A Beginner's Guide On How To Speak Cavan

A Beginner's Guide On How To Speak Cavan

In many ways the English language - indeed language itself - is insufficient in its ability to allow a Cavan person express their full range of emotions.

A passionate being, those from the Breffni county have had to come up with their own lexicon in order to fully communicate with each other. Here are just a few of phrases you need to know if you want to understand the Cavan accent:


Another term for 'hello' or when you're asking someone how they got on at a task.

Example: Well lad


A reference to any place which isn't directly within reach. It could mean the other end of the room or it could mean the other side of the world.


Example: And how long was he out beyont?


No it's not anything to do with drugs. A yoke is a person, place or object.

Example: Hand me over that yoke till I ring mammy to have the dinner ready.


A more well known term for 'the internet.'


Example: I was on rip.ie earlier and you'll never guess who's dead!


When something happens unbeknownst to you.

Example: Bejaysis you came in aknownt of me last night.

Flat out

The state of being really really busy.


Example: 'You up to much today?' 'Jays lad I'm flat out!'


Pretty much another word for 'that'. Used when referencing things and people mostly.

Example: I was talkin to yon lad the other night and he told me he'll be down with the slurry tank next Monday.

In shite

When something is broken beyond repair.


Example: 'How's your back after the match yesterday?' 'It's in shite.'


It's kind of a substitute for 'very' but can also be used as a stand alone adjective.

Example: Jaysis last night was ojus craic.


An expression of excitement when something is about to kick-off. Be it a twist in a great story or a row in a chipper.


Example: 'Whisht!'

Howld your Whisht

Not to be confused with 'whisht', 'howld your whisht' means to please wait a moment.

Example: Would ye howld your whisht, I'm comin I'm comin'!


Can mean both very bad and very good.


Example: Last night was bedamndible craic but by-jaysis I've a bedamndible head on me this morning.


Another way of saying 'beyont'

Example: Sure his mother doesn't know the last time she's seen sight nor light of him. He's without in America this 12 months.

A cute hoor

Used to describe someone who has either just come up with some sort of ingenious plan or is someone who's not to be trusted.


Example: Oh he's a cute hoor. Come'ere till I tell ye what he was doin'. He was running the electricity off the gas and the gas off the electricity.

You wouldn't turn a sweet in your mouth

The place was full of people.

Example: 'Much craic in The Imperial last night?' 'Jays lad you wouldn't turn a sweet in your mouth!'

A fret

When something is shocking enough to cause shock but not shocking enough to be described as 'shocking'


Example: And you the priest never mentioned that old Mrs Brady was out of the hospital? Jays that's a fret.

Well cursed fuckin Jaysis on ye!

This is a phrase used when someone from Cavan needs to vent their frustration at a person or an inanimate object.

Example: Dublin? Well cursed fuckin Jaysis on ye, I needed the car for goin' to look at the cattle!

Sure look

An appropriate response to any question ever asked in the history of mankind.

Example: 'Do you Peter take Paula to be your lawfully wedded wife?' 'Sure look.'

Also read: Am I The Only Person Who Calls A Hot Water Bottle A 'Jar'?

Also read: A Beginners' Guide On How To Speak Louth

Also read: A Beginners' Guide On How To Speak Tipperary

Mark Farrelly

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