“That party was great craic!” … “Sit down, have some tea, and give me the craic” … “You just came from town? What’s the crack?” … “That Andy McDonald, he’s good craic.”

Jovial and fun-loving, the Irish relish a little gossip and witty banter over a cup of tea or pint of beer, and dinner parties with lots of games and laughter. The word “craic” (pronounced “crack”) means fun, enjoyment, or lively conversation, and you’ll hear it used everywhere in Ireland. Part of “good craic” is Irish humor, distinguished by vigorous sarcasm and teasing.

“So, Ingrid,” asked the 20-something Irish guy I met at a Christmas party, “have you kissed anyone in Ireland?” Startled by his lack of subtlety, I stammered, “Ah, no, I haven’t.” “Well,” he replied, “not yet, anyway.”