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The best travel book about Ireland since St. Brendan's voyage circa 530 A.D. 

Who were  the Irish, who are they now, and who will they become?  Culture, landscape, history, economic development, and the peculiar Irish way of thought….all explained.


An update of the classics, In Search of Modern Ireland by Bryce Webster and In Search of Ireland by H.V. Morton.

By Laura Harrison McBride

Ireland Explained

Now in Kindle!


Click here to read more about the book and its author.



Throughout the Burren are structures commonly called "wedge tombs." Any number of them are visible in fields of rocks, the wedges themselves being huge flat rocks set up lean-to fashion, often in the middle of a wide expanse. 

Berneens Wedge Tomb, which was in my guidebook, caught my eye. "To visit the wedge tomb at Berneens," it says, "stop just before the first house on our right after Cahermore."--

Ireland Explained

Text and photos copyright Muffin Dog Press, 2015

Words that will mark you

as a Yank


1. Flashlight.  Use torch.

2. Cake. Say gateau.

3. John, little girl's room, powder room .Use loo, tiolet, or the phrase "spend a penny."

4. Imbecile.  Use eejit.

5. Crap. Use shite.

6. Effing. Sure, it's only a word, used everywhere by almost everyone, and it's pronounced Fookin'.

7. Pig, as in male chauvinist pig, politician, or other disgusting human animal.  Use shite hawk, or if the person is really bad, nine-fingered shite hawk.

8. Nasty to describe a dirty place. Use manky.

9. Drunk. Use fluthered.

10. Meaningless chatter. Use blather.

11. Coffee with cream. Say white coffee. (Conversely, coffee without cream is black coffee.)

12. Gas for a car. Say petrol.

13. Elevator. Say lift.

14. Check, in restaurant. Say bill.

15. Appetizer. Say starter.

16. Food to go.  Say take-away food.

17. Fanny. Say butt.  (Fanny, in Ireland and England, means the other side of a woman's backside, and is very impolite.)

18. TV.  Say telly.

19. "Call me." Say "Ring me up."

20. A lot of fun.  Say good craic (pronounced crack.)

Ten essential phrases in Irish English



1. I worked so hard, I could eat the ass off a farmer through a tennis racket.  Meaning: I'm very hungry.


2. I was killt entirely. Meaning: I was dead tired.


3. She has a face like a pig eating piss off a nettle. Meaning: She's ugly, mean-looking.


4. That eejit looks like a cow looking over a whitewashed wall.  Meaning: The idiot has a vacant expression.

5. I might give him a dig in the snot locker. Meaning: I might punch him in the nose.


6. Shut yer pie hole!  Meaning: Be quiet, damn ya.


7. He was nothing but a muck savage. Meaning: He was an uncouth gentleman.


8. He's as tight as a camel's arse in a sandstorm.  Meaning: He's very stingy, or cheap.


9. She's up a pole. Meaning: She's pregnant.


10. He wouldn't work to warm himself. Meaning: He's very lazy.