Describing something that is great
While we might have a lot of words for average, we have just as many for great.
• Savage: When someone says something, some time or somewhere was ‘savage’, you know they really mean it.
• The business: Describing something as ‘the business’ is like giving it 100% on Tripadvisor. You can also use the expression ‘the biz’.
• Serious: ‘Serious’ means that it was a truly memorable event and you feel sorry that the person you are telling wasn’t present for what was ‘a serious party’ or ‘a serious game of hurling’.
• The bee’s knees: While the ‘bee’s knees’ enjoyed brief popularity during the Roaring Twenties in the US, in Ireland we still like to employ the word for things, particularly fads like playing Snake on your Nokia or Oxygen bars.
• Cat’s pyjamas: Used in conjunction with the ‘bee’s knees’ when you really want to emphasise that the fad is really worth doing.
• Mighty: Often used by someone who has a great big grin across their face staring upwards to the heavens; ‘it was mighty altogether’, as if the Lord himself had been involved.
• Bang on: If something is ‘bang on’ then it has hit the spot or is spot on, whether it be a cold pint on a hot summer’s day or a perfectly level shelf you’ve just hung. ‘That’s bang on so it is’.
• Deadly: Thankfully this does not actually mean ‘deadly’ as in box-jellyfish deadly, but it does in fact mean ‘deadly’ as in great fun. It is interesting to note that there are two types of deadly – there is ‘deadly’ and then there is ‘bleedin’ deadly’ with both particularly popular in and around the capital.
• Buzz: Usually seen in the company of ‘deadly’, as in ‘deadly buzz’, meaning brilliant fun altogether.
• Class: Meaning much the same as ‘deadly’, ‘class’ basically means brilliant. Perhaps our favourite ever use of the word was by our own Jimmy Magee when he described Diego Armando Maradona’s second goal against England back in 1986 as a ‘different class, different classssss!’
• massive: To be ‘massive’ is the dream of many a young lady, especially in Dublin. Having absolutely nothing to do with the amount of physical space you take up, ‘massive’ actually refers to the state of being brilliant, beautiful, lovely, smashing, class! What your wan Aoife Dooley is.
• Game-ball: Means perfect, couldn’t be better, as in ‘How’s the job going? Ah, game-ball’.
• Unreal: Often pronounced ‘Unnn-realllll’, this encapsulates a really great occurrence that while hoped for, was never really thought possible. I mean, Paul McGrath turning up at your house to wish you a happy 11th birthday, absolutely unnn-realllll so it was!
• The best night ever!: Obviously describing a period of time, this is not just a decent evening of fun but ‘the best night ever’. This is a favourite with those trying to make you feel jealous because you pulled out at the last minute.
• Gas: Something that ‘is gas’ is great craic and laugh-out-loud funny.
• That’s moon: Like gas except moon.
• Epic: Epic is what we say for something that is truly … well … ‘epic’. It basically describes something that is truly 11/10. For instance, an epic night out would be one where you plan on a couple of drinks and to be in bed by midnight but end up crossing the border, partying until dawn and ending up with four types of currency in your back pocket. By the time you wake up the clocks have gone forward, you’re on first names terms with Paraguayan emigration and have made three friends for life. ‘Epic!’