General Information about Dublin, Dublin
On my walk out to Kilmainham Jail, I encountered several of these silhouette signs, alerting residents and visitors alike that this is indeed kitty country. I didn't see any free-roaming felines but at least I was aware they might be crossing my path at any minute...
I was walking along Merrion Row, when I came upon this proper looking gentleman who was manning the door at an upscale hotel. I asked him if I could take his photograph and he kindly obliged and began to engage me in a conversation. "Are you enjoying your visit to Dublin?" he said.
"I am. Very much," I replied.
We talked for a few minutes and he even suggested a good place for me to eat that was just around the corner (Foley's- see my restaurant tips). Thanks Bernard for your hospitality and advice.
'D4' apart from being a kind of connection lead for Japanese electronic devices, is a postcode of Dublin, on the southside.
It contains most of the Capital's embassies, seats of learning and swathes of the 'upper middle class'. 'D4' has therefore become something of a generic term for anybody in that particular socio-economic group, even if they live outside of the postcode. It is said that these people have their own accent. it is certainly different to the more common Dublin accent. I think it sounds like a cross between recieved English home-counties and American teenager slang.
A D4 person is most likely to say something like "I had to spend...like...300 Euro on a round of drinks..but..like...you know...my flat in Ballsbridge rises by that every day..like" (not since the celtic tiger died...ha ha)
'D4' is therefore also applied to any pretensious person, or anyone who considees themselves ' a cut above the rest '.
In general Southsiders (of the river Liffey) are considered to be the richer / more culturally inclined / literate Dubliners. As Dublin had changed howerver the divide these days is more on East / west lines. The Suburbs closer to the coast (East) tend to be quite a bit more expensive and middle-clss than the western ones.
In general, the Dublin culture is very friendly and open towards other influences. It definitely doesn't resemble that of the traditional Irish countryside. Something you might want to keep in mind is the division between North and South in Dublin. North of the river Liffey is the blue collar area, whereas the areas off the south bank are more posh. These differences tend to disappear with the upgrading of run-down areas, but they're still very clear in this city. Walk from Grafton Street to O'Connell Street and note the difference!
A statue to earn a dubious but comical nickname is a monument at the bottom of Grafton Street representing Molly Malone, a fictitious fishmonger featured in Dublin's anthem, Molly Malone, who is shown, with ample cleavage, wheeling a cart.
The statue was erected to celebrate Dublin's millennium in 1988 (although Dublin was more than 1,000 years old at the time), and is generally known in Dublin as "The Tart with the Cart", "The Dolly with the Trolley", "The Trollop with the Scallop", "The Dish with the Fish" or "The Flirt in the Skirt"!
It's on O'Connell Street, in line with the Spire. So, what's so peculiar/different about it, you may be wondering, right?
After all, no harm in thinking of the Almighty, hey? Of course not, especially when you look upon Him as your Guardian Angel :)
The funny thing however, is the sign below it. Read it for your amusement, it reflects some Dubliner's version of the English language!!!
Smirting is a combination of the words smoking + flirting, geddit? It started when people had to go out for a ciggie after the ban was enforced, and got chatting to fellow smokers outside on the street, eyes meeting across a cloud of blue nicotine... ;) So you may just meet a local hottie in this way!!
REMEMBER - Since March 2004, you CANNOT smoke inside bars, cafes or restaurants, or anywhere where people are working (e.g. taxis, offices etc.)
The legislation is officially known as the Public Health (Tobacco) Act, see link to it below for a summary.
You may smoke in outside in the street or in designated smoking areas, but never inside a place where people are working (includes offices, bars, restaurants, shops, shopping centres, taxis, etc)
One of the greatest things about Dubliners is their wit, humor, and love of plays on words. The most tangible example I've found is the various statues around town that have been re-dubbed with playful poetic names. Here is a photo of the statue of Molly Malone (famed fictitious fishmonger) which Dubliners popularly call "The Tart with the Cart", most likely due to her buxom cleavage!! She's found on the corner of Grafton Street & Nassau Street near Trinity College.
Also, is the photo of "The Fag on the Crag" (statue of Oscar Wilde on a rock located inside Archbishop Ryan Park which can be seen from the site of Oscar Wilde's parent's home on northwest corner of Merrion Square).
Other examples, of which I have no photos - so sorry, are "The Floozie in the Jacuzzi" (it's been removed from its original location on O'Connell Street and is awaiting relocation - it was known as Anna Livia, in homage to James Joyce's nickname for the River Liffey) and "The Hags with the Bags" (a statue of 2 frumpy ladies with shopping bags at their feet near the Ha'penny Bridge), and "The Prick with the Stick" (statue of James Joyce located at the juncture of North Earl Street and O'Connell Street).
I saw a wonderful advertisment recently that was posted on the DART railway bridge that straddles the river right near the centre of the city. It read "Are you a North Cider of a south Cider". This clever little add for Magners cider`was a pun : if you swap the 'C' for an 'S' then it begins to make a little more sense.
True Dubliners themselves would never have to ask which you might be - but in essence a native of the North side of the city (as in north of the river Liffey) would be working class with a real inpenetrable Dublin accent. A south sider would be middle-class with a more urbane and cosmopolitan outlook. The accent would be somewhat less harsh.
These are of course crass sterotypes, but it provides a staple of any discussion amongst Dubliners who are at least united in the love of the 'ole drink - be it Magners or the more traditional black stuff.
There is a bit of 'rivalry' between the North Side and the South Side of Dublin. It's not as serious as it sounds and stereotypical in nature. Let me explain the cliche. The river Liffey marks the 'border'.
North side - Not as affluent as the Southside or as touristy. Working to lower middle class image, the rougher part of town. However, as is usual with this kind of stereotyping - there are of course really nice suburbs in North Dublin, but the lingering image from Roddy Doyle's books of a Northside where everyone gets mugged, knocked up, stoned or whatever are still around.
South side - inhabitants are more bourgeois, prentious, posher and have a rather affected accent. For example a Northsider would say 'I'm getting de Daaart home', his Southside counterpart would say 'Oim getting the DORT' . I guess you need to hear it for yourself.
(yes, boys & girls, you may have noticed I do live on the Northside!)
All around Dublin, you can pick up this free paper called "The Dublin Event Guide" with lots of great interviews, reviews and pub/club/restaurant/theatre/cinema/arts listings. So I'd advise you to check this paper out or check their website if you're looking for some nocturnal action
Dubliners are a funny bunch of people....we tend to take whats called the "***" out of each other....which is basically just making fun of each other....so dont take offence to anyone taking the *** its our way of breaking the ice so to speak.
There are many accents in Dublin....north, east, west and south Dublin have there own accents.....any americans coming to Dublin will probably find this very strange......
Friday and Saturdays nites are big nites out in Dublin its the END OF THE WEEKEND its the two days of the week that we all get to let our hair down...we work hard and play hard......so dont be surprised to see all the bars and clubs packed every weekend......make sure you book in advance in any nice restauraunts youve noticed while strolling around the streets during the day :0)
True Blue Dubs are called 'Jackeens' by everyone else outside Dublin. Well Dubs call us Culchies, so we're not taking that lying down!
Cork people often call them Jackeen Langers...it's not a compliment ;-)
This may be fairly unimportant, but is something I noticed. As far as I can remember, I never saw an Irish person take out a cigarette without offering smokes to every person in the group. Maybe this is a quirk of the particular crowd I made friends with, but I found it very nice. This was also true for chewing gum.
Funny how Ireland can have so many different accents being so small a country. Be prepared to ask people to repeat themselves a couple of times as the Dublin accent can be quite a stumper.
Another one I found rather difficult was the Cork accent and the Kerry accent takes some getting used to as well.
I'm no expert at accents and I'd probably be able to differentiate only a few but I'd like to try and list my favourite accents in Ireland:
1. Northern Ireland - I know you get different ones but to me they're all lovely. Only the Scottish accent beats it in my view.
2. Kerry - Most of my friends in Ireland seem to differ from me on this but I really do like the Kerry accent a lot.
3. Donegal - My girlfriend is originally from Donegal and even though she's lost the strong Donegal accent there's still a hint of it there and it's music to my ears.
4. Cork - Although it's quite hard for me to follow I will have to say that I rather like the Cork accent. It's almost melodical and I find it very intriguing.
n. Dublin - I don't know how many accents there are but if there are n accents then "Flat Dub" would be number n on my list. Having lived in Dublin for 2 years I've grown to deeply love the place and it's people but they have an awful accent. Only those London Cockneys are worse in my view.