Explaining To Everyone Else The Corkonian Use Of The Word 'Like'

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Galway City, Ireland

'Like'... a simple word. The dictionary definition: 'similar; equal; resembling; likely; feeling disposed. adj. or prep.' However, Cork people have embraced this word and made it their own. Cork slang can loosely broken down to three words: 'boy', 'sure' and, most commonly, 'like'. In this article, 'like' will be discussed.

The use of this word is widespread and varied. Negative, positive, space-filler, pessimistic, optimistic — even as an insult! One common and extremely helpful Cork phrase is 'Sure you know yourself, like'. An example of using this phrase is:

'Did you punch Harry in the face last night and steal and subsequently crash his car, while singing the Tahitian national anthem?'

'Sure you know yourself, like.'

This usage, therefore, asks the question back at the questioner, probably because the responder can't remember much about last night, other than that they went to sleep in a tree wearing the Tahitian national costume.

Another form of this phrase is the ever popular 'D'ja know, like'. This is a less-formal version. Only use it with a friend, friend's mother, friend's partner, partner's mother, bouncer, bouncer's mother or some guy in the toilet called Tom. It can also be used in a questioning way, this being noted due to the high-pitched tone with which the sentence ends.

But perhaps the word is most used completely randomly in a sentence. Often it's a regional variation on the use of 'erm' when trying to think of something. In this case, the Corkonian will screw their eyes up and draw out the word for as long as it takes: 'Lllliiiikkkkkeeeee'. The complete randomness of the phrase often confuses 'The forners, like', as they usually speak correct English. Here is an example of random 'liking':

Story, fiend. You know, like, I was headin' off, like, the Peno, when, boy, I saw a serious feckin', like,

langer, d'ja know, like?

Add to the mix a thick Mayfield accent and distinctive pronunciation of the letter 'n' as a softly stressed 'nee'. Confusion reigns supreme during the summer months outside the tourist information centre.

But 'like' has become an institution. Recently, in an ad campaign by the Cork brewer Murphy's, the catch phrase 'A home coming, like' was used. In fact, it is beloved by all of Leeside. Yup — Cork, the home of 'like'.

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09.02.06 Front Page

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1Trans = 'Good day, my friend. I was just leaving Patrick's Street when I saw a right damnable drunkard prick.'2A note on the author: LeRue is a recovering Corkman... one day at a time... like.33A note on the note on the author: LeRue actually likes being from Cork... stop lookin' incredulous, boy!

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