Macquarie Dictionary


Your shout for St Patrick’s day

We have previously explored the influence of Irish words and slang on Australian English. In honour of St Patrick’s Day, we are exploring some other Irish-related words and phrases, the most applicable of which, on a day when people dressed in green are filling up pubs, is your shout

A round of drinks is an Australian tradition, when it’s your shout, you need to pony up and head to the bar. A vital part of Australian language, your shout may have Irish origins.  

There are a few other unusual and seldom heard slang phrases related to the Irish. Though outdated, they indicate that the Irish have not always been viewed favourably in Australia. To get your Irish up mean to become angry or enraged. Whereas saying, that was pretty Irish hints that you have acted illogically or stupidly. You might describe someone as Irish as Paddy’s pigs, meaning very Irish and next time you are dusting the house, remember that Irish curtains are a slang term for cobwebs.

Each week, we have a look at a slang word from Australian English. You can see other Aussie Word of the Week posts from the Macquarie Dictionary here.

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