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7 Expressions For Goodbye In Irish

Learning how to say goodbye in Irish is not simply a respectful gesture towards the local culture and language.

It can also come in handy during your travels. So, why not add a little Irish charm to your farewell and impress the locals with your newfound knowledge?

Did you know that in Irish, there are distinct ways to bid farewell depending on whether you’re addressing an individual or a group? It’s fascinating how the language has evolved to include these nuances in social interactions.

In this guide, we’ll learn about several ways to say “goodbye” in Irish.

But before we get to that, let us first talk about a unique concept about the Irish and goodbyes, just to avoid any confusion.

7 Irish Expressions For Goodbye

goodbye in irish

The Irish Goodbye

The Irish Goodbye is a clever term used to describe the act of leaving a party without saying goodbye to anyone. It’s a subtle and mysterious way to exit a social gathering, and it’s become quite popular in recent years.

If you’re ever at a party and notice someone has disappeared without a word, they may have just pulled off the Irish Goodbye!

In other cultures, they call it the French Exit, or Dutch Leave. These phrases refer to a social phenomenon where a person leaves a gathering or event without saying goodbye to anyone.

The term has nothing to do with Ireland or the Irish people. It is believed to have originated in the United States in the early 19th century, when the Irish have a clever trick to avoid losing their keys while leaving a party in a drunken state.

They believe that turning their key upside down in the lock will prevent it from being taken away. This practice has become a popular tradition in Ireland and is widely known as an Irish custom.

However, we are not about to teach you how to exit a party but to say “Goodbye” in Irish properly. Read on to know how!

Ways to Properly Say “Goodbye” in Irish

1. Slán

Ways to Properly Say "Goodbye" in Irish

This is a common way to say “bye” and is pronounced “slawn.”
This is a frequent way for Irish speakers to say goodbye to one another in a relaxed setting.

Slán is an abbreviation for “safe,” which is from the Irish phrase “Slán abhaile” This phrase means “Have a safe trip home” and is used when the recipient is expected to be traveling.

In any case, if “slán” is all you can recall, you’ll be fine. It’s a goodbye that will be understood all around the Emerald Isle!

2. Slán libh

This phrase, which is pronounced “slawn liv,” has the literal meaning of “safe with you.” a statement made to multiple people at the same time who are departing.

3. Slán agat

Ways to Properly Say Goodbye in Irish

This phrase is pronounced “slawn ag-ut” and is said by the individual who is departing to the one person who is staying.

The literal translation of this phrase is “Be safe.” You might also use this remark when you are the one who is going to be departing the party.

4. Slán leat

The correct pronunciation of this phrase is “slawn lat”, which translates to “safe with you” in English. It’s a beautiful expression that conveys a sense of security and trust.

Slán leat is often used to say goodbye to someone who is departing. It is a more formal and traditional way of saying goodbye and is commonly used in situations where the separation is expected to be long or permanent.

5. Slán agaibh

Ways to Properly Say Goodbye in Irish (1)

If you’re saying goodbye to a group of people, you can use the Irish phrase “Slán agaibh” (pronounced “slawn uh-giv”). Next time you’re leaving a gathering of friends or colleagues, impress them with your knowledge of this traditional Irish phrase!

6. Slán go fóill

This means “Bye for now” and is pronounced as Slawn guh fweel. This term is less formal than others, and it is used when you anticipate seeing that individual again soon.

The literal translation of this phrase is “safety for a while”…Which does not mean that you only wish the person safety for a short period, but rather that you hope it will only be a short time before you see him or her again!

7. Slan mo chara

Ways to Properly Say Goodbye in Irish (2)

Pronounced as Slawn muh kara, this is another way to say goodbye in Irish, and its direct translation is “Safe home, my friend.” It’s also possible to use “mo chara” as a term of endearment and affection for a close friend.