7 Phrases You’ll Only Hear In Tralee

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Banna Strand. Whale, or indeed its arse, not pictured.

WHILE exclamations like ‘Yerra’ and ‘hAnam an Diabhail!’ might be heard anywhere in the county, we wondered if there are phrases which may be unique to the Tralee area.

Here are some of the colloquialisms we here in the office have only heard around town over the years…

Warning: Some – well ok, most – of these are a bit rude…and in the last case, disgusting!

1. Up a whale’s arse in Banna – Do whales even have arses? Anyway, an enquiry of a nosey nature may be answered with this, nonsensical, retort.

2. Go down To Florry Carroll’s for a bottle of ‘Cop On’ – Said when somebody is being particularly childish or reckless. Refers to Rock Street pharmaceutical institution.

3. G’way and scratch your arse off the railway wall – We’re unsure of the origin of this one, or even which railway wall is being referred to. Yet again, it’s to denote disbelief or dismissal.

4. I swear on all the souls up in Rath – Used when trying to convince someone they’re telling the truth and refers to the graveyard…obviously.

5. Black as Wallace’s arse – Who was Wallace and why was his arse black? Used when describing something of a dark hue. That’s the third phrase containing the word arse so far, in case you’re keeping count.

6. You should be in Killarney boy! – A common exclamation used to tell someone they’re not of sound mind. Refers to the old St Finan’s Home in Killarney.

7. G’way and throw sh*t at yourself! – Ah lovely! This ‘gem’ is used to express incredulity or dismissal of another person’s opinion or comment.

Now to put some of those phrases into the context of a conversation.

Rockie: “I’d say we’ll win the county championship this year.

Narie: “Ah g’way and throw shit at yourself! I’d say we’ll win it!

Rockie: “You should be in Killarney boy!”

Narie: “No really, I swear on all the souls up in Rath!

Rockie: “Where do you think Mitchels hopes are of coming back into the championship?”

Narie: “Up a whale’s arse in Banna!

Right, there has to be more phrases only heard in Tralee. Let us know about them in the comment section below…






  1. Tom O'Brien says:

    Blue shampoo.

    This means you were twisted drunk…or more. lol

    i.e. Q. Were you out last night?!?

    A. I was boy. I was blue shampoo last night!

  2. padraig mc mahon. says:

    I cant believe ye’d talk about narries and not include this gem “you can chalk it down”. It has many context such as
    “are we going gatting tonite?”
    (reply)you can chalk it down we are ..or
    “did you get off with that fine bior in horans last night?”
    (reply) you can chalk it down i did.

  3. moss o c says:

    “Put that in your gonkerpouch and smoke it” The late great Blood Moran from Strand Road used to say this when he stopped a fella from getting 31 with his last card!!!

  4. Sinead o Connor says:

    Where’s my thing a mige , used if a person lost something
    God bless their soul in there Irish knitted socks

  5. Elaine O'D says:

    “How’s she cuttin? ” This is a very common greeting amongst the “lads” in Kerry

  6. I will yaaaaa . . .
    This means I won’t . . . no way!!

  7. Gary Commane says:

    “Stall the Gammon ” original Jimmy Curtain Tralee – means “hold on lads,take your time”

  8. Susan Doyle says:

    When you didn’t want somebody around you told them to….’Cut Your Stick’…..like saying Away with ya….