Using the right lingo to honor Savannah’s Irish legacy

Honoring Savannah’s Irish legacy with the right phrases

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) -Come parade time next Tuesday, you might hear a lot of back accents and some butchered phrases.

Dr. Howard Keeley, the Director of the Irish Research Center at Georgia Southern, gave the Morning Break team a lesson on Irish phrases.

Some of the phrases Dr. Keeley covered are old Irish phrases. Phrases like:

  • Erin Go Bragh. “Basically Ireland forever,” says Dr. Keeley. “Erin, meaning Ireland.”
  • Cead Mile Failte. “A hundred thousand welcomes. So, we say that cade, mele, failte. And that is a really common expression, that people use in Ireland all of the time. Cead Mile Failte.”
  • Slainte. “Alright, Slainte. That’s a really important one, that’s the one you use in the pub. You’ve got your pint of Guiness in front of you, and wishing good health to your companions, and you say, Slainte, and that just means good health. So that’s a really important one, that’s the most tourist-friendly one if you’re going to Ireland.”

One of the most common English sayings we often associate with Irish culture is “Top o’ the morning to you.”

“Would an Irishman ever say that?” asks Morning Break anchor Ken Griner.

“Ken, no," says Dr. Keeley. "This is not what we say in Ireland. I think if you watch the John Wayne movie you might say it, but, NO!”

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