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March Festivities: St Patrick’s Day & Irish Expressions

March Festivities in the UK

Welcome to the month of March – it may resemble the North Pole at the moment but soon spring will be sprung!


Yes, the daffodils and tulips will soon be in full colour and the blossom will be a beautiful sight on our trees.daffodils

Not only is this a very pretty month, but it is also an extremely busy month as we commemorate St David (1st March), St Patrick (17th March) and all the mothers in the UK as Mothering Sunday falls on the 11th March. And of course Easter and Passover are celebrated at the very end of the month.

St Patrick’s Day and Irish expressions

For those who will be here on the 17th March when we commemorate our Patron Saint of Ireland, let’s take a look at some of the frequently used Irish expressions-  perhaps you might try using them yourself on this day!Dancing Leprechaun

Craic /kræk/

The word craic has many, many meanings. It can be a description of someone who is very good fun. “Oh Mary is a great craic”. Or you can say ‘we are having the craic’ this means that we are having a laugh and good fun. You can also aGarland of flags with clover. A glass of dark beer. Invitation to the St. Patrick's Day. sk someone about a night out – ‘how was the craic?’ to enquire was it good?

If you fancy a pint of Guinness and would like to ‘clink glasses’ and wish your friend good health, the Irish saying is sláinte /sla:nʃə/ Which is literally translated as ‘Health’  By raising your glass in the direction of another person raising their glass and saying sláinte means ‘I drink to your good health’.

We hope that you celebrate St Patrick’s Day how you choose, with friends or alone, and if you are alone, there is a saying that many Brits use today – ‘on me Tod’ this saying originates in the US and is frequently used in cockney rhyming slang. It means to be alone and comes from an American jockey called Tod Sloan. From a very young age he found himself alone when his mother died and his father abandoned him. In cockney speech, one or two words rhyme as in this example ‘Sloan and alone’ and very often the expression is shortened to ‘On me Tod’.

The Irish are very well known for their hospitality and great humourfrog so it is no surprise that many refer to friends in the following way –

 ‘As mad as a box of frogs’

If you describe someone in this way, you are informing that they are crazy-foolish or stupid.

‘Joseph went out in the snow in shorts and a T-shirt, he’s as mad as a box of frogs’

Wishing you all success with these expressions and a very happy March – see you next month!

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