A while back, I came across a blog by someone called Éamon Loingsigh. I have to confess, I don’t understand the name. It needs to be either Mac Loingsigh or Ó Loingsigh and without either the word for son or grandson the genitive form of Loingseach, Loingsigh makes no sense.
Anyway, his blog contains a number of references to Daniel Cassidy’s work. As you would expect from someone who is an active supporter of a proven charlatan, the blog shows an almost total indifference to the facts. Many of Cassidy’s claims which have been dealt with and dismissed, not only by me but by other scholars, are simply trotted out as though they were facts, though a number of the supposed Irish words as given by Loingsigh are written wrongly, even in terms of the way Cassidy gave them in the book. Thus Loingsigh has béal ánna as the origin of baloney, not béal ónna as Cassidy claimed (and of course, neither of them are genuine Irish anyway!) He has de raig where Cassidy has de ráig, gearr-ol ur where Cassidy has gearr-ól úr and he has bás (the Irish for death, not boss) where Cassidy had bas.
We are also told that the word “moniker” can be attributed to the word, “munik” in Irish gypsy language called Shelta, again, we can thank Mr. Cassidy for figuring this out. Really? So how come my Collins’ English Dictionary, published in 1990, says that moniker comes from Shelta munnik? Wow, that was a difficult discovery to make! That dictionary is quite big and you could do yourself a mischief turning those heavy pages! Loingsigh’s posts show no originality or ability to research or to think critically. Again, this is typical of Cassidy’s supporters. For example, here are a few paragraphs of the utter crap which he offers:
Even as the cloistered British professors and American Anglophiles tried disassembling Cassidy’s evidence, the research ended up becoming a breakthrough that stifled the English language protectorates. These Oxfordonians would much rather avoid admitting any influence on the English language such as slang that came from the tenant farmers in Ireland that were exiled to American cities like Boston, Philadelphia and New York where, on the city streets, the secretive slang of rebels and thieves reached up into daily usage.
When the How the Irish Invented Slang won the 2007 American Book Award for nonfictional, it was settled. Although some research still needed to be done to have multiple sources, it was established that the Irish language had had a profound and previously undocumented influence on the English language.
Unearthed by Cassidy’s studying of a Foclóir Póca, or Irish-EnglishFocloir Poca pocket dictionary along with the skills produced by studying the language and history of the Irish in his position at the head of the Irish Studies program at New College of California, Cassidy uncovered lingual gems such as the word “crony.”
Pure nonsense, without any basis in fact. Whatever stifling their protectorates (???) has meant for the dictionary dudes, they haven’t come any closer to accepting the half-arsed nonsense in Cassidy’s book as fact. Nor will they, because the book is almost entirely rubbish. Yeah, ‘some research needed to be done to have multiple sources’ – multiple as in more than zero, that is! Because there isn’t any evidence for the existence of a word like comhrogha in Irish in the sense of friend or pal, so how can it be the origin of crony? And most of Cassidy’s claims are the same.
The reason why I have decided to have a go at Eamon Loingsigh is very simple and it’s the same reason why I started this blog. I don’t like bullshit. I posted a comment on Loingsigh’s website explaining that Cassidy’s ideas were nonsense and that he had got it wrong. Did he engage in discussion, defend his ideas, find some evidence? Nope. The comment sat awaiting moderation for six weeks and I am assuming that it has now been deleted. This is typical of the behaviour of Cassidy’s supporters. When challenged with hard facts, they scuttle under the nearest rock and refuse to engage in debate. It is probably typical of deniers and pseudoscientists everywhere. They want to hold forth like experts but ask them to actually present some evidence and they turn tail and run. Pathetic!