A Beginner's Guide On How To Speak Kilkenny

A Beginner's Guide On How To Speak Kilkenny

Ah, The Marble City. Kilkenny is widely known for its heritage and no matter what time of year it is, this little city has a lot to offer. No joke, there is some sort of festival on every single month in Kilkenny. This month it is Kilkenny Animated so if you want to find out more about animation get down to this 3-day festival hosted by twice-Oscar nominated Kilkenny animation studio, Cartoon Saloon. For more event info find it here but even if you have no interest in animation, it's a reason for a weekend away isn't it?! History, culture, great places to eat, great places to drink, what more could you want from a weekend away? However, if you are planning a trip to the Marble City (which I highly recommend) there a few phrases that are native to Kilkenny and might be useful to familiarise yourself with.

Absolutely everything being described as fair or quare.

The two of these words basically mean 'very' in Kilkenny.

'Jaysus lads 'twas quare cold last night at training.'

'Ah, did you see this new app? It's fair cool.'

Up the Cats

As Kilkenny is a hurling strong hold you won't go anywhere there without hearing about the Kilkenny Cats or seeing a picture of a black cat with amber eyes and possibly wearing a Kilkenny jersey or holding a hurley with 'Kilkenny Cats' written somewhere in the display. Its simply impossible to avoid.


You Sir

Used when addressing someone.

'Hey you sir'


Solid in Kilkenny means good.

'I got a solid meal in Kytelers Inn last week.'



Even though the rest of the country call it a hurlEY. Kilkenny folk like to take their own stance on that word and call it a hurl. So don't be baffled when you get roped into a conversation about hurling and all you hear is 'two hands on the hurl now'.

Whist Up

A somewhat 'nicer' way to tell someone to shut up!

'Would you ever whist up, I'm trying to listen to the news'



Something not being fair. However, since they use fair and quare to describe everything it is actually possible to hear someone saying something isn't fair by saying 'That's fair lousy'. I know, it doesn't make sense to me either!

In the Horrors

Another way to say I was absolutely sh*t faced last night!

'I was in the horrors in Langtons last night, the Supermacs sobered me up a bit though!'


Another way to say hello.

'Well how are you?'

However 'well' is not only used in Kilkenny as it is popular further south in Waterford!

See Also : 21st Birthday Travel Spots That Will Give Everyone Else FOMO

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Mary Stafford

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