- of, relating to, or characteristic of Ireland, its inhabitants, or their language.
- get one's Irish up, Informal. to become angry or outraged: Don't go getting your Irish up over a little matter like that.
Origin of Irish
- of, relating to, or characteristic of Ireland, its people, their Celtic language, or their dialect of English
- informal, offensive ludicrous or illogical
- the Irish (functioning as plural) the natives or inhabitants of Ireland
- another name for Irish Gaelic
Word Origin and History for get one's irish up
c.1200, Irisce, from stem of Old English Iras "inhabitant of Ireland," from Old Norse irar, ultimately from Old Irish Eriu (accusative Eirinn, Erinn) "Erin," which is from Old Celtic *Iveriu (accusative *Iverionem, ablative *Iverione), perhaps from PIE *pi-wer- "fertile," literally "fat," from root *peie- "to be fat, swell" (see fat (adj.)).
Meaning "temper, passion" is 1834, American English (first attested in writings of Davy Crockett), from the legendary pugnacity of Irish people. Irish-American is from 1832; Irish coffee is from 1950. Wild Irish (late 14c.) originally were those not under English rule; Black Irish in reference to those of Mediterranean appearance is from 1888.