Saint Patrick's Day

Having grown up in the States, St. Patrick’s Day is really special to me. Every year, my town had lots of Irish festivals with music, and dancing, a small parade, and a lot of fun. I can honestly say it’s one of my favorite holidays.

Below are some great words and expressions related to St. Patrick’s Day. The most important thing to remember about St. Patrick’s day is, of course, to just have a great time! 

Banshee = a wailing ghost 
Ex: When Susan laughs, she sounds like a banshee. 

Brat = an annoying or badly behaved child  
Ex: That kid is being such a brat. He keeps throwing things in the restaurant.

Kibosh = a stoppage 
Ex: We wanted to have an office party but the company put the kibosh on that.

= a short faery who loves gold. They work as miners or shoe makers. 

Phony = a fake 
Ex: I think this is phony money. It doesn’t look real to me. 
(Note: Phony = US spelling / Phoney = UK spelling)

Shillelagh = a club formally used as a weapon but commonly sold as a walking stick or souvenir today.

a slew of = a lot of 
This is mostly used in North America. It comes from Irish “sluagh.”

Smithereens = small pieces (usually related to an explosion)
Ex: Luke Skywalker blew the Death Star to smithereens. 

Common Expressions
(People in Ireland don’t really say these every day. They are very common in Irish households and around St. Patrick’s Day especially in North America.) 

– Kiss me, I’m Irish! 
In Ireland, there is a tradition of kissing a castle stone called the Blarney Stone. If you can’t kiss the Blarney Stone, you can kiss me, I’m Irish!

– You have the luck of the Irish! 
This simple means, “You’re lucky.”

– May you be in heaven an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.
This popular expression is from a toast:
May your glass be ever full, (I hope you will be wealthy and happy.)
May your roof be ever strong, (I hope you always have a home.) 
May you be in heaven an hour before the devil knows you’re dead. (I hope you go to heaven when you die.)

St. Patrick’s Day Worksheet
This worksheet has sample language and conversations we can talk about it in class! 

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