10 Irish stereotypes that are actually true

We all hate being stereotyped based on our nationality – but there are some Irish stereotypes that are just plain true. From way we act to the food we eat, in many ways we are a very predictable nation.

As much as they might make us cringe, here are 10 Irish clichés that we put our hands up and admit to.

10. We’re allergic to praise – change the subject please

Credit: mendhak / Flickr

Next time you meet an Irish person, try this experiment – tell them you love their outfit. If they begin spitting out words about Penneys or sales or the phrase “this old yoke”, then you have found yourself a real live Irish stereotype.

Irish people are genetically incapable of saying “thank you” to a compliment. Praise makes us break out in hives and provokes an instant muttering and subject changing response. Scientists aren’t sure why.

9. We’re terrible at giving direct answers – we mean the opposite of what we say!

If an Irish person ever says they “might see you there”, that means they definitely aren’t going to your party. Sorry. Likewise, the Irish stereotype of saying “no, you’re grand” to a cup of tea when you really mean an emphatic “yes, I’m gasping” very much rings true.

Sure, the Irish language doesn’t even have a direct way of saying yes or no – we never stood a chance with this one. There is no denying that this is one of many Irish stereotypes that are actually true.

8. We have the best sense of humour – the famous Irish craic

We’re a dark people, really. We find a chuckle in the most dismal situations – and it’s many an Irish mammy who has thrown out the phrase “everything’s a joke with you!” in the heat of the moment. We’re definitely suppressing a lot of bad emotions — but hey, at least we’re having a good time.

7. We all know each other – one big community

What’s the only thing more annoying for an Irish person than being asked if you know Pat O’Shea when you mention you’re from Roscommon? Realising that yes, you actually do know Pat O’Shea because your cousin went to playschool with him.

You even have a photo of yourself and Pat O’Shea wearing matching bin bag witch costumes from Halloween 1998. What can we say, it’s a very small island.

6. We hate notions – a bit too judgmental?

When an Irish person starts developing habits different to those they were raised with, such as eating artisan food, their community diagnoses them with a case of notion sickness.

When an Irish person has the audacity to become famous, this is the worst case of all. The famous person is officially pronounced as being “too big for their boots” and will be in receipt of aggressive eye-rolls wherever they venture.

5. We’re wordsmiths – a nation of poets

W.B. Yeats. Credit: National Library of Ireland / Flickr

Lookit, we are a nation of poets. While a select few have made it big through the written word, this Irish stereotype rings true even for the drunkards on the streets.

Don’t believe us? Get a hotel room in Dublin city centre with poor quality windows, then lie back and close your eyes and listen to the conversations on the alleyways below you. It’s like an audiobook of Ulysses.

4. Our sessions are top class – the best night life

Anyone who’s experienced a proper pub lock in will struggle to enjoy any other form of night life. There’s always some lad standing on the bar playing the spoons, and everyone somehow knows the words to every song. It’s EXACTLY like the movies.

3. We’re wild for spuds – a truly authentic Irish stereotype

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Baked, mashed, scalloped, fried, smashed into those fancy potato cake concoctions – whatever it is, we get a little greedy when the humble spud is produced. Sure, quinoa is great and all – but this Irish stereotype has firmly stood the test of time.

2. We’re tea addicts – fancy a cuppa?

There are very few problems that can’t be cured with a cup of tea, as far as we’re concerned. A break up? Tea. Hungover? Tea. Long day at work? Sure stick on the kettle. Just don’t us started on the Lyons or Barry’s thing, please. It’s too raw.

1. We love an auld pint – pints of Guinness all round

It’s an Irish cliché that we love supping on a pint of Guinness. And do you know what? We do. We really do enjoy a bit of the black stuff on a summer’s evening, or indeed a winter’s night.

We’d probably have it in the morning if it wasn’t frowned upon – sure isn’t it full of iron? Practically the same thing as black pudding.

So there you have it – 10 Irish stereotypes that are absolutely and shamelessly true. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’re off to make a few jokes over a spud dinner.