Jennifer O’Connell: 37 signs that you might be Irish

Have you forgiven Miley his affair? Do you know the plural form(s) of the word ‘you’? Do you have a Bono story?

At this time of the year, everyone is claiming to be Irish. And with an estimated 70 million of us out there, sure they might as well.

But how Irish are you, really? Are you as "Irish" as a pint of green beer and a sexy leprechaun costume? Or as Irish as road frontage, Burdock's chips and the Late Late Toy Show? Here are 37 signs that you might be Irish, as opposed to "Irish".

1 The list of things you are least likely to do on St Patrick's Day starts with pouring green food dye in the toilet bowl in order to persuade the young people of the household that a leprechaun visited overnight.

2 Other "traditions" you will not be participating in include making leprechaun traps, eating corned beef, drinking anything green, planting peas, pinching passers-by if they're not wearing green, taking part in a 5k beer run, wishing anyone a happy "St Pat's" or "St Patty's" or even "St Paddy's" day. (If you have done or intend to do any of the above, take your passport out. Does it read "United States of America"?)


3 Students of the English language are taught that there is not one plural form of the word "you". As yizzer know, that's correct. There is not one plural form but many, including youse, ye, yiz, yizzer, yousuns and you goys. There are some super-plural forms (youse-all and youses) possessive plurals (ye'er and yousers) and there's even a reflexive form. Don't be losing the run of yizzerer selves, now.

4 You understand that the phrase "This? Sure that's only Penneys" – is actually a form of humblebragging.

5 When abroad, you're secretly bursting for someone to ask you where you're from.

6 There's nothing that can't be cured by either flat 7Up or Sudocrem.

7 You know that, in property terms, "bog standard" actually means an outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, stunning sea views and rock stars for neighbours.

8 Conversely, "an exceptional family home" is a bog-standard bungalow, while "palatial" means there's a porch tacked on to the front.

9 You think Light Touch Regulation would be quite a good name for a band, but you're worried it's too soon.

10 You still haven't forgiven Dick Moran for the affair.

11 You never really blamed Miley, though.

12 Grievances are measured in units of 800 years.

13 You've been involved in at least one discussion in your lifetime about Anne Doyle's necklaces.

14 You have a Bono story.

15 You can quote at least one line from The Snapper.

16 You know the Galway Tent is not a no-frills campsite near Ballinasloe, but a dismal episode in Ireland's recent past.

17 You still secretly believe a tan is healthy.

18 When people of other nationalities ask you if you speak "Gaelic", the only phrase that comes to mind ism "An bhfuil cead agam dul go dtí an leithreas?"

19 You remember exactly where you were when you heard that Brian Cowen interview on Morning Ireland.

20 Any drive longer than four hours needs to be fuelled by a stop at the petrol station for Club Orange and crisps.

21 But you can't think of anywhere you could drive that takes longer than four hours.

22 The only reason you ever look forward to the weather forecast is to see what Jean Byrne might be wearing.

23 You'd sooner be accused of torturing puppies than of having notions.

24 To paraphrase Yeats, you have enough residual misery in you to sustain you through temporary periods of joy.

25 When somebody asks how you are, there are really only two answers necessary. "Not bad now" can mean you're at death's door while "Not bad at all" might mean you've won the lottery. It's all in the tone.

26 If Tom Cruise walked into the pub, you'd let on you hadn't a notion who he was.

27 You once saluted an actor from Fair City in the street, but only because you mistook him for someone you knew.

28 You appreciate that there's a lot more than just semantics at stake in the differences between the phrases the north, the North, Northern Ireland, the northern part of this island, the north of Ireland, these islands, Britain and Ireland, the British Isles, Ulster and the six counties, but you might be hard-pressed to explain it in a way that a foreigner would understand.

29 You think we missed a trick not sending Rubberbandits (below) to Eurovision.

30 You've never been drunk, but you may have been half-cut, hammered, fluthered, rat-arsed, ruined, blotto, blitzed, banjaxed, buckled, trolleyed, twisted, wasted, locked, legless, langers, lamped, lit, mouldy, manky, spannered, scuttered, sloshed, stocious, steamin', plastered, paralytic, ossified, gargled, gee-eyed, in the horrors, out of your tree, off your face, on the batter, out of your bin, slightly shook or suffering a bit of nasal congestion.

31 Most likely, though, you just had a bad pint.

32 Or else it was the curry chips on the way home.

33 Next time, you'll have a pint of milk to line your stomach.

34 You're always up for a party, but the phrase "We all partied" is likely to make you turn to the drink.

35 You would like to see a special UN resolution passed against Irish people who emigrate and adopt the accent of their new country.

36 You think there should be something about the immersion in this list.

37 You have an Irish birth cert and/or an Irish passport. That's usually a fairly reliable sign.