Spic

The word spic is used as a racial slur in America for people of Hispanic descent. There are various theories about where it comes from, all of them more convincing than the absurd Irish explanation offered by Daniel Cassidy in his fraudulent trashfest, How The Irish Invented Slang.

Some people regard spic as derived from Hispanic. Others point to a shortening of an obsolete term ‘spiggoty’, a phonetic rendering of how an Hispanic might say ‘no spiggoty English’ (no speaka da English).

Cassidy claims that it comes from spioc, which he says means ‘Spioc (pron. spic), n., a spark; a “firebrand”, a person of irate, impulsive, hot-tempered ways. Spioc fir, a man subject to sudden fits of temper. Spioc mná, an excitable woman. (Dineen, 1099.)’

There is no such word as spioc in Irish. Dinneen gives the word as spioch, which is not pronounced as spic. It is pronounced something like shpigh or shpugh, with the gh like the gh of Irish lough or simply as a harsh h sound.

The usual spelling of this word is speach and this is the only form of it given in Ó Dónaill’s dictionary. Ó Dónaill defines it as ‘kick, recoil, snap, fit or spasm, the equivalent of speachaire (an animal given to kicking, an irascible person).’

How can you possibly take a ‘work of scholarship’ seriously if its author couldn’t even be bothered to copy words out of a dictionary properly?

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