Slán abhaile

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"Slán abhaile" to British soldiers: a mural in Northern Ireland, featuring a reference to The Yomper

Slán abhaile is an Irish phrase used to bid goodbye to someone who is travelling home. A literal translation is 'safe home', which is used in the same way in Hiberno-English.[1] Slán ("safe", roughly pronounced 'slawn' in Leinster Irish or 'slen' in Ulster Irish) is used in many Irish-language farewell formulas; abhaile (roughly pronounced 'awallya') means "homeward".

In Ireland, "slán abhaile" often appears on signs on roads leaving a town or village.[2] It is on official signs encouraging drivers to drive safely from town to town.

In Northern Ireland, the phrase has also appeared on many Irish Republican murals as a farewell to the British Armed Forces, the ending of whose presence was a major goal of Irish republicanism.[3]


  1. ^ Terence Patrick Dolan (2006). A Dictionary of Hiberno-English: The Irish Use of English. Terence Patrick Dolan. pp. 1–. ISBN 978-0-7171-4039-8. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
  2. ^ B. Gerad O'Brien (1 September 2003). Dreamin' Dreams: A Collection of Short Irish Stories. iUniverse. pp. 104–. ISBN 978-0-595-29057-4. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
  3. ^ Neil Jarman (1 May 1997). Material Conflicts: Parades and Visual Displays in Northern Ireland. Berg. pp. 246–. ISBN 978-1-85973-129-1. Retrieved 22 April 2012.