Walking around Dublin, Galway or really any part of the Emerald Isle, you’re bound to hear the phrase that sounds like, “what’s the crack?” in a charming Irish accent. Yes, that is indeed what they are saying, but contrary to the American’s phonetic ear, the phrase is actually, “what’s the craic?”
Everyone seems to be having or looking for the craic, this simply means they want a good time or are sincerely wondering what the goings on are in their group of friends.
Craic is regional slang to the entire of Ireland, think, “hella” from California, “wicked” in a Bostonian accent, or “pop” in the Midwest. The definition of craic is hard to pin down. In its simplest form of the word is slang for fun and enjoyment, but the true meaning embraces the Irish culture and means something far greater than just a good time. True craic requires great company and lively conversation where everyone is involved. Music enhances the craic.
Use it in a Sentence
It’s safe to say that craic is a cultural phenomenon and thus versatile for many conversations. Here’s how to sound like you know what you’re saying when you use the term.
“How’s the/What’s the/Any craic?” – How are you? How are you doing? Any gossip? What’s happening in your life since we last met?
“We had great craic.” – We had great fun.
“They’re great craic” – They’re great fun and great company.
Levels of Craic, Explained
There are many levels of craic to be had depending on factors such as setting, company, food and drink. Because of this, craic can be somewhat unpredictable.
Minus Craic – You probably would have had more fun sitting in a waiting room.
Good Craic – A fair time, nothing too amazing, but nothing too bad.
Mighty Craic – Better than good craic, but not the best craic you’ve ever had. Something notable happened, maybe.
Savage Craic – A great time altogether, great jokes, everyone was having fun.
Deadly Craic – A step above savage, but still not the top echelon of craic.
The Craic was Ninety – The Everest of craic.
Next time you're visiting or studying abroad in Dublin, you'll be expert in craic.
Hanna Neitzke is CEA’s Audience Growth & Engagement Manager. She studied Marketing at the University of Westminster with CEA in London, England in 2014.
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