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How to say I’m Drunk in Irish

Let’s take a bitesized look at how to say ‘I’m drunk’ in Irish!

As is the case in other languages, there are a variety of ways in which to describe different states of drunkenness in Irish. To get you started, let’s learn the basics.

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To simply state that you are drunk you would say táim ar meisce /thaw-im err mesh-kih/ (I am drunk).

An another way to say the same thing is táim ólta /thaw-im ole-thuh/. Here the adjective ólta is derived from the verb ól /ole/ (‘to drink’).

If you want to say that you are tipsy you should say táim ar bogmheisce /thaw-im err bug-vesh-kih/.

The adjective bog /bug/ , used as a prefix here, means soft or gentle – so we are saying that we are ‘gently drunk’. A nice way to describe the mellow state of tipsiness, I think you’ll agree!

Another way to say ‘I’m tipsy’ is táim súgach /thaw-im soo-gukh/.

If, on the other hand, you are in an advanced statement you will require a different term. I am going to teach you this one in the past tense – as a learner of Irish I do not expect you to be able to remember how to say ‘I am very drunk’ when you are actually in that state. More likely you will say it the next case, when you have come to your senses!

So, to say ‘I was very drunk’ you would say bhí mé ar deargmheisce /vee may err darg-vesh-kih/.

If you know your colours in Irish you will recognise the word for the colour red here, dearg /darg/. Dearg can also be used as a prefix to mean ‘real’, very’ or ‘utter‘, as it does in this expression.

Stronger still, if you wish to say ‘I was blind-drunk’ the expression that you require is bhí mé caochta /vee may kway-ukh-thuh/.

If you were ‘caochta’ yesterday you will surely be hungover today. The way to say ‘I have a hangover’ in Irish is tá póit orm /thaw po-it urr-um/.

All of which brings us neatly to one of my favourite seanfhocail or proverbs relating to drunkenness (there are many!).

Nuair a bhíonn an deoch istigh bíonn an chiall amuigh! /noo-ir a vee-un un djukh ish-tig bee-un un khee-ul ah-muh/
Simply put, ‘when drink is in, sense is out’.

Never a truer word was said.

Do you know any regional or alternative terms relating to drunkenness in Irish? Let us know, and the next round could be on us!

Did you enjoy this how-to-say Irish language video? Discover our Gaeilge Gach Lá approach to letting the Irish language into your everyday life:

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