St. Patrick’s Day is here again to brighten hearts and ruin barroom floors around the world. Today can be a difficult holiday to navigate, depending on your proximity to public transit and pseudo-Irish bars. We’re here to help with a handful of key words, phrases, and toasts to help get you through the day festive and mostly clean. Cheers, and good luck!
Erin go brach! (or, Éirinn go Brách!)
Literally translated, “Ireland Forever!” A pleasant utility toast for any and all crowds and celebrations.
Originally a raucous Irish festival called “Domhnach Broc,” celebrating the church of St. Broc. Today, it refers to a uniquely Irish phenomenon consisting of a massively cheerful bar fight. Avoid unless you have a strong jaw and a fondness for prison.
Black and Tan (or Half and Half)
Pour half a pint of lager, then fill the rest with a good Irish stout. Brooklyn Lager and Guinness works nicely. True Irish bars will prefer you order as Half and Halfs, due to negative connotations behind the Black and Tan name. Other bars will be confused and serve you dairy. Delis on Long Island will serve you Arnold Palmers in styrofoam cups.
Drunk, and likely full to capacity. If you’re at a bar, know where the bathroom is. If you’re near a train or subway station, stay out of puddles.
Irish Car Bomb (or Not A Good Idea, Doofus)
Boilermaker bomb consisting of 3/4 pint of Guinness, with a shot of Jameson and Bailey’s dropped in and chugged. Order at your own risk. A true Irish bar will boot you for ordering a drink named after a terrorist tactic. Other bars will boot you for puking on the bartender. Shoot your Jameson, drink your Guinness, and enjoy not being a total gobshite for once.
Jerk, dingus, jackass, etc. Apply liberally to friends and loved ones.
Irish-American punk band from Boston, known for “Shipping Up To Boston,” the soundtrack of “The Departed,” and being everyone’s favorite band from March 16 to midnight on St. Patrick’s Day. I promise, you can listen to them year-round.
The gagging dry heave shortly before vomiting. Often pronounced “hurk,” or “blerf.” Serves as an audible warning for nearby celebrants that they better be ready to move their feet or grab a bucket.
Irish Gaelic for “health” or “cheers.” Pronounced “slahn-chuh,” not “slanty.”
To leave without saying goodbye to anyone. Originally from when Irish workers and servants were required to use separate entrances to their jobs to keep them out of sight. Currently a dying art thanks to text messages and “Find Your Friend” apps.
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