Mr. Lepruchaun says: “Open yer ears!” 

I’m finding that it’s not always good practice to pretend I understand what someone is saying even when I do not. It’s just that I feel like an idiot when I have to ask someone to repeat themselves again and again because I can’t make sense of their Irish accent. Sometimes it’s just easier to nod my head and act like I know what the person is talking about.

Case in point: Recently I was at the pub with a group of friends. One guy at the table told a sexual joke (half of which I couldn’t even hear). A few minutes later, my friend turned to me and asked me a question. To me, it sounded like this:

 “[blah blah blah blah blah blah] hung?”

The only word I understood from his whole sentence was “hung,” which was clearly a reference to the other guy’s tasteless joke, so I just made a face at him and ignored his question. He pressed on.

“[blah blah blah blah blah blah] hung?”

Now he was just being cheeky, I thought. “F*ck off!” I said, laughing. He looked at me, confused. This time he leaned over and spoke louder.


I realized then he was referring to some bathroom towel racks I had purchased the previous week. He’d driven me to the hardware store in search of them, hence his interest.

“Oh, uh…no,” I responded, red-faced.

Lesson learned: It’s better to ask than to assume, and it’s not always easy being an American in Ireland!