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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Kiss Me! I'm A Hooligan!

With St. Patrick's Day arriving soon (it's next Tuesday, in case you haven't been keeping track), I thought I would explore a little Irish. Gaelic, that is. Did you know that all of these words have their roots in Ireland?

Banshee is taken from the Irish bean sídhe, which means "a female of the fairies or elves". It refers to a supernatural being which wails under the windows of a house where one of the people is about to die.

Bard is from the Irish word bàrd. It has come to mean "a lyric or epic poet".

Boycott was adopted from one Captain Boycott, an agent on an estate in Ireland. Apparently, he was not in great favor among his tenants. With the help of the Irish Land League, every single person working on his estate quit. It now means "to isolate and ostracize".

Hubbub is thought to come from the ancient Gaelic war cry ub! ub! ubub! The definition is "a confused noise of a multitude shouting or yelling".

Hooligan may be derived from Hooley's gang. It is defined as "a young street rough or a member of a street gang".

After immersing myself in all of this Irish English, I'm ready to go to the parade. The Hal and Mal's St. Paddy's Day parade. Don't miss it!

Oxford English Dictionary Credo Reference

1 comment:

  1. Nice plug for the parade! (I misspelled parage in my first post.)


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