According to Daniel Cassidy in his ridiculous work of fake etymology, How The Irish Invented Slang, the origins of the word longshoreman lie in the Irish language. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union disagrees with him. According to their website:

“The origins of the ILWU lie in the longshore industry of the Pacific Coast – the work of loading and unloading ships’ cargoes. In the old days of clipper ships, sailings were frequently unscheduled and labor was often recruited at the last minute by shoreside criers calling: “Men along the shore!” – giving rise to the term “longshoremen.” The work was brutal, conditions unsafe, employment irregular, and the pay too low to support a family.”

According to Daniel Cassidy, who probably never did an honest day’s work in his life, the word longshoreman comes from the Irish loingseoir, which is one word (along with mairnéalach, maraí, farraigeach and seoltóir) for sailor. It is pronounced lingshore. Why the lubbers along the docks would be called sailors when they unloaded cargoes is difficult to explain but then almost nothing Cassidy wrote stands up to any scrutiny at all. It’s all ballyhoo and no bally substance.

5 thoughts on “Longshoreman

  1. Susan Cassidy Connors

    Danny was alway an FOS person–he was older than he claimed, was a liar and a thief, and tore the family apart.
    BTW, he did attend Cornell, but flunked out!

  2. Debunker Post author

    Hi Susan, That really is an amazing revelation! Tell me this, did he then get a degree somewhere else, or was he the only professor in the history of academia with no third-level qualifications whatsoever?

  3. DebunkerOfCassidy Post author

    I should also point out that loingseoir was claimed as the origin of longshoreman on October 8, 2003 by someone called Tomás, on the Daltaí Boards, a forum also frequented by a certain Dancas1. In other words, this was another piece of plagiarism on Cassidy’s part!

  4. portglenone

    Sadly, I heard this explanation on a television programme hosted by the late Gerry Anderson. I, like Anderson I presume, accepted it as accurate and even more sadly, passed the revelation on. It was on TV after all.

  5. DebunkerOfCassidy Post author

    I wouldn’t beat yourself up about it. This is actually one of the more credible claims in the book (though I’m quite sure it’s not true). And it’s not as if you’re not in good company. Think of all the public figures and writers and academics who were conned and suckered by this ignorant Poncán fuckwit: Joe Lee, John Rickford, Eamonn McCann, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, Thaddeus Russell, Peter Quinn, Mick Moloney, Liam Ó Cuinneagáin, Margaret McPeake, Sean Williams AKA Captain Grammar Pants, Frank McAnally of the Irish Times, TJ English, Maureen Dezell, Pete Hamill, Corey Kilgannon of the New York Times … As I keep saying to people, the Cassidy Scandal has lessons for all of us. The main lesson is, forget the hype, always check the facts … 🙂


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