What Being Irish Means

Joseph Keefe

"Being Irish…Contemplations on the Nature and Meaning of the Irish Race", © 2001
used with author’s permission



  1. You will never play professional basketball.

  2. You swear very well.

  3. At least one of your cousins holds political office.

  4. You think you sing very well.

  5. You have no idea how to make a long story short.

  6. You are very good at playing a lot of very bad golf.

  7. There isn't a huge difference between losing your temper and killing someone.

  8. Much of your food was boiled.

  9. You have never hit your head on the ceiling.

  10. You spent a good portion of your childhood kneeling.

  11. You're strangely poetic after a few beers.

  12. You're, therefore, poetic a lot.

  13. You will be punched for no good reason…a lot.

  14. Some punches directed at you are legacies from past generations.

  15. Your sister will punch you because your brother punched her.

  16. Many of your sisters are Catherine, Elizabeth or Mary, and one is Mary Catherine Elizabeth.

  17. Someone in your family is incredibly cheap. It is more than likely you.

  18. You don't know the words, but that doesn't stop you from singing.

  19. You can't wait for the other guy to stop talking so you can start talking.

  20. "Irish Stew" is the euphemism for "boiled leftovers from the fridge."

  21. You're not nearly as funny as you think you are, but what you lack in talent, you make up for in frequency.

  22. There wasn't a huge difference between your last wake and your last keg party.

  23. You are, or know someone, named "Murph."

  24. If you don't know Murph, then you know Mac, if you don't know Murph or Mac, then you know Sully, and you'll probably also know Sully McMurphy.

  25. You are genetically incapable of keeping a secret.

  26. Your parents were on a first name basis with everyone at the local emergency room.

  27. And last but not least…Being Irish means…your attention span is so short that—oh, forget it.

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