Get your Irish slang on before visiting Connemara!

If you don’t know your poitin from your biteen here are some useful terms to make your stay with us a bit easier, so. We’ll be adding to this list as we find things in the show that could do with some explaining. Most recent update: 3/7/2017.

Connemara: a region in County Galway, Ireland, adjacent to where the show takes place. The title “A Skull in Connemara” is actually taken from a monologue in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.

Leenane: A small rural town in County Galway Ireland, where this show takes place. Also seen as Lenaun.

Feck: A version of the English expletive “f*ck,” although the term is less offensive and does not have the same sexual connotations.

Biteen: Irish for “bit.” In general adding -een to the end of any word is used as a diminutive or affectionate, eg ladeen (a small boy), girleen (a small girl), whileen (a little while), etc.

Beag: Pronounced BEG, an affectionate term meaning small. In Irish mythology, Beag is also one of the Tuatha Dé Danann, a god-like race. She was known for having a magic well, guarded by her three daughters.

Cadge: Rhymes with Madge, to obtain by imposing on another’s generosity or friendship. To beg or obtain by begging.

Skitter: Slang for excrement, usually the very loose kind.

Yank: American.

Babby: Pronounced BAH-bee, a baby. Often used as an insult.

Gasur: Irish for boy.

Tinker: Traveler or gypsy. The name is also used to refer to a cheeky child. In the context of the play, it is probably being used in a derogatory sense, and is considered by some to be an offensive term.

Praitie blight: another term for a potato famine.

Arse: To be silly, act stupid, or mess around. Also refers to the body part you think it does.

Eejit: Irish slang for idiot.

Blackguard: Pronounced BLA-gurd, A person, particularly a man, who behaves in a dishonorable or contemptible way.

Poof: Derogatory variant of homosexual.

Rake: A great number of something. 

Poitin: Pronounced pwa-CHEEN. Irish moonshine that ranges from 40% to 90% ABV, it literally means “little pot.”

Slurry: A semiliquid fertilizer mixture, in this case typically manure suspended in water.

Quincy, Hill Street Blues, MacMillan and Wife, Petrocelli, Starski and Hutch: All very popular American detective/crime procedural shows from the 1970s and 80s.

Dana: Dana Rosemary Scallon (born Rosemary Brown on 30 August 1951), known in her singing career as Dana, is an Irish singer and former Member of the European Parliament (MEP). While still a schoolgirl she won the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest with “All Kinds of Everything.”

Eamonn Andrews: Eamonn Andrews, CBE (19 December 1922 – 5 November 1987) was an Irish radio and television host, based mostly in Great Britain from the 1950s. Credited with bringing RTE television and radio networks to Ireland.

de Valera: Éamon de Valera (14 October 1882 – 29 August 1975) was a prominent revolutionary figure, politician, and statesman in twentieth-century Ireland. His political career spanned over half a century, from 1917 to 1973; he served several terms as head of government and head of state. He also led the introduction of the Constitution of Ireland.

The Quiet Man: A 1952 comedy-drama starring John Wayne that was shot on location in western Ireland.


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