Skip to Content

58 Irish Insults And Curses: From ‘Dope’ And ‘Hoor’ To Plenty More

58 Irish Insults And Curses: From ‘Dope’ And ‘Hoor’ To Plenty More

Welcome to our collection of Irish insults and Irish curse words… you big ‘eejit’!

This virtual book of Irish swear words has been put together over the course of 4 years and it’s packed with words and phrases I’ve heard while growing up in Ireland.

It’s packed with long and short Irish insults, like describing someone silly as the type that’d ‘sh*te on the table to keep the flies off the sugar’. Enjoy!

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Famous Irish insults and Irish curse words

Chapter 1 is packed with the most common Irish insults that you’ll hear used around Ireland.

Below, you’ll find everything from ‘Sh*tehawk’ and ‘Eejit’ to ‘Drysh*te’ and some of the more famous Irish curse words.


1. Gobsh*te

Arguably one of the most famous Irish insults, thanks to its frequent use in the Father Ted series, ‘Gobsh*te’ is used far and wide.

  • Its meaning: Someone stupid
  • For example: ‘That Maura one is some gobsh*te. She’s after putting petrol in her car, and isn’t is a diesel engine!’

2. Langer

One of several Irish swear words with numerous meanings, the word ‘Langer’ is most frequently heard in County Cork.

  • Its meaning: Someone foolish or a man’s neither regions
  • For example: ‘Did you hear Shane missed his job interview. Says the alarm never went off, the langer!’

3. Pox

When I was a kid there were several Irish curses that my dad used to use on a daily basis and ‘Pox’ was one of them.

  • Its meaning: Someone useless/someone you dislike
  • For example: ‘That pox Mary was in the bar last night spreading rumours about you!’

4. Drysh*te

One of the more common Irish insults, ‘Drysh*te’ can be used to describe someone as ‘No fun’.

  • Its meaning: Boring
  • For example: ‘I had to go to the party on my own as the lads were playing the PS4, the drysh*tes!’

5. B*llox

So, the word ‘B*llocks’ is Irish slang for a fella’s neither regions and it’s used to either describe a person (e.g. ‘He’s an awful b*llox’) or an annoying situation (e.g ‘I’ve a pain in my b*llox listening to you’).

  • Its meaning: The dangly bits or someone you dislike
  • For example: ‘I’ve an awful pain in my b*llox sitting here waiting for those shower of b*lloxes from the phone company to arrive!’

6. Eejit

Arguably one of the most famous Irish swear words, ‘Eejit’ is another one that achieved fame via Father Ted.

  • Its meaning: Fool
  • For example: ‘That eejit is after locking his keys inside the house again’

7. Geebag

The first of our Irish curses that’s gender specific, ‘Geebag’ is used to describe a woman that’s annoying you/that you dislike.

  • Its meaning: Annoying woman/someone you dislike
  • For example: ‘Some geebag spilt her drink all over my new jeans last night!’

8. Dope

You can’t bate the word ‘Dope’. Although I’ve mainly heard this one used in Dublin, it’s likely used across Ireland.

  • Its meaning: Fool
  • For example: ‘That dope is after putting sugar in his soup instead of salt!’

9. Sh*tehawk

‘Sh*tehawk’ is actually a word that’s used to describe a bird that’s exhibiting scavenging behaviour. It’s one of several Irish swear words that’s often used in the same way as the word ‘Sh*t’.

  • Its meaning: Someone useless or someone you dislike
  • For example: ‘That’s the second time you’ve short-changed me, you little sh*tehawk!’

10. Gowl

‘Gowl’ is thought to be one of the original Irish insults for English people, as it comes from word ‘Gall’ which translates to ‘Foreigner’‘Gall’ would have, back in the day, been used to describe the English in a less than favourable way.

  • Its meaning: Fool or someone you dislike
  • For example: ‘We met Mike’s sisters for the first time yesterday – a pair of gowls like you wouldn’t believe!’

11. Sap

Ah, ‘Sap’. My dad has been calling me this since I was about 5. It’s at the point now where it’s nearly a term of endearment.

  • Its meaning: A stupid person
  • For example: ‘That sap Peter was here again on Tuesday. He’s some ignorant hoor!’

12. Gombeen

Another of the Irish curse words with a lengthy past, ‘Gombeen’ comes from Gaimbín’, an Irish word used to describe a money lender. It’s now used to describe someone that’s always mad to make a quick profit.

  • Its meaning: Someone that’s mad for money
  • For example: ‘Tara’s son was trying to sell me hair clippers, and me bald since I was 20, the little gombeen!’

13. Cute hoor

‘Cute hoor’ is one of the old Irish insults and it can be traced back to at least 1983 when it was used in the ‘Evening Herald’ to describe two politicians.

  • Its meaning: Someone crafty who can alter a situation to benefit themselves
  • For example: ‘I hear you managed to wrangle yourself a free ticket to the game, you cute hoor!’

14. Dose

‘Dose’ arguably doesn’t fit into an Irish swear words guide, as it isn’t overly offensive. However, it’s used very often in Ireland in several ways.

  • Its meaning: If you call someone a does = annoying. If you have a ‘bad dose’ you have the flu
  • For example: ‘That dose of a doctor wouldn’t give me antibiotics, and me with an awful dose on me!’

15. Lick ar*e

The Irish insult ‘Lick ar*e‘ is a fairly visual insult that’s often used in schools and the workplace.

  • Its meaning: Someone that sucks up to authority
  • For example: ‘He’s some a lickarse. He was here 2 hours after his shift ended!’

16. Thick

In many countries, ‘Thick’ is used to describe width. In Ireland, it’s used for someone foolish or someone that looks angry.

  • Its meaning: You’re some ‘thick’ = stupid. You’ve a ‘thick head’ on you = angry
  • For example: ‘I hear you crashed the tractor into dad’s new shed, you thick!’

17. Wagon

Another of the Irish curses that’s solely used for women is ‘Wagon’, and it tends to be used in many counties.

  • Its meaning: Someone annoying
  • For example: ‘That little wagon wouldn’t sleep a wink last night, I’m wrecked!’

18. Narkey hole

We’re going to round off chapter 1 of our Irish swear words guide with ‘Narkey hole’, one that also crops up in our wonderful Irish words guide.

  • Its meaning: Moany
  • For example: ‘You’ve been a narkey hole since this morning – what’s wrong?!’

Chapter 2: My favourite Irish insults

irish curse words

Chapter 2 is packed with what I think are the best Irish insults based on the 34+ years that I have spent in Ireland.

Below, you’ll find everything from ways of describing people that you finding annoying to colourful ways of saying someone is boring.

1. He has a mouth that’d make an ar*e jealous

One of the funnier Irish insults, this is generally followed by ‘The amount of sh*te he talks’.

  • Its meaning: Someone who tells tall tales
  • For example: ‘He thinks his Irish jokes are gas! But he has a mouth on him that’d make an ar*e jealous, the amount of sh*te he talks’

2. The type that’d bore the hole off a par 3

You could sub ‘Par 3’ for ‘Golf course’ for this one, if you like!

  • Its meaning: Boring
  • For example: ‘Brian was asked to give an Irish blessing at the wedding. He has a voice that’d bore the hole off 7 golf courses!’

3. He has enough cheek for a second ar*e

This is one of the more popular Irish insults for describing someone that likes to chance their arm.

  • Its meaning: A chancer/someone who tries their luck
  • For example: ‘He tried to sell me a hairdryer, and me as bald as a baby. He has enough cheek for a second ar*e that fella!’

4. If that family was anymore in-bred they’d be a sandwich

Now, this is probably one of the more insulting Irish phrases, so use it at your peril!

  • Its meaning: You get the picture…
  • For example: ‘He’s from Inishmoole – if he was any more in-bred he’d be a sandwich!’

5. She’d rob the milk from your tea and come back for the sugar

If you’re looking for a way of describing someone that’s untrustworthy or known to be a thief, this one’s for you!

  • Its meaning: A thief
  • For example: ‘She was caught robbing at mass. She’s the type that’d rob the milk out of your tea and come back for the sugar!’

6. We call him ‘the cloud’ – when he leaves it’s a lovely day

The chances are you’ll have a few people who, when they leave, people breath a sigh of relief.

  • Its meaning: Boring/annoying
  • For example: ‘Cathal gave an Irish toast at the reception. He kept going on and on. He’s like a cloud – when he leaves the day turns lovely!’

7. She has a face on her like a slapped ar*e

If you imagine a bit of skin that’s been given a good whack, it’s red and angry looking!

  • Its meaning: Annoyed
  • For example: ‘I’d leave if I were you. He’s on his way and he has a face on him like a slapped ar*e’

8. Sure there’s more meat on a spider’s knuckle

You’ll hear this said several ways, with ‘Spiders knuckle’ swapped our for ‘Hen’s kneecap’ or ‘Spider’s elbow’.

  • Its meaning: Skinny
  • For example: ‘Are they feeding you in there? I’ve seen more meat on a spider’s knuckle!’

9. She’s so skinny the one eye would do her

One of the many Irish insults to describe someone that’s skinny is this one (another is ‘He’d have to run around in the shower to get wet’).

  • Its meaning: Very skinny
  • For example: ‘David’s lost so much weight on that new diet that the one eye would do him!’

10. If that lad fell over he’d be half-way home

You can use this one to describe a person that’s above average height.

  • Its meaning: Very tall
  • For example: ‘The size of that one. If she tripped over she’d be halfway home!’

11. He’s a craic vacuum – he sucks all of the fun from the room

One you’ll see in our funny Irish sayings guide, a ‘Craic vacuum’ is someone that ‘Wrecks the buzz’/’Ruins the fun’.

  • Its meaning: No fun
  • For example: ‘That fellas a craic vacuum. As soon as he arrives the night is over!’

Chapter 3: Irish insults for someone that’s foolish

gaelic swear words 

Chapter 3 of our Irish curses and insults guide is packed with ways to describe someone silly.

Below, you’ll find a mix of weird and wonderful insulting Irish phrases to use when you feel appropriate.

1. As useful as a one legged man in an ar*e kicking contest

We’re going to kick things off with a peach of an Irish saying that describes someone that may not be the right person for the job at hand.

  • Its meaning: Useless
  • For example: ‘Mary’s young lad was here for work experience. He was as useful as a one legged bloke in an ar*e kicking competition’

2. He’d sh*te on the table to keep the flies off the sugar

One of the more descriptive Irish phrases, you’re probably best off not picturing this one when you read it…

  • Its meaning: Useless
  • For example: ‘He thought the new microwave was the TV… he’s the type that’d sh*te on the table to keep flies away from the sugar!’

3. He’s a few sandwiches short of a picnic

Arguably one of the better known Irish insults, the meaning of this one is fairly clear!

  • Its meaning: Stupid
  • For example: ‘She used bleach instead of water – the carpet is ruined. She’s defo a few sandwiches short of a picnic, that one!’

4. You’re as useful as an ashtray on a moped

If you can picture an ashtray sat on the handlebars of a bike moving at speed, you can imaging how effective it’d be…

  • Its meaning: Useless
  • For example: ‘I hired you to cut the grass, yet you’re after cutting down 2 trees – you’re a useful as an ashtray on a motorbike!’

5. Like a pig staring into a washing machine

This is used when you want to describe someone who’s not exactly the sharpest tool in the drawer… Just picture a pig staring at a washing machine!

  • Its meaning: An idiot
  • For example: ‘He was supposed to fix my computer but he’s just sitting there staring at it like a pig gazing into a washing machine!’

6. He’s a leg short of a snackbox

For the unfamiliar, a snackbox is something you can get in a chipper (chip shop) that comes with chips and usually two pieces of chicken.

  • Its meaning: Stupid
  • For example: ‘He parked the car on the beach right before the tide came in. Thing was wrecked. He’s a leg short of a snackbox that lad!’

7. If he had brains he’d be dangerous

This is another one for describing someone that’s stupid/after doing something stupid.

  • Its meaning: Stupid
  • For example: ‘Tommie is like his aul lad. If either of them had brains they’d be dangerous!’

8. Not the fizziest can in the fridge

There’s a bit of a ring to this one when you say it aloud and the meaning is clear!

  • Its meaning: Foolish
  • For example: ‘I saw her trying to change the lightbulb with a fork. She definitely isn’t the fizziest can in the fridge!’

9. He’s as thick as sh*te and only half as handy

Unsurprisingly enough, this one is used to describe a lad or lassie that’s a little bit dense.

  • Its meaning: Stupid
  • For example: ‘I’m paying that fella €3,000 a month to deliver orders and 1/2 of them arrive broken. He’s as thick as sh*te and only half as handy!’

Chapter 4: Irish insults for someone you don’t find attractive

gaelic curse words

The next chapter in our Irish swear words and insults guide contains sayings for someone you don’t find attractive.

Now, don’t be an ars*hole – only use these if you’re sure that you aren’t going to hurt the persons feelings.


1. The sea wouldn’t give him a wave

One of the funnier Irish insults, this one is fairly tame to kick this chapter off.

  • Its meaning: The person wouldn’t get attention
  • For example: ‘Man, the sea wouldn’t give you a wave with that haircut!’

2. The tide wouldn’t take that fella out

Another of the sea-themed Irish insults, this one is also fairly inoffensive. 

  • Its meaning: You couldn’t get a date
  • For example: ‘Debbie, you’d want to shave that beard. Even the tide wouldn’t take you out with that!’

3. He wouldn’t get a kick in a stampede

Picture a stampede. Kicks flying everywhere. It’d be hard not to get a belt.

  • Its meaning: The person wouldn’t get attention
  • For example: ‘Did you see Katie’s new bloke? He wouldn’t get a kick in a stampede!’

4. I wouldn’t get up on him to get over a wall

To ‘get up on’ in Ireland refers to being with someone in an intimate way.

  • Its meaning: The person wouldn’t get attention 
  • For example: ‘The hack of that moustache – they wouldn’t get up on you to get over a wall!’

5. He has a face for modelling balaclavas

There are a few variations for this one – ‘A face for the radio’ is another one.

  • Its meaning: Unattractive 
  • For example: ‘He’s a dodgy looking hoor that one. He has a face for modelling balaclavas!’

6. He couldn’t get his hole in a Polo factory

Now, in this insulting Irish saying, ‘hole’ is Irish slang for describing sleeping with someone while a ‘Polo’ is a sweet with a hole in the middle… I’ll let you figure out the rest.

  • Its meaning: Unattractive
  • For example: ‘Ciaran said he’s been on 10 dates this month! He says more than his prayers that one. He couldn’t get his hole in a Polo factory!’

7. A kettle wouldn’t whistle at him

Another of the funny Irish insults, this one uses the whistle an old-style kettle makes when boiling to as the punchline.

  • Its meaning: Unattractive
  • For example: ‘He’s wearing those leather pants again. A kettle wouldn’t whistle at him!’

8. Nice from afar, but far from nice

If you’re looking to describe something that looks well from a distance, but not from up close, there’s this one.

  • Its meaning: Unattractive
  • For example: ‘That new car of yours cost how much?! God, it’s nice from afar, but it’s far from nice!’


You won’t find many that’ll take being described as having a ‘Body Off Baywatch, Face Off Crimewatch’ too well, so beware.

  • Its meaning: In great shape but without the face to match
  • For example: ‘He’s flat out in the gym the whole time, but he’s a BOBFOC!’

10. I’ve seen a better head on a brush

If you’re looking for the best Irish insults to throw at someone with a bad haircut, try this one.

  • Its meaning: Not looking great
  • For example: ‘How much did that haircut cost you? I’ve seen better looking heads on a brush!’

11. You’ve a head that would make an onion cry

Although I’m not sure if this one is exclusively used Ireland, you tend to hear it here a fair bit.

  • Its meaning: Unattractive/angry looking
  • For example: ‘He’s a dangerous looking hoor that one. He has a head that would make an onion cry’

Chapter 5: Irish insults for someone that’s cheap or lazy

Gaelic insults

The final chapter of our common Irish insults guide is packed with ways of describing someone that’s tight with cash or lazy.

Below, you’ll find a mix of mad and mighty Irish swear words and phrases along with their meanings.

1. If he found a plaster he’d cut himself

You won’t hear this one too often, but it’s a great way to describe someone that’s stingy with money.

  • Its meaning: Cheap
  • For example: ‘She didn’t cover her part of the bill… again. Honestly, if she found a plaster she’d cut herself just to use it!’

2. He switches off the gas when he’s flipping his pancakes

Depending on the person saying it, you’ll hear ‘Pancakes’ switched out for ‘Rashers’, ‘Bacon’ and ‘Pork chops’.

  • Its meaning: Cheap
  • For example: ‘He shafted me with the taxi fare again. That lad is so tight he knocks off the gas when his turning his pancakes/bacon’

3. He’s so tight he’s putting together his own coffin

The next of our Irish insults for someone that’s cheap is for someone that’s particularly tight with money.

  • Its meaning: Cheap
  • For example: ‘You’d do well to get a donation from Marina Doyle. She’s so miserable I’d say she’s building her own coffin!’

4. He peels his oranges in his pocket

If you can visualise the effort of peeling a satsuma in your pocket, you’ll get a sense of why this is used to describe someone that’d do anything to avoid parting with something of theirs that has monetary value.

  • Its meaning: Cheap
  • For example: ‘He’s that obsessed with his bank account he’s the type that’d peel oranges in his pockets’

5. He’s as tight as a mouses hole

Another of the Irish insults that has several variations, you’ll hear ‘Mouses’ switched for ‘Ducks’‘Camels‘ and plenty more.

  • Its meaning: Cheap
  • For example: ‘He owes me €100 since last June. He’s as tight as a ducks hole, though, so it’ll be another year until I get it back!’

6. He wouldn’t give you the steam off of his p*ss

Now, this is one of the more visually… impactful Irish insults and it describes someone that’s so cheap that they wouldn’t even part with something as bad/useless as the steam from their…

  • Its meaning: Cheap
  • For example: ‘Donate money for the new pitch? Are you mad – sure he wouldn’t give you the steam from his p*ss!’

7. She wouldn’t sleep in the same house as a shovel

You’ll often encounter someone that’s work-shy, whether it’s a friend or family member or someone you work alongside – this one’s for them!

  • Its meaning: Lazy
  • For example: ‘She’s been unemployed for 2 years. Hasn’t applied for 1 job. She’s the type that wouldn’t sleep in the same house as a shovel!’

8. He wouldn’t spend Christmas

One of the shorter Irish insults for someone tight with cash is ‘He wouldn’t spend Christmas’.

  • Its meaning: Cheap
  • For example: ‘Spend money on a new coat? Sure that lad wouldn’t even spend Christmas!’

9. Tighter than a camels hole in a sandstorm

The last of our Irish curse words and insults is one to describe someone that’s extremely tight.

  • Its meaning: Cheap
  • For example: ‘He’s walking around in 20-year-old boots with no soles. He’s tighter than a camels hole in a sandstorm that one!’

What Gaelic insults have we missed?

irish sayings in gaelic

I’ve no doubt that there are some new and old Irish insults that we’ve unintentionally left out of the guide above.

If you have any favourite curse words in Ireland that you think we need to add, shout in the comments below.

FAQs about Irish curses

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What are some funny Gaelic swear words?’ to ‘What Irish curses are easy to pronounce?’

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

Keep in mind that, if you’re looking for Irish words of wisdom, you’ll find them in our Irish proverbs and Gaelic phrases guides.

What is an Irish swear word?

The word ‘Feck’ is arguably one of the most famous Irish curses. It’s not as severe as some other Irish swear words and it’s considered acceptable amongst most company.

What is a drysh*te?

A ‘Drysh*te’ is someone that’s boring and we would use it in the same way as we would the phrase ‘Minus craic’.

How do you say annoying people in Irish slang?

‘Wagon’ and ‘Dose’ are two Irish insults that describe someone as being ‘Annoying’. The likes of ‘B*llox’ is another one, but it’s one of the more severe Irish swear words.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Tuesday 5th of April 2022

"Feck/For feck's sake"


Friday 10th of December 2021

I enjoyed reading this you Narkey Hole.

Daniel Fitzpatrick

Tuesday 14th of September 2021

Here's a Dublin one for you: "What class of an eejit are you?" I love this insult as it is likely to have the insulted laughing too. It says that it is already a given that you are an idiot but we are just trying to find out which type.

Annemarie Killeen

Wednesday 8th of September 2021

I don't know how to spell it, but I love the word 'galpín", or in Ulster Scots "gulpin". Also "loother" (again, phonetic spelling), a favourite of Pat Shortt's character in Killinaskully


Saturday 3rd of April 2021

Ya forgot one saying...... they look like a bulldog eating a wasp. Meaning a sour puss on there face

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.