Useful Language Phrases for the Area

If there is one thing that pops up in every conversation with someone from Donegal it’s the aye, the hi, the yes boy.

These are some of the phrases in the Beautiful county of Donegal that mean one thing to Donegal folk and something entirely different to folk from ‘down the country’.

For a bit of light hearted reading, I thought getting the future tourists of the Donegal area used of some of the terms they will hear while travelling around the North West would be a good call!!

What has to come in first place is one word, aye.  Any conversation with someone from Donegal will result in this word being used at least 10 times! All it means?  Yes.

‘Hi’ to most people is simply a casual way of saying Hello.  In Donegal however, it is a word put at the end of sentence for emphasis. “Killybegs is a beautiful place hi”.  Strange, I know!

Since I moved here one I have found very strange is the use of the word ‘handling’.  To anyone from any other county in the country this means how you handle equipment.  The first time I heard it used here I was confused to say the least.  Up here a handling is something awkward, an awful experience.  “That was a handling to get the wains to sleep”

This brings us on to the next one, wains.  I had never heard of this word before!  It refers to children.  In other parts of Donegal children can be referred to as cubs, also very strange!!

“Rare” is another one of the many many words that mean something totally different in Donegal than in any other part of the country. Usually it means undercooked, like a steak. Up here in Donegal though it means something strange. “Sarah is a rare character hi”

Believe me, the list goes on and on but I think we’ll let you get to grips with them few first.

Sarah Moloney – May 2017