Irish Language Blog

Cuir Gaeilge ar Fhocail ‘Strine’ (Focail Astrálacha mar ‘brumby,’ srl.) Posted by on May 25, 2014 in Irish Language

(le Róislín)

Labhraímis 'Strine' (Béarla na hAstráile), leabhar le "Afferbeck Lauder" (ainm cleite Alastair Ardoch Morrison)

Labhraímis ‘Strine’ (Béarla na hAstráile), leabhar le “Afferbeck Lauder” (ainm cleite Alastair Ardoch Morrison)

In the last blog, we looked at the Irish word “beárbaiciú” and the various English versions (barbecue, barbeque, bar-b-q, BBQ, and the Australian “barbie”).

So I thought it would be a fun challenge to look at some representative Australian English words and see what they would be in Irish.  Some of them will be fairly transparent, but others may be unfamiliar to non-Australians.

And to make it more of a challenge (dúshlán [doo-hlawn, silent “s”), this is given as a cluiche meaitseála, not just as a liosta focal.  In a few cases, the Irish is more of an explanation, rather than an actual definition.  And there’s an extra word (focal breise [BRESH-uh]) in the Irish list, just to make the dúshlán a little more rigorous.  To further add to the challenge, two of the Irish words are synonyms, so they pertain to just one of the Australian words.  Some of the 10 words are specific to different areas of Australia, but they all give us a flavor of “Strine,” the nickname for the language as immortalized in the 1966 publication Let Stalk Strine by Afferbeck Lauder (aka Alastair Ardoch Morrison, 1911-1998).  Freagraí thíos. 

Uimhir Béarla na hAstráile   Litir Gaeilge
1  brumby A  cóilis
2  caulie B  crogall sáile
3  cozzie C  muiscít
4  freshie D  crogall    fionnuisce
5  mozzie E  cangarú mór
6  muddie F  culaith  snámha
7  mushies G  portán  láibe
8  saltie H  buidéal beag  beorach
9  stubbie I  muisiriúin
10  tallie J  capall fiáin
11 k  buidéal mór  beorach
L  beacáin


As for Irish influence on Australian English, probably the most prominent example is the use of the word “sheila” as a slang word for “young woman” or “girl.”  In Irish, it’s normally just a girl’s name, (spelled “Síle,” with the “sí-” combination having the “sh” sound in English).  As Australian slang, “sheila” is not a particularly polite word but I suppose it’s not the worst word out there.  It’s been compared to the word “broad,” now quite dated, and “the missus.”  As for why this name, and not some other word, níl a fhios agam.  If that journey, from personal name to generic word, can be traced, it’ll have to be ábhar blag eile.

Up next, any New Zealanders have some ideas for a similar list?  Or are a lot of these words also found in New Zealand English (Béarla na Nua-Shéalainne)?  And now, for a farewell phrase, cén Ghaeilge atá ar “hoo-roo,” which seems intriguing if, as noted in some glossaries, beagán “seanaimseartha.” SGF – Róislín

Freagraí: 1j) brumby, capall fiáin; 2a) caulie, cóilis; 3f) cozzie, culaith snámha; 4d) freshie, crogall fionnuisce; 5c) mozzie, muiscít; 6g) muddie, portán láibe (using the word “láib” for mud; there are about a dozen other ways to say “mud” in Irish, which can be found at the link below); 7i and l) mushies, muisiriúin or beacáin; 8b) saltie, crogall sáile; 9h) stubbie, buidéal beag beorach; 10k) tallie, buidéal mór beorach; 11) an focal breise i nGaeilge: cangarú mór, sin “boomer” i mBéarla na hAstráile)

Maidir le “Mud” (Muck, Mire, etc.) Posted on 23 Mar, 2012 by in Irish Language (

Iarfhocal (blaganna eile faoin Astráil agus faoin Nua-Shéalainn sa tsraith seo):
Beagán Eile de Bhéarla na hAstráile (A Little More Aussie English, translated into Irish) Posted on 28 May, 2014 by in Irish Language (

Agus Muid sna Fritíortha (While We’re in the Antipodes) Posted on 31 May, 2014 by in Irish Language (

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Keep learning Irish with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

Leave a comment: