Adopt an Irish brogue: The surest way of passing yourself off as a genuine Son of Erin is to adopt an Irish brogue, or accent. Brogue originally referred to a type of coarse leather shoe, and since to most observers, the Irish sound as though they’re struggling to talk with cheap footwear lodged in their mouths, it makes sense that the word would come to mean an Irish accent.

Wear a little green or orange. . . but never together: Although most Irishmen aren’t particularly fashion conscious, they do have very strong feelings when it comes to the colors green and orange. That’s because orange has come to represent the Protestant Church while green has come to represent the Catholic Church. In the interest of not offending either party, it’s best not to mix the two colors in a single outfit.

Learn to tell a tall tale: The Irish are born with an innate ability to regale audiences with a tall tale. Although this God-given gift o’ gab runs the gamut from amusing anecdotes to far-flung fairy tales, the stories themselves are always told with humor, conviction and just a wee bit of exaggeration.

Swear like a mother$#%&er: Many words that are deemed deeply offensive in America are thrown about freely in Ireland to spice up conversations, enliven stories or to simply greet one’s mother. So, start cussing like a sailor on shore leave and you’ll be guaranteed to fit right in.

Make fun of the Scottish: It has been said that proximity breeds contempt, which is probably why the Irish delight in making jokes at the expensive of their Scottish neighbors.

Learn a blessing or two: Whether Catholic or Protestant, the Irish are a deeply religious people who spew blessings at the same rate that some folks exhale.

Get a severe sunburn: Perhaps it’s the nature of living on one of the planet’s largest bogs, but Irishmen rarely seem to get a decent tan. In fact, many of Erin’s sons have been known to get a third-degree burn simply from sitting next to a fluorescent light bulb. You too can appear to be Irish by adding some of your girlfriend’s rouge to your cheeks neck and forehead. While you’re at it, borrow her eyebrow pencil to generously apply freckles all over your crimson red mug.

Give yourself an Irish name: Common Irish surnames include Murphy, McDonnell, McDonald, O’Connor, Callaghan, and Fitzgerald, while common first names include Ryan, Angus, Devin, Finnegan, and Seamus. When in doubt, simply tack on an “O'” or a “Mc” to your name.


  • First St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in 1737 in Boston.
  • Saint Patrick was not Irish by birth; he was a Romano-Briton Christian missionary born in England.
  • Did not become a national holiday in Ireland in 1903 and the first parade wasn’t held in Dublin until 1931.
  • St. Patrick’s true given name was Maewyn Succat.
  • Saint Patrick was known for banishing dangerous animals from Ireland, particularly snakes, according to legend.
  • St. Patrick’s celebrations were originally religious festivals.
  • There are more Americans of Irish origin than there are Irish in Ireland (36 million Americans claimed Irish ancestry in 2008; population of Ireland was 4.4 million at the time).
  • There are four places in the United States named Shamrock (West Virginia, Texas, Indiana, Oklahoma) and nine Dublin’s (Dublin, California and Dublin, Ohio are most populous).

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