Here in Northern Ireland we have a real problem with prolonged silences. As a result, we’re prone to idle chitchat and attempt to dish it out at every opportunity.
Our sense of community also means we will happily start up random conversation with any person we meet on the street.
Be honest, how many of these have you heard (or said)?
Even if it’s only Tuesday, you can bet we’ll be thinking of our Friday night pint (as if we needed an excuse).
We Northern Irish folk tend to be constantly reassuring each other that the weekend is in sight, and it will be the answer to all our woes.
It makes us feel like we’re all in the struggle together.
2. “Have you seen that there on the news? Isn’t that awful.”
Another form of mutual grouching usually comes in the form of bringing up current affairs. And let’s be honest, there’s always some carry-on happening in NI, so we’ve plenty to talk about.
3. “Jaysus, it’s baltic!”
It’s so cliched, yet it will never stop being talked about.
The weather is the go-to topic when waiting at bus stops, in queues, and really any other place you can possibly think of where there’s time to acknowledge your surroundings.
Northern Irish people love to comment on the dire weather as much as they love complaining as soon as the sun starts splitting the trees. It’s just the way we are.
Here in our wee country we like to personalise our conversations.
We don’t hold back, even with strangers, and love to let people know what’s happening in our lives.
Don’t be surprised if you leave a NI bus stop knowing about Sheila’s impending hip operation, her cousins new baby and what she had for breakfast.
5. “These buses are like bananas, coming in bunches.”
Good old Murphy’s Law. It’s stating the obvious of course, but that’s what we’re good at here in NI.
You wait half an hour for a bus and then three come along in quick succession.
It’s like they do it on purpose. But you can be sure we’ll be commenting on said bus activity if we’re standing at a stop for more than a minute.
There’s always someone who hasn’t got any cigarettes, and in Northern Ireland we like to fill silences with questions. Or scrounging a feg off your kindly neighbour.
Of course, this opens the door for further banter. (See above)
7. “Awk sure, it’ll be grand.”
In NI terms, it’ll always be grand. Even if you’ve crashed your brand new Mercedes, you’re wife’s having an affair with the plumber, World War Three has been declared or the bus just doesn’t arrive…sure “it’ll be grand”.
When discussing this very issue on their Facebook page Cool FM listeners were quick to add their own favourites. Including:
Naomi Morton: “When waiting in a queue my husband says ‘Come on, I’m growing a beard here.'”
John Valenciacf: “The unnecessary repeating of stuff…. ‘It’s good, so it is’ …. ‘I like it, so I do’ …. “We’re going there, so we are.'”
Emma Russell: “‘Does it look like I’m standing here for the craic?’ when someone pushes in front!”
How many more can you add to the list?