Short Saturday: Story Bud?

Slang is a marvelous thing. It is often beautiful, always fun; it’s intimate and immediate and the imagery can be astonishing. The Irish are really good at it. (I’ve written about this before; here’s just one of many.)

So I can’t even begin to tell you how delighted I was to discover this short video a month ago in the Facebook feed of one of my Irish friends.* It’s the first in a planned series of short films by Jenny Keogh that celebrate Irish slang and colloquialisms; we’re told this one is all about Dublin slang. The Irishman is a Dubliner and over the years I’ve heard most of these, I’m astonished to report.

But you may not have. As we’ve discussed, unless you’re familiar with not only the accent but the slang phrases themselves, you may not be able to understand a word of this. Fortunately, Stan Carey over at Sentence first has got that covered: here’s a handy list of each phrase used. Number 15 explains the title:

15. Story bud? [Short for What’s the story, buddy? = What’s going on? / What’s the news?]

Be sure to click on over to see all seventy-seven of them; you’ll be impressed. One of Stan’s commentors notes you might want to open two windows—one with the translation list and one with the video. Good idea. Hover your cursor over the pause button, as the film moves pretty fast. Enjoy!

UDATE: Here’s the second in the series, called “How’s About Ye?”

And here is Stan Carey’s wonderful translation of the second film. Thanks, Stan!

* Thank you, Lorna Yeates! This little video has made me happy repeatedly.


Tweet:  Slang: The Irish are really good at it. “Story bud”!
Tweet:  Slang is often beautiful, always fun, & in Ireland it’s high art.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Words & Language | Tagged as: , , , | Bookmark the permalink | Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Ramona says:

    I loved this, and I can’t wait to see the others. What startled me is how many of these I heard my kinfolk say over the years, especially the older expression.

    • Jamie says:

      I knew you would love this! I, too, was surprised at how many I recognized.

    • Jamie says:

      And oh: for the first time EVER, I subscribed to a YouTube “channel.” I don’t want to miss any of her next films. :)

  2. […] know I’m fascinated by accents, dialect, colloquialisms, and slang, so when I stumbled on this interesting article, I was all over […]

  3. Rachel Britz says:

    Hi Jamie- This is a great post! I’m wondering if you have a resource for Northern Irish dialect / slang? I’ve just finished the first-draft of my first novel set in County Donegal, 1880. I’m unpublished and unsigned but hey, I just purchased a red pen! Let the work begin! =)

    • Jamie says:

      Hi Rachel —
      I have no resource, I’m sorry to say. All my friends/fam are in the Republic, which is how I discovered these films. My personal experience is that I “hear” a Scots accent in the Northern Irish dialect (it’s not exactly Scots, but feels very similar). But, you know, my Irishman believes you can find anything you want NOT at Alice’s Restaurant but on YouTube. :)

    • Jamie says:

      OK, I just reread your message. :) You know Co. Donegal is in the Republic, right? There are regional accents all over the country (everyone can spot a Dub, or a Corkman; a Kerry accent is very lilting and sing-song) and Donegal, being very rural also has a sound to it. But I would not refer to that as a Northern Irish accent, per se, as Northern Ireland is a separate country, and a part of the UK. Am I making sense? :)

  4. Rachel Britz says:

    Yes, I’m aware it’s in the Republic.:) My setting is very close to the border. You Tube and Google Maps are my best friend! Ha! May I ask you another question? Ok, I will. My story is in first person and I’m curious if the slang should come across in dialog alone? Or can I use slang in narration too? What is proper? Sorry, I’m not privy to the rules on this. Any advice would be great!

    • Jamie says:

      HA! No rules, girlfriend! I would say this about both dialect AND slang: a little goes a long way. I think it would be very interesting to see it in the narrative, though. [she’s intrigued] Here’s just a quick gut reaction: use it mostly in dialogue. Maybe pick one favorite word or phrase for your character to use in narration. See how that feels.

  5. Rachel Britz says:

    Perfect! Thank you, thank you. =)

One Trackback

  1. By Short Saturday: A Linguistic War Between the States on 11 January, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    […] know I’m fascinated by accents, dialect, colloquialisms, and slang, so when I stumbled on this interesting article, I was all over […]