick bread.
17 Potato Farls
Eaten at breakfast also known as: fadge, farls, boxty and pounds. A portion of the flour is replaced with leftover mashed potatoes or grated fresh potatoes. This is a flat bread usually in square or triangular shape – perfect served with fried eggs.
Barmbrack is a yeasted bread that is sweet and has currants (dried fruit currants) and sultanas (a type of raisin) in it.
19 Waterford bla
Only in Waterford do you find this traditional soft white bun or bap with its floury coating. The Blaa is now a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product along with items like Champagne.
20 Wheaten Bread
Brown bread – pretty much everywhere you will see homemade brown bread served – it is a non yeast moist brown bread that tastes superb with anything and everything also known as Wheaten bread fantastic served with smoked salmon.
In North America; pop, soft drinks, cola, sodas.
22. “I will yeah”
It really means I won’t so listen carefully to when the Irish are talking you have to learn to interpret
23. Slagging off
if the Irish don’t insult you then move on you know they like you when you get teased, tormented and they take the piss.
24. Taking the piss
Is making fun of someone getting pissed is getting drunk not angry. If you want some craic in the pub be prepared to have the “piss” taken out of you in other words you will be insulted, teased, made fun of and if you can’t give as good as you get you might as well leave.
As in can’t be arsed or bothered.
26. “Away with the fairies”
As in he’s away with the fairies or not quite all there.
27. “Are you wid me now?”
As in do you understand
28. Full Irish
This is the full breakfast served everywhere (including petrol stations) and includes: bacon, farls, baked beans, grilled tomato, black and possibly white pudding, sausages, eggs and of course the obligatory mug of tea.
29. The Irish Accent
Doesn’t matter where you go you will hear a wide variety of Irish accents. Some say Donegal is the most difficult to understand, that’s probably because they are a dominantly gaeltacht region. The Irish have a knack for hearing a particular region’s accent and will take the piss accordingly.
30. The Wake
It is still a common occurrence here. In Ireland the body is laid out in the family home for 3 days before being buried. Most wakes bring out the whole village or area and there are signs on the roads to drive with care past a Wake House.
31. A Lock In
Legally speaking drinking hours are until 11:30 in pubs on a weekday and 12:30 on a weekend. However their is a brilliant cultural tradition here in Ireland called the lock in. Quite often in rural areas and in many urban as well you suddenly notice the bar has cleared out somewhat, the curtains are drawn and the pints are still being pulled. You can hear people trying to get into the pub and some that are known to the Publican are allowed in and the door is promptly locked behind then. You are now in the middle of a lock in and Irish tradition that allows folks to keep on drinking and enjoying the craic. May you have the privilege of enjoying one on your visit.
A method of moving traffic around circular islands that is pretty much foreign to N. Americans but words exceedingly well – just remember the traffic to the right of you has the right of way.
33. Turf & Peat
Most Irish these days have central heating, but I have yet to be in an Irish home or pub that doesn’t have an open fireplace. Turf is what scents the air with that lovely quintessentially Irish aroma. It is dug out of the peat pits, and left stacked in the fields to dry out. If you see a stack of brown logs you are probably looking at a turf or peat bog. The Irish also burn coal and wood in their fireplaces as it is cheaper than most of the oil fired central heating units.
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