Irish English

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Irish English is a cover term for varieties of English spoken in Ireland—there are a number of shared features in pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary across the forms of English throughout the entire island. Below the level of Irish English, a distinction can be made between English in Ulster (more narrowly Northern Ireland) and varieties in the south, i.e., in the Republic of Ireland. The latter can in turn be subdivided into an east-coast dialect area, from Dublin to the southeast corner, reflecting the period of earliest English settlement, and the southwest, west and northwest which are areas in which the Irish language survived longest and where varieties are spoken which show many features deriving from the historical shift from Irish to English. 

Excerpt taken from OED blog post ‘Introduction to Irish English’

Irish English words recently recorded in the OED 

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World Englishes

  • E.g. Philippine English, Hong Kong English, Ugandan English
  • e.g. bammy, skinship, bunny hug
  • e.g. an informal social gathering, a street vendor
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Irish English editors and consultants

The OED works in partnership with external experts from or in Ireland to ensure that our entries for Irish English words draw from local knowledge and expertise and reflect the everyday reality and distinctive identity of the Irish English-speaking community.


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