Green’s Dictionary of Slang

Irish n.

1. (orig. US) temper.

[US]D. Crockett Narrative of the Life of D.C. (1934) 45: Her Irish was up too high to do anything with her.
[US]‘Mark Twain’ Adventures of Snodgrass n.p.: She’d got up her Irish now and didn’t keer a scratch for bars and nothin else [R].
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 24 Jan. 12/4: Mr Murphy [...] felt his Irish was getting up.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 6 Oct. 24/1: Sharkey, whose ‘Irish’ was up, went in to finish – bashing, swinging, and uppercutting with savage ferocity, but Fitz. managed to dodge the worst until he got a chance to give Sharkey a fearful dig with the right in the victualling dept.
[US]Reno (NV) Eve. Gazette 28 Apr. 2/2: Temper is ‘Irish.’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 11 Oct. 16/3: Said ’twas the Irish in him that did it, and he won several goes until his hat got too small; but one night at Mulligan’s he took on a hard case and got ‘jip’ for about seven rounds.
[US] ‘Central Connecticut Word-List’ in DN III:i 12: Irish, n. Temper.
[US] S. Ford Shorty McCabe 69: The Lady Brigandess she had stood that for a while, until one day she gets her Irish up.
[US]Van Loan ‘The Revenge of Kid Morales’ in Taking the Count 277: When he gets his Irish up he ain’t got a lick of sense.
[US]Wood & Goddard Dict. Amer. Sl.
[UK]G. Kersh Fowlers End (2001) 298: Before they fight, it is necessary for them to stamp and champ themselves into that state of manic depression which they call ‘getting their Irish up’.
[US](con. 1950) E. Frankel Band of Brothers 112: Patrick sure had his Irish up.
F. Deford Sports Illus. June [Internet] He was mad, he had his Irish up.
[US]Maledicta IX 56: Irish n [L] Sexual temperament or fury.

2. see Irish arms under Irish adj.

3. (US) constr. with the, potatoes.

[US]Lima News (OH) 19 Feb. 10/2: Spuds are up. One armed joints announce no more of the irish will be served free with meats.

4. (US) ‘especially forceful sadomasochistic scenario or partner; Irish typically denotes violence and blood’.

[US]personal ad, adult bookstore Murray & Murrell Lang. Sadomasochism (1989) 85: Anyone out there into strong Irish? I command you to call me! Weaklings and the squeamish need not apply.