Differences Which You Will Notice Between the United States and Ireland

Even though English is the language you hear most often in Ireland, there is American English and European English and there are a few words that have a different meaning. For instance:

  • If you hear someone say “trousers,” they are looking for “pants”, “corridor” is used sometimes instead of “hallway”, “pavement” instead of “sidewalk”, and the way the Irish refer to time is different, for example Irish people are more likely to say “half-six” instead of 6:30, or  “Monday week” and “fortnight”.
  • If you hear someone mention ‘crack’ they are not arranging a secret drug buy! It is spelled ‘craic’ and is Irish for friendly banter.
  • Cheers (and on the rare occasion ta) means thank you.
  • Something that is really good can be brilliant or grand.
  • In restaurants, especially fast food, you will be asked if it is for here or take away. In Ireland it is not to go or take out, but take away.
  • French fries are ‘chips’ (except in Burger King and McDonalds) and potato chips are ‘crisps’.
  • If you need to find a rest room ask for the toilets – usually the bathroom is the room in a house where the bath tub resides.
  • A pitcher is a jug, like a jug of milk or cream (or even beer)
  • Diapers are nappies and a baby bed is a cot, not a crib
  • A day care or nursery is a creche
  • If you order coffee with cream it will come with a big dollop of cream that has been whipped to a stiff consistency, so if you don’t like cream be sure to specify milk.
  • In cafes and resturants there are open bowls of sugar and often small pitchers of milk left on the tables.
  • Homes in Ireland don’t generally have yards, they have gardens. A yard is an enclosed, sometimes paved over, commercial area.
  • There are no parking lots either. There are parking spaces or car parks (most often a parking garage)
  • When speaking of cars, windshields are called wind screens. The boot is the trunk and the hood is called a bonnet. Oh, and tires are tyres and gas is petrol. Gas stations are petrol stations. If you ask where the nearest gas station is you might get either a puzzled look or directions to the nearest place that sells natural gas for heating!
  • Of course in Ireland, it is important to remember that cars drive on the left hand side of the road!