What does the Irish word the Craic mean?
If you have never had “The Craic” then you are missing out. But what is the Craic, the most straightforward definition of the word is fun or enjoyment. The true meaning encompasses something far greater than just a bit of fun.
For me “The Craic” is a pint of Irish beer in hand, lively conversation and good music. All this should be enjoyed in the company of good friends old or new. There is nothing better than a session in Darky Kellys with a local session in full swing. So what ever you do, get out your door, talk to the locals ask them “What’s the Craic?” Then find a warm pub with lively music and soak up the atmosphere. But be warned don’t ask “How’s your Craic?” that means something completely different.
What is the craic? It’s an Irish word you should know if you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
Origins of the word Craic.
Craic is usually associated with Irish pubs, but alcohol is not a necessary ingredient, to experience the social essence of craic. Music, on the other hand, is widely known to enhance the craic.
“Craic” (/kræk/ KRAK) or “crack” is a term for news, gossip, fun, entertainment, and enjoyable conversation, particularly prominent in Ireland. It is often used with the definite article – the craic – as in the expression
“What’s the craic?” (meaning “How are you?” or “What’s happening?”). The word has an unusual history; the English crack was borrowed into Irish as Craic in the mid-20th century and the Irish spelling was then re-borrowed into English. Under either spelling, the term has great cultural currency and significance in Ireland. Reference Wikipedia
An Irish American Mom thinks the word was borrowed from the English term ‘wisecrack’, meaning joke, as late as the mid-20th century, merely ten or twenty years before my birth. Newspaper articles from the 1950’s used the word, but spelled it ‘crack’. Not until the 1960’s was the Gaelicized version of the word ‘craic’ first seen. That’s the decade of my birth, so the Irish claim on the word may only be as old as I am. I don’t know if the ‘craic’ should feel young, or I should feel old.
A speaker’s meaning, when using the word craic, is totally dependent on phrasing. Here are some examples of its usage, with my best efforts at American English translation:
How’s the craic? / What’s the craic? / Any craic? = How are you? How are you doing? Any gossip?
Craic agus ceol = Fun and music
We had great craic last night = We had great fun last night.
She’s great craic altogether = She is great fun and great company.
The craic was mighty / The craic was ninety = The fun was brilliant.