How to Speak Like a North Dubliner

May 12, 2009

By Sarah Ollove: Assistant Director/Dramaturg for The Seafarer, and Amateur Cultural Anthropologist.

Please note that while many North Dubliners can kiss their mothers with their mouths, the gentlemen of The Seafarer should not. The following contains an R rated word.

The Eskimos have 40 words for snow. The men in The Seafarer have around the same amount for drinking. If one is “jarred” or “bollixed, ” one is inebriated. To reach this state they might have imbibed “poteen,” an Irish cousin of moonshine or “meths,” methylated spirits. Neither of these can be bought at the “off-license,” which allows the customer to buy alcohol and take it off premises from “your man” (“this guy” in American slang). In order to pay for such goods, one can visit the “hole-in-the wall,” also called an ATM. Upon consuming the liquids, one will probably find the need to locate a “jacks” (restroom) because they will be “bursting for a slash” (possessed of an intense need to urinate).

If one frequently finds oneself jarred, then one is “on the lash.” This can occasionally result in some unfortunate behavior. One can be termed a “Head-the-Ball,” a “berk,” an “eejit,” or a “dozy fucking eejit,” all of which are different ways of calling one a scoundrel. One might be told to “go on out of that,” or, in other words, to cease. One faces the potential of being “reefed out of it,” which means suffering a severe dressing down.

After a wild night of being on the lash, a North Dubliner might embrace sobriety. If so, they have the option of having a Kaliber, a non-alcoholic beer, following the example set by Irish recovering alcoholic Matt Talbot in the 19th century.

So before you attend a performance of The Seafarer, make sure you’ve visited the jacks and maybe the hole-in-the-wall, and please, don’t come jarred or you’ll be reefed out of it, you berk.

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