10 Funny and Witty Irish Sayings

My grandmother’s people came from county Cork, Ireland during the great famine. She had red hair and a fiery temper to match it, but boy could she make you laugh. I remember every St. Patrick’s Day she’d make my brother, Dennis, and me watch the parade in New York and we kept asking where the Thanksgiving floats were. She just shook her head at us. St. Patrick’s Day got much better once I was able to drink 😉

In honor of her, and St. Patrick’s Day, here are my favorite Irish sayings.

10. “May the cat eat you and the devil eat the cat.”

Now that’s an insult!

9. “Drink is the curse of the land. It makes you fight with your neighbor. It makes you shoot at your landlord, and it makes you miss him.”

Please note: No actual landlords were harmed in the telling of this saying.

8. “You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.”

This proverb is a gentle reminder that you have to make your own way in life.

7. “Your son is your son today, but your daughter is your daughter forever.”

My grandma used to quote this All. The. Time. And it’s true – she lived with our family, not my uncle’s.

6. “‘Tis only a stepmother would blame you.”

This is a good quote to use if your friend is feeling bad after doing or saying something insignificantly offensive. Modern users might add ‘only a stepmother or Twitter followers would blame you…’

5. “That one suffers from a double-dose of original sin.”

In the Bible it says that when Adam ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden he cursed all mankind to be born in a state of sin. If you have a kid who’s really naughty you say he’s twice cursed by Adam’s mistake.

4. “Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.” – George Bernard Shaw

This quote is useful if you decide to enter politics.

3. “May your glass be ever full. May the roof over your head be always strong. And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.”

The last part of that saying makes me chuckle every time. But then again, I am Irish Catholic.

2. “As you slide down the banister of life may the splinters never point the wrong way.”


1. “May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, The rains fall soft upon your fields, And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.”

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!



Copyright (c) Lisa Traugott 2022. All rights reserved.


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