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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:08 pm 
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I just got this book through my library, and it looks quite interesting:

http://www.irishamericancrossroads.org/slang.html

I may never become versed in learning a new language but there is some comfort in knowing I may have been using bits of it all along :)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:59 pm 
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osage59 wrote:
I just got this book through my library, and it looks quite interesting:

http://www.irishamericancrossroads.org/slang.html

I may never become versed in learning a new language but there is some comfort in knowing I may have been using bits of it all along :)


I'm afraid the book has more entertainment value than anything else. The guy who wrote it, while very enthusiastic, didn't actually speak Irish, and had no background in linguistics. The book is mainly based on speculation, and most of his conclusions are considered to be pretty "out there" by Irish scholars.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:20 am 
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Aye, the Irish invented slang, and the Occitaniés invented rhyming slang. Or was that the Basques?

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:27 am 
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. . . cuts through two hundred years of Anglo-American academic "baloney" and reveals the massive, hidden influence of the Irish language on American vernacular and slang. Irish-derived words and phrases – like snazzy, swell, dude, scam, slum, say "uncle", sucker, knickknack, twerp, nincompoop, moolah, racketeer, rookie, ballyhoo, dork, freak, hoodoo, Dead Rabbit, and jazz – are scattered across the American language . . .

Oidh bheidh.

My only question is whether this is innocent armchair etymology as expression of ethnic pride, or something that veers into Barry Fell/Welsh-speaking Indians territory.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:32 pm 
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Seonachan wrote:
Quote:
. . . cuts through two hundred years of Anglo-American academic "baloney" and reveals the massive, hidden influence of the Irish language on American vernacular and slang. Irish-derived words and phrases – like snazzy, swell, dude, scam, slum, say "uncle", sucker, knickknack, twerp, nincompoop, moolah, racketeer, rookie, ballyhoo, dork, freak, hoodoo, Dead Rabbit, and jazz – are scattered across the American language . . .

Oidh bheidh.

My only question is whether this is innocent armchair etymology as expression of ethnic pride, or something that veers into Barry Fell/Welsh-speaking Indians territory.


A little bit of both, I think.

The sad thing is, while there IS a good case for some English slang words being derived from Irish ("snazzy" from "snasta" springs immediately to mind, and "smashing" from "is maith sin"), he goes too far in his speculations.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:43 pm 
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Redwolf wrote:
while there IS a good case for some English slang words being derived from Irish

And/or Scottish Gaelic?

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:09 pm 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
Redwolf wrote:
while there IS a good case for some English slang words being derived from Irish

And/or Scottish Gaelic?

Well yes, the Scottish Gaels also claim "'s math sin" and "snasail", for example. I'm sure in several cases, where the forms are similar and used with equal frequency, it wouldn't be possible (or productive) to try to distinguish which variety "made it" into English.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:40 pm 
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I would say that the strongest argument for Irish being the source of some of these is the sheer number of Irish speakers who immigrated (or were transported) to the U.S., England and Australia vs. the number of Scottish Gaelic speakers, especially from the mid-19th century forward. When and where a particular term first cropped up would probably be key.

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