Cork Slang

For some reason unclear to the rest of the country, Cork people refer to their city as the real capital. A more colourful and idiosyncratic bunch of folk you're unlikely to encounter, and this is reflected in their language.

You will survive in Cork unnoticed by placing either the word "boy" or the meaningless word "la" at the end of each sentence. Peppering sentences with "like" or "Like eh" can also help.

For example, two locals might be overheard saying:
"Like eh, did you see the match on the telly last night boy?"
To which the reply would come:
"I did la."

A word of caution. Take care not to use all of these linguistic devices together, as this will mark you forever as an outsider. The outsider is a rare breed in Cork however, and the locals are known for their cosmopolitan outlook on the world.

A Cork local will attempt to attract attention of a visitor by saying:

A workable response to this would be:
"Like eh, how's it hanging boy?"

Corkonian can be a very confusing language, and they very often say the complete opposite to what they mean. For example if you ask a local to do something distasteful or unpalatable, such as make a comment that could be remotely construed as a positive endorsement of Dublin, you are likely to be met with the response

"I will, yeah!"

On the other hand if a Cork man is met with a set of very positive circumstances his immediate response is likely to be:
"How bad!"

Linguists and sociologists had been studying Corkonian for decades, but nobody has quite figured out the source of this confusion.

At this stage they've simply given up.


 © 2009