Irish Good Luck: Do You Know Where This Expression Came From? Find Out Here!

Most people recognize the idea of Irish good luck, and the phrase 'the luck of the Irish,' is commonly used around the world.  But do you really know what it means? Is it being blessed by the chance to live in such a beautiful country? Does it have something to do with Irish pubs and wonderful food?

Irish Good Luck - Green Horseshoe

The truth is, the phrase has more than just one meaning and there are also multiple stories about where it comes from. 

So read on!  And if you should find yourself wanting more information about Irish heritage and customs, please visit our Irish trivia and traditions page here...

Meanwhile, let's talk about Irish good luck!

Irish Good Luck:  Two Interpretations...

People will proclaim “The Luck o' the Irish” when they find something or get lucky somehow.  The phrase conjures up images of finding a four-leaf clover or a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  This is one interpretation, and it's our favorite.

On the other hand, there is a more cynical interpretation, tied to some of the darker times in Irish history.  Ireland has had its share of difficult times as a nation, so on occasion the term is used sarcastically to refer to bad luck.

Now Back to the Fun...

However most use it as a happy expression - and that's definitely the one we prefer! One possible source of the idea of Irish good luck was the silver and gold rush years in America.

At that time several of the most profitable miners were of Irish decent. Irishmen like John Mackay, James Flood, James Fair and William O'Brien were recognized as the "Silver Kings" when they hit the legendary Comstock Lode.

Eventually the connection of the Irish with the mining fortunes made by them led to the phrase "Luck of the Irish."

Today we see many occasions with "Luck of the Irish" themes, including "LOTI" cook-offs on St. Patrick's Day, cooking all their favorite dishes for the crowds of family and friends lucky enough to partake.

Want More Irish Traditions?

It is probably obvious - at Irish Expressions, we love Irish traditions!  Expressing ourselves through Irish-themed activities gives us a deeper sense of connection with Ireland, wherever in the world we happen to be!

Over the years, we have created many free, downloadable Irish games, puzzles, recipes, songbooks, travel guides, party plans, and much, much more.

These are immediately available to you - completely free of charge.

Just scroll to the bottom of the page and share your email address to get instant access!

What's Next?

At Irish Expressions, our our goal is simple: to provide you with a unique Irish experience, on demand, wherever you are in the world.

If you have already enjoyed our section on famous Irish sayings, you have probably been exposed to some of the best Irish wit and wisdom Emerald Isle has to offer.

Will that entice you to visit Ireland - or to return if you have already been?  We hope so!  

But even if that is not possible, you can still enjoy the magic of Ireland in these pages.  Check out the links at the top of the page for simple instructions on how to explore Irish landmarks, sing Irish songs, enjoy Irish food, and much more!

Your Personal Irish Expression

One way to share your love of Ireland is by displaying your family coat of arms (family crest).  A very personal symbol of the stories and accomplishments of your ancestors can adorn clothing, kitchenware, wall art, personal accessories and so much more. 

Want to have a look?  Our friends at House of Names can help! 

Tap the button below and see your family crest for free!

Search for Family Name Button

Want to Feel More Connected to Ireland?  Here's How!

At Irish Expressions we believe everybody – well almost everybody! - has an "Irish side."  So how nice would it be to have access to a fun, free Irish experience, on demand, wherever in the world you happen to be?

Over the years we have compiled many free, downloadable resources including lyrics, recipes, games, jokes, blessings and much, much more.  Would you like to receive them ALL for FREE?  Simply share your email for instant access!


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A Note from Bruce

If you would like to see more from Irish Expressions, you can find us on Facebook and Pinterest. You can also communicate with us using our contact form here. 

And of course you can always reach out to me directly at

However you choose to connect, we would love to hear from you!  Meanwhile, thanks for visiting!  I hope that we will meet someday, in person or online, and you can tell me about your own connection to the Emerald Isle.

Until then, best wishes -

Bruce Grady, and the team at