Today’s secret word is gorgeous. Let’s see how it works.
American-English: That sweater you got from KMart is pretty cute.
Hiberno-English: That jumper you’re after buying from Dunnes is just gorgeous!
Got it? Cute/pleasing = gorgeous. That goes for budget clothes, people, objects, and behavior. I can be gorgeous if I feel like it, just by buying a round of drinks! Who knew it was that easy? And to think of all the money I’ve spent on dresses and deodorant.
The way the Irish use gorgeous strikes me as interesting, especially when you note that in most cases, it’s American-English that veers towards the spastic while Hiberno-English is reserved.
American-English: Thanks, dude! That’s awesome.
Hiberno-English: Grand. Cheers.
American-English: Have a nice day!
Hiberno-English: Good luck to ya.
American-English: Omg! You got the job! High-five, dude! Congrats!
Hiberno-English: Well done.
In sum – take the enthusiasm down a notch. But if you want to look gorgeous, head to Dunnes.