The Irish goodbyes: The neverending phonecall and the night out Fade

By Aisling | October 22 2012 | 20 Comments

Irish people are incapable of ending a phone conversation.

We’ve invented lots of phrases like “sure I’ll let you go now” and “I’ve kept you long enough” and all that jazz to try to end a long and rambling phone conversation.  But it doesn’t always work.  For instance if the person you say that to is your mammy, she’ll invariably interrupt with an “Oh I forgot to tell you!” and launch into another anecdote about Brigid up the road, or someone you vaguely know who’s developed a horrible illness.

To which twenty minutes later you’ll STILL be trying to escape and using every excuse under the sun.

But even when the call finally ends you’re subjected to not one “Bye” – but thousands of them. Bye bye bye bye bye bye bye bye bye we say.  And then for good measure throw in another few bye byes

When did we start saying “Bye” a hundred times at the end of a phonecall?  Americans can’t get over this.  They hang up the phone – WITHOUT EVEN SAYING GOODBYE.

It’s just a click and the conversation is over.

But on a night out we’re quite different.  In America leaving without saying goodbye is known as “The Irish goodbye” ( according to Dee from Viva Adonis).  In Ireland it’s known as The Fade.  To go around saying goodbye to everyone takes bleedin ages at the end of a long night when you’re knackered, probably have a few on board and just want to head.  So it’s easier to Fade.  Simply slip away.

Are you guilty of either of these?

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20 Replies to "The Irish goodbyes: The neverending phonecall and the night out Fade"

  • I’m guilty of both. The neverending “bye bye byebye bye” at the end of a phonecall suprised me when i arrived in Ireland, but I am now guilty of doing it (cue my friends in France or in the UK laughing at me when I finish my calls with half a dozen bye).
    As for the goodbye at the end of a party, as much as I try to say goodbye to everyone, sometimes I’m just so tired and in a hurry to get home that I simply disappear (and then get phonecalls asking where am I)…

  • EllieSausage says:

    Guilty of Both…

    Generially i disappear on nights out- much easier then having to explain why i’m going home soooo early…(2am!!!)

    When it comes to Goodbyes on the phone…. i’ve got a few friends that are annoyingly hard to get rid of……these are my current ways of getting rid of them…

    ‘oh i’ve another call coming through..its mom..i’d better answer it…talk later’

    ‘Jez…(insert name here..Mary/Tom, Joan) the spuds are boiling over, i’ll ring you later’

    ‘Jez……(insert name here..Mary/Tom, Joan) i’m bursting for a pee… i’ll ring you again in a few min’

    ‘F**k the cops (if driving) and just hang up’

    I’ve also been known to divert my phone calls to 12345 so if i know a friend is due to ring and i can’t be bothered with another 4 hr converstaion they wont be able to get through to me, and then next time i’m talking to them mention that my phone has been ‘acting up’

    Have also not answered the phone on a number of occassions and claimed to have had to work late, or say that i was driving and the gardi were in the car behind me/in front of me!!!

  • Rosamaria says:

    I hate that “bye, bye, bye, bye” crack – I think it is very rude. I worked with someone for eight years who had mastered the ordinary “goodbye, hang up” routine. Then she developed the bye bye bye bye nonsense, I used to want to bang her over the head with the phone.

    On the fade, I always say goodbye to my host, then slope :). Works for me

  • Eva says:

    Haha – we DO call the “fade away” the Irish Goodbye in the States. And we use the term “fade away” to describe some tool who you’ve been seeing for a brief time who, instead of telling you he doesn’t want to date you anymore, simply makes himself less and less accessible and then stops calling altogether.

    I imagine fading away WOULD be easier than saying goodbye to a million people or telling some poor girl, “I can’t get over your giant head so I’d rather not see you again.”

    For a phone call that never ends, we Americans also like saying, “Oh, crap – I gotta call you back!” as though something terrible has just happened. Also guilty of simply hanging up and then later pretending the reception cut out….

  • Orla says:

    I’ve been called out on this at work here in London. They’ve noticed that when I’m on the phone to another office I’m fine, but if I’m on the phone to some of our Irish offices or other Irish staff the bye bye bye bye starts :) oops! I’m also guilty of the fade, but I’ll usually tell one key person who I know will pass on the message if anyone starts to wonder where I am :)

  • littlesis says:

    I think I would find it rude if someone didn’t do the ‘bye bye bye bye, take care now, bye thing!

  • Senora Espana says:

    I deliberately don’t do the bye bye bye bye bye thing because it just sounds so stupid. I allow myself one long bye – like this byyyyyyeeeeeee and thats it!
    I hate talking on the phone anyway so always try to keep my conversations short

  • Ladyjane says:

    Guilty of all of these! Also guilty of getting a text when I’m busy and the forgetting about it for a day or two!

  • jikl says:

    lol, Senora Espana, I’m going to steal your idea and try just the one long “byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee*breathe*eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” until they give up and hang up!

  • *caroline* says:

    A girl in the office took 20 minutes to say goodbye to her daughter one day.

    She speaks with her everyday and the longest part of the call is the the goodbye. It goes ‘so that’s it so…..ok….so that’s it so….ok………..20 minutes!

    I wanted to stapel her head.

  • BerG says:

    The bye, bye, bye, routine is very annoying. However, i am guilty of it when trying to extricate myself from the mammy on the phone. She just can’t take the hint, have resorted to inverting some emergency with the kids to get away from some of the mammoth chats.

    I like the Fade style, at the end of the night you just want to be home pronto so its handier to slip out. The Fade is mostly followed by Time Travel in my experience, you get home safe and sound wake up the next morning, and have absolutely no recollection of how you managed to get home.

  • *Aisling* says:

    BerG – Haha The Fade followed by Time Travel – I think I may have done that one quite a few times too!

  • ladyelvis says:

    When I lived in the States I remember it being called the Irish Goodbye! Guilty! In my version what happens is I realise I’m horribly drunk all of a sudden (ahem) and stand up from the table abruptly and say ‘I’ve to go now, bye’ then leave immediately. My friends all accept I do this, but if there are people there who I haven’t been out with before they think I’m a total oddball. Works for me!

  • boo says:

    I don’t do the bye bye bye thing.however when I talk to my friend from primary school it takes 1 hour minimum. Goodbyes take half an hour. Its so bad I can’t ring her if I’ve anything major to do in the evening. Texts not much better. Could go back and forth all evening. Don’t do the fade. I’m a natural born mammy and my imagination takes flight whenever someone does it esp when said person is then uncontactable. Its so dangerous girlies. What if something happens u on way home and no-one realises. Ok speech over.

  • Sunshine says:

    I always say ‘bye bye bye’ when hanging up, I didn’t realise that was just an Irish thing!

    And when I finally decide I’ve had enough to drink I want to be at home RIGHT NOW!

  • EllieSausage says:

    Boo..i’ve got the same problem, need loads of free time to talk to one friend in particular- there is no such thing as a short chat with her…which can be really annoying!!!!!!!!

  • boo says:

    I know. Sometimes if I need to check plans etc I ring for a “quick minute”it goes something like this.I’m only ringing for a second …. half an hour later, Ok I’m really going this time and then maybe ten minutes later the call might end. In saying that I’d be lost without her. Whenever my husband family job etc is driving me nuts I just pick up the phone. Always feel better after.

  • IceQueen says:

    The boyfriend is very guilty of the Fade. But the lads call it “doing a burner”.
    Its actually become a bit of an issue now coz its generally assumed that he has gone home when he disappears. And he doesnt answer his phone when they text/ring to find out if he’s okay. They have stopped bothering now.
    I’m just waiting for the day when he bumps into someone accidentally (as we all do when drunk and cant walk straight!!) has the head beaten off him, and the lads never know any different coz he didnt bother saying goodbye to anyone!!

    Not to put a downer on the post or anything!!

  • Louise says:

    The ‘Fade’ is known as a ‘Slipsy’ in my circle of friends. Being that I was always the last to bail out of any gathering involving alcohol and nattering my first Slipsy was met with an uproar (I was 30) not too bad methinks.
    I hate that bye bye bye business,my mam does it but she does it with a little laugh,which I don’t understand but I let it slide because she’s cute :-)

  • Sinbon says:

    Oh that gets on my wobbly bits. Goodbye once is enough.

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