Culchies are what one may describe as ‘a rare breed’, but we love them nonetheless.
As an agricultural nation, much of Ireland’s population is made up of country-folk or ‘culchies’. So, here are ten facts about culchies you never knew.
If you aren’t from the island of Ireland, you may wonder what we mean when we use the word ‘culchie’. To summarise, ‘culchie’ is a word often used to refer to someone living in rural Ireland.
Culchies across Ireland are often painted in a negative light, thanks to stereotypes and labels propagated about them, but the truth is, we all love them, really.
10. They love talking about the weather – grand stretch in the evening
One of the facts about culchies you never knew is that they absolutely love talking about the weather.
It could be down to the majority of their work being outdoors. Or maybe they just find talking about the weather an effective way to make small talk. Whatever the reason, you’re sure to hear them mention the weather at least once in a conversation.
Common phrases include, “There’s a grand stretch in the evenings” and “It’s a good day for drying.”
9. A culchie playlist – a strange taste in music
Culchies have a unique taste in music, and there are a few artists who regularly feature on every culchie playlist.
Well-known names include Nathan Carter, Daniel O’Donnell, Hugo Duncan, Garth Brooks, Derek Ryan, and more. Plus, when songs like ‘Hit the Diff’ come on, every culchie in the room will be sure to hit the dancefloor.
8. A wake – a strange tradition
Wakes are a common tradition all across Ireland, and they are one of the things Irish people do that the rest of the world might find weird.
However, culchie wakes take it to a whole new level. While the death of a loved one is a time of mourning, a culchie wake also takes on its own unique sense of celebration.
The Irish wake celebrates the life of the deceased, and culchie wakes can often turn into a late-night party with drinks, dance, and music.
7. Gossip – they know everything
While houses may be far apart out in the Irish countryside, rural communities are often tight-knit and insular.
This means that everyone in the neighbourhood knows everyone – and with that comes everyone’s business. Culchies are notorious gossipers, and they are sure to know everything that’s going on with everyone in the local area.
6. Experienced drivers – starting from a young age
Something that often comes hand in hand with life in rural Ireland is working on the farm from a young age. Accompanying that farm work is often the responsibility of driving a tractor.
Due to this, many culchies have to learn to drive from as young as 11 or 12, meaning by the time they take their test at the age of 17, they already have years of driving experience.
5. Their own sense of style – the culchie uniform
One of the facts about culchies you never knew is that they have their own unique uniform. Cutting about (that is culchie for going about your business) during the day, culchies can be found wearing a pair of jeans and a GAA jersey.
In the evening, they’ll swap out the GAA jersey for a check shirt, maybe throw on a body warmer, and put on their best pair of brown shoes.
4. They hate the Dubs – a fierce rivalry
Across Ireland, there is a fierce rivalry between country folk and city dwellers.
Many living in Dublin view everyone living outside the city boundaries and culchies, no matter if they live in the centre of one of the country’s other big cities.
While friendships can form between individual culchies and ‘Dubs’ (Dublin residents), there is a fierce rivalry between the two groups as a whole.
3. A very specific diet – life on the farm
If you’re a vegetarian heading out into rural Ireland, we advise you not to mention the fact as you might offend some culchies along the way.
Culchies have a very specific diet that consists of potatoes, ham sandwiches, Tayto crisps, pints of Guinness, and stew as the main staples. If you try to advise a culchie on your dietary requirements, you might be accused of ‘having notions’.
2. Big GAA fans – a big social event
GAA is not just a sport to culchies; it’s a way of life. Match days are a big deal, and entire towns and villages can be seen descending on the local stadium.
Customs around match day include decorating with bunting in county colours, drinking tea out of a flask in the pouring rain, and setting up a Twitter account solely to check the GAA results.
1. Their very own language – brush up on the lingo
Before embarking on a conversation with a culchie, you may want to spend some time brushing up on the local slang.
One of the facts about culchies you never knew is that they speak in their very own language, which can be very hard to understand if you aren’t familiar with it!
Some common phrases include, “How’s she cuttin’?”, which means, “How are you?”; starting every sentence with “Well…”; and saying “bai” at the end of every sentence for no apparent reason.