Irish Language Curses And Insults 💢: In this blog, we teach you, err… some bad words in Irish Gaelic. Whatever emotion you may be feeling – happy, gloomy, livid, surprised, slightly annoyed etc. – the Irish language has the perfect curse or insult for you! We suggest you read on to learn more, and maybe tone down using these a bit if you do decide to use them, I guess? Well, let’s just move forward with the blog!


I have talked about different topics such as traditional Irish clothing, days-of-the-week equivalent in Gaelic and the ever-interesting Shelta language. However, never in my life would I expect to talk about cussing in a blog. But here we are today.


Irish language, for me, is one of the most beautiful languages in the world. There are tonnes of reasons why I think so. But, the best one for me is the language having colourful words that have no equivalent in other languages such as English. Heck, the Irish language even has specific curses and insults unique to it!


Why would I want to learn Irish profanity?


Well, I don’t know. Why would you?


Relax – I kid!


Kidding aside, there are various reasons why one would want to learn cussing or insulting someone in Irish. After all, this topic is something that often comes up in Irish language discussions.


There are various reasons for this. First, some genuinely, with no malice, want to learn more Irish words at their arsenal through research, reading books, watching films and more.


Others, well… they would want to learn and use some of these words to give someone a piece of their mind. For example, they want a word that they can use if someone cut them off at a line whilst buying groceries.


So today, we will share with you some of the most unique and interesting ‘bad words’ that Irish Gaelic has to offer. Read on to learn more. And remember, do not tell your mum we told you all of this!



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Here are examples of Irish language curses and insults


As we have mentioned above, plenty of Irish curse words or insults exists that do not have English equivalent, which means that you can convey your (negative) feelings to others better by using Irish Gaelic.


Below, we have some interesting words you should definitely know about when you want to swear.


When you are surprised/shocked


Surprise is something that is natural to us. Instead of saying the usual “Oh my!” or “Woah!”, you can use these Irish words instead:


For God’s sake!

As ucht Dé – (literally “from the breast of God!”)


In God’s name!

In ainm Dé – (also works well for “for God’s sake!”)


God save us!

Dia ár sábháil – (a nice stand in for “WTF” or “you’re f****ng kidding me!”.)


Are you angry at someone? then use these Irish language curses and insults!


Now, if you feel anger at someone and want to express it to them, then you can say the following Irish languages curses and/or insults:


Off/Away with you!

Imigh leat


Beat it/Shove off!

Gread leat


Go away and don’t come back!

Imeacht gan teacht ort – (literally “leaving without returning on you”…the implication being that you’d just as soon the person crawl off somewhere and die.)


To Hell with you!

Go hIfreann leat


To Hell with you, you rotten b*****d!

Go hIfreann leat a shlíomadóir lofa


When you really want to go off!


Sometimes, you really have to tell them off in the harshest way possible! Here are words you can say to convey just that:


May the cat eat you and the devil eat the cat!

Go n-ithe an cat thú is go n-ithe an diabhal an cat


May you be eaten by the itch!

Go n-ithe an tochas thú


Breaking and crushing to your bones!

Briseadh agus brú ar do chnámha


May the devil make a ladder of your back bones while picking apples in the Garden Of Hell!

Go ndéana an diabhal dréimire de cnámh do dhroma ag piocadh úll i ngairdín Ifrinn


*We thank Bitesize’s Audrey Nickel for the above Irish language curses and insults.


More examples of Irish language curses and insults

That your house will fall upon you

Go dtuitfeadh an tigh ort

That you may be burned and scorched

Loscadh is dó ort

That you may be badly positioned on a windy day

Droch áird chúgat lá gaoithe


Six horseloads of graveyard clay upon you

Ualach sé chapall de chré na h-úire ort

Off with you and your lousy lump

Imeacht go fánach ort féin is ar do chnapán miúlach

That the twelve devils take you with them

Go mbeire an dá dhiabhal deag leo tú


May hell’s 17 devils go after you

Go n-imigh na seacht diabhail deag atá i n-Ifrionn i’d dhiaidh


Woe betide you

Lomadh an Luain ort


That you may not be successful on the day

Nár éirí an lá leat


May the Devil choke you

Go dtachtfadh an diabhal thú

It serves you right!

A chonách san ort


I hope you die without a priest

Go bhfaighir bás gan an sagart


A dull-witted, stupid person



A greedy freeloader. The literal translation is ‘swollen-cheeked little parasite’. Burn.



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Now that we have shared with you some examples of Irish language curses and insults, we also want to discuss with you how we can help you in everything Irish-related.


ba mhaith linn plé leat freisin conas is féidir linn cabhrú leat i ngach rud a bhaineann leis an nGaeilge.


If you can understand simple Irish, you will want to improve. FluentIrish is here for you. Listen every day to get on with Irish.

Má tá tú ábalta Gaeilge shimplí a thuiscint – beidh tú ag iarraidh biseach a dhéanamh. Tá Fluentirish anseo faoi do choinne. Bí ag éisteacht gach aon lá chun a bheith ag gabháil ar aghaidh i nGaeilge.

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