When I first ventured out of the back arse of the countryside into the ‘Big Shmoke’ of Limerick for college, the colourful array of lingua franca amazed me. Being from the countryside, there wasn’t much room for creativity in describing things, and that’s where Limerick city stepped in. Four years on, I’ve managed to compile a brief description of the various Limerick slang that I’ve often overheard in Penneys on a crowded day. Yurt yuuurt.
1. Well kid/sham (pronounced keeed/shaam)
An informal greeting among the young and old around the place. This term is devoted to everybody and is the absolute essence of this wonderful city, with its warm and open culture.
“Well kid/sham, what’s the craic?”
2. C’mere/ C’mere to me/ C’mereiwantcha (literally as it’s spelled)
A term of address to get somebody’s attention. It’s generally vomited out in order to shave a solid 2 seconds off of the whole phrase of “Can you come here? I want you for a second”, thus saving valuable time.
“C’mereiwantcha, d’you’ve spare fags naaah?”
3. Hun (again, literally as it is spelled)
Used as both a general term of endearment, addressing a customer in retail, or squaring up to fight a bitch, Hun is by far the most versatile slang of Limerick city.
“Hi hun, what can I do for you?”
“Thanks hun! Got this aul thing in Penneys the other day”
“Ah excuse me, you know there’s a queue here hun?”
It can also be used as an adjective, in that a Hun would generally consist of a young woman who wears very heavy make-up, names her children Beyonce and Rihanna, and posts quotes of Marilyn Monroe on her timeline.
4. Gowl (pronounced gow-ell)
The first insult I’ve ever heard, and my personal favourite. The swiss-army knife of insults, Gowl often pertains to that of a blithering idiot, extremely annoying and/or shamelessly stupid person. Its versatility makes it the go-to option when venting at the idiocy of man.
“Jesus, he’s some gowl, he spilled his drink all over me”
5. Gomie (pronounced gooo-mee)
A softer version of Gowl, Gomie would be applicable to your best friend who put her top on back-to-front, and/or walked around in public blissfully unaware that a bird just shat in her hair.
“You’re some gomie, look at the state of ya”
6. State of ya (usually uttered quickly)
As aforementioned, ‘State of ya’, would usually delineate to:
The absolute horrific appearance of you. Like, have you been dragged through a thorn brush backwards? Please do something about your appearance, as it is hurting my face.
7. Misfortune (pronounced mis-faawrchoon)
Generally associated with the poor individual who can’t seem to catch a break, or who continually does stupid things while sober and under the influence. Similar enough to Gowl, but Misfortune denotes an undercurrent of embarrassment and pity towards the person that it’s aimed at.
“I heard he got thrown out the pub and then tried to pay the taxi man with a burger to take him home, the absolute misfortune.”
8. Weak (pronounced weee-aaak)
One’s reaction on hearing some particularly scandalous gossip, an embarrassing story about a bitch that you hate, or seeing something stupid like a person falling.
“Guuurl, the silly bitch fell outside the library, I was weeeeak laughing”
9. Mank (pronounced maank)
Disgustingly dirty, smelly, rotten, unattractive, and generally repulsive to the human senses. Being described as mank would probably stand as a low point in your life, and you should probably re-evaluate your life choices should that term befall you after a particularly drunken night out.
“She got with the mank lad from our class, she must have been langers”
10. Langers (Again, pronounced as it’s spelled)
Saving the best for last, Langers is probably the most creative term for intoxication. Generally, it means being absolutely inebriated on a spectrum of varying degrees, those being either not knowing your own name, vomiting at the bar, or pissing out in the street at 2AM. Being langers is all fun and games until that last tequila shot hits you, and then it’s only downhill from there, while God himself can lay witness to your drunken buffoonery.
“Laaad I was laaangers there the other night, don’t even remember getting home”
So, there you have it, kids. Go forth and immerse yourselves of Limerick city with these basic terms, and try not to offend anyone.