Not Sure How to Honor Ireland on St. Patrick's Day? Just Shout "Erin Go Bragh!"

If you find yourself at a St. Patrick's Day celebration, you'll hear plenty of people shouting "Erin go Bragh." What does the phrase mean?

Allison DeGrushe - Author

Mar. 17 2023, Updated 11:32 a.m. ET

The Flag of Ireland.
Source: Getty Images

If you plan on heading to a St. Patrick's Day celebration on March 17, be prepared to hear plenty of "Erin go Bragh" chants. The phrase is one of the most commonly heard around the holiday, but if you're unaware of its meaning, you might be wondering, "Who the heck is Erin?"

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If you're confused by what "Erin go Bragh" means, we pledge to help you avoid any awkward encounters. So, stick around as we fill you in on all you need to know about the phrase, its meaning, and its connection to St. Patrick's Day.

The letting of Erin Go Bragh.
Source: Getty Images
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What does "Erin go Bragh" mean?

According to, "Erin go Bragh" is Irish for "Ireland forever." It typically expresses allegiance to Ireland as well as to the Irish people and their culture. However, if we're talking in more literal terms, the Gaelic phrase's direct translation is "Ireland 'til the end of time."

The phrase can be traced back to the Irish Rebellion of 1798, in which the United Irishmen sought their independence from British rule. Though things didn't end well for the United Irishmen, reports that they waved flags embellished with "Erin go Bragh" and are said to have hollered the phrase as a rallying cry during battle.

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Why do we say “Erin go Bragh” on St. Patrick’s Day?

When it comes to St. Patrick's Day extravaganzas, we highly recommend preparing your voice because you'll be shouting "Erin go Bragh" repeatedly. Seeing as the holiday honors the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, and praises the country and its culture as a whole, there's no reason millions wouldn't cry out the Irish phrase for "Ireland forever."

As we stated before, "Erin go Bragh" signals one's loyalty to Ireland, so what better day to express your devotion than St. Patrick's Day? If someone says it to you, make sure to respond in kind. Try "Happy St. Patrick's Day" or "Sláinte," the Irish toast that loosely translates to "good health."

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