When Irish-American families get together, the adults seem to unveil the heights of their Irish habits in front of the children. Once someone asks, “What’s the craic?” that’s usually the start of a conversation that could go deep. The story might get long if the person asked responds, “divil a bit” and gives details. Talking about the craic could be said in many ways. Some ask, “How’s the craic?” and “Any craic?”
After some months of not seeing the Irish side of the family, someone might say as soon as they see you enter the door, “I haven’t seen you in donkey’s years!” which just means that they haven’t seen you in a long time. Now try saying that with a non-Irish friend and see their reaction. How does one really compute donkey’s years? I’m not so sure.
Another thing I usually hear from the men is “Slainte!” when they raise their cups and propose a toast. This means drinking to one’s health. When you go to an Irish pub for the first time, you’ll hear it a lot until you get used to it.
Now practice what I’ve taught you. The next time you see a friend you haven’t seen in donkey’s years, ask him if he has any craic. Invite him or her to the pub and cheer “Slainte!” to all the good things in life.