“Will you meet my friend?” 12 essential Irish words for kissing

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“My friend wants to know if you’ll meet me?” If this phrase brings back intense flashbacks or confuses you, then you’ve come to the right place. People in Ireland have some of the most creative turns of phrase but especially when it comes to Irish words for kissing.

That’s right we’ve gone far beyond using “French kissing” as a way to show our affections (or sloppy kisses), though perhaps on hearing some of the phrases at first, one might be extremely confused.

Here are 12 essential Irish words for kissing that you need to know.

1. To wear the face off of

This is pretty much as sloppy as it sounds. It is a very messy kiss usually seen in nightclubs. E.g. “He was wearing the face off of her.”

2. Getting the shift

I first came across this when I moved to Dublin. This is usually combined with “getting the ride”, which means to sleep with. E.g. “Did you get the shift?” Coming from Kerry, this was one of those new Irish words for kissing that initially confused me as we tended to use the phrase below.

3. Will you meet my friend?

As mentioned, this was the more common one for us to use in Kerry, though understandably to an outsider it can make no sense at all. Usually what would happen is a wing person would initiate the conversation with you, e.g. “Hey, my mate wants to know if you’ll meet them?”

4. Get off with

Very intense kissing but can also mean “to sleep with”. You can also use “get with” to mean the same thing and is probably tamer.

5. Do

Imagine being on the sticky floors of the club and some dose wanders up to you asking you this. This use of “do” is also along the lines of “meet”, so one might ask “Will you do me friend?”

People in Ireland have some of the most creative turns of phrase but especially when it comes to Irish words for kissing.
(It’s fair to say that Irish words for kissing come into use mostly in nightclubs and pubs)

6. Score

They shoot, they score! Straightforward enough and not as bananas as some of the other phrases. E.g. “I scored yer man last night.”

7. Lobbing the gob

Basically throwing your face or gob on top of someone for a passionate (probably messy) kiss.

8. Maul the face off of

Akin to animals in the wild and similar to “wearing the face off of”. My friend Shambi reckons he first heard it from a Wexford lad though I cannot confirm if this is county-specific. Let me know.

9. Ate the face

While researching, I definitely noticed a common pattern here. But eating / atein the face off of someone is similar to mauling and wearing in this context.

10. Póg

This is the Irish word for a “kiss” e.g. “give us a póg” or even cuter a “póigín”. This is not to be confused with asking something to “Póg Mo Thóin” (Kiss my arse). Unless of course, that’s what you’re into.

11. Jag

Though not specifically to do with kissing, this is Cork slang and it means to go on a date with a person. E.g. “I’ve a jag with Liam tonight”.

12. Bonus: “Being stuck to them like an octopus”

Thanks to my friend Clare for bringing this one to my attention which I think is pretty self-explanatory.

It turns out that we use a decent amount of kissing slang in Ireland!

Side note: Upon researching “Irish words for kissing”, I was mildly concerned when I discovered that people on Google kept searching for “Is kissing legal in Ireland?” However, when I brought it up with my friends they came to the following conclusions:

“I believe the law is that you have to leave enough room for the holy spirit to fit between you and your partner until you’re married” – A

“You must gaze at each other longingly across a field. Then if he intends to marry you he may put one cow in the field for your father or a goat for your mother. If they make it across the field you may marry. But you can only kiss at the end when the priest isn’t looking and Monday – Saturday from then onwards no more than thrice a day” – C

I'm a freelance content creator, author, and journalist who has a strong desire to share interesting content about Irish people and things about Ireland at home and abroad. I am constantly curious.


  1. Good to know you are here, as I am currently writing my second novel about Irish people. (However, my people are living in the early 18th Century, therefore I must be pretty inventive with their dialogue.).

  2. Sarah Murphy says:

    God this is so interesting I´ll definitely try using some of these terms when I head up to Dublin for college. So excited to leave Roscommon Town and ¨ate the face¨ off someone, please god a boy. Thanks guys.

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