Yes, Cassidy was a dick, but that is not the subject of this post.

According to Cassidy in his insane homage to Baron Munchhausen, How The Irish Invented Slang, the word dick, an obsolete slang term for a detective, derives from the Irish word dearc, meaning an eye. This is how the Great Fraud explains it:

“The Pinkerton’s world-famous logo was the giant ‘All-Seeing Eye.’ The Pinkerton private ‘eye’ and labor union spy was christened a dick (dearc, an eye) by the Irish-speaking subjects of its gaze: Molly Maguires, Fenians, Knights of Labor, and Wobblies.”

Whatever! I don’t know where the term comes from, though I would probably be most inclined to regard it as a corruption and shortening of ‘detective’. However, there are various ideas on the table and Grant Barrett goes through some of them in his treatment of Cassidy’s ‘research’: http://grantbarrett.com/humdinger-of-a-bad-irish-scholar

From my perspective, it is important that people realise that dearc is not a reasonable suggestion for the origin of this word. Firstly, dearc is pronounced jarrick in northern dialects and something like darrick in southern Irish. It is not the usual word for eye in Modern Irish, which is súil. I doubt if most Irish speakers would even know the word.

Cassidy’s claim is just the usual boring, self-indulgent nonsense from a delusional halfwit.

8 thoughts on “Dick

  1. Susan Cassidy Connors

    He wasn’t a half-wit, I can assure you– look what he got away with?! You have no idea of half the terrible things he did…..
    He was a very smart man who was amoral, angry and very unkind. Actually, the word dick comes to mind!

  2. Debunker Post author

    Hi Susan, Welcome back! I take your point, but when I refer to Daniel Cassidy as an idiot or a half-wit I am not talking about his IQ or innate ability. but the simple fact that the claims made in the book don’t suggest a person of immense talents. The person who can’t be bothered doing the research or the analysis has no advantage over the person who can’t and it’s obvious on every page that this is a shoddy and incompetent piece of work from a nasty and unpleasant piece of work..

    By the way, if you should ever feel like sharing any of those terrible things your brother did with the readers of the blog, I’m sure I’m not the only one who would find it interesting.

  3. Susan Cassidy Connors

    I was not offended at all by you calling him a half- wit, and I also understand why the book has so many people upset. I speak no Irish at all, and when he came to visit the family while working on his book and was attempting to pronounce Gaelic words, it was so apparent that he had no knowledge of the language at all. He just believed that he was so much smarter than everyone else that no one would dare to question him. I certainly would have never questioned him because he would have been so abusive. I spent most of my life just listening to his bullshit.
    As far as me telling you the specific terrible things that he did, I will not get into them. Why would you even ask me to do that? Haven’t I said enough?
    I get the feeling that you met him at sometime….that he must have done something to you that was unkind. You seem so angry at him… He had a vicious mouth. Did he do something to you?( other than write this asinine book?)
    I will not get into details of all the terrible things he did out of respect for my parent’s — even though they are both dead. They would be devastated by the things I have already said about him.
    Isn’t it enough for me to say that he was a liar and a thief? He broke my parent’s heart. He hurt everyone in our family. Actually, I think he was mentally ill….something seriously snapped when he was in his late teens.
    I would love to know if you’d ever met him…

  4. Debunker Post author

    Hi Susan, Thank you for your continued interest in the blog and for your contributions here.

    Firstly, just let me apologise if I offended you by suggesting that I would be interested in hearing about some of the terrible things that Daniel Cassidy did. I was not asking you to reveal anything which would embarrass your family. We already know that you are a relative of Daniel Cassidy and that he was not a very nice man, so I thought that if you know someone who had bought the Brooklyn Bridge off your brother (for example), that wouldn’t make a lot of difference to your family and it would be of interest to myself or to any of our readers who have read the book.

    However, you’re right, and if you felt I was prying, I’m sorry for that.

    As for my having met Daniel Cassidy, I can assure you I never had that dubious pleasure. I have never lived in the USA, and I’ve never been to California. I was (blissfully) unaware of your brother’s existence until about a year after his death, when a work colleague started telling me about how the Dead Rabbits gang came from the Irish ráibéad, a word I didn’t know and which I have never heard used. I feel I know him in a way because I have read so much material he wrote under his own name and under sockpuppet identities, and I have a strong impression of his personality. He comes across as arrogant and narcissistic. I have met people before with personality disorders and I feel strongly that that is the kind of person he was.

    And while he never did anything to me personally, I despise him and I resent him. He couldn’t be bothered learning our language but he was happy to prostitute it for money. His book is, as you say, asinine. And if your brother were still alive, he would have invented some ridiculous pseudo-Irish phrase by now to explain why asinine comes from Irish, (for example asal-naíon, “donkey child, as stupid as an ass or a baby, fig. extremely stupid”).

    The fact is, I love the Irish language, and I am not about to forgive someone who has sinned against the Irish language and Irish culture as much as Daniel Cassidy!

    With best wishes from the Old Sod (that’s Ireland, not a nickname for me!) :-).

  5. Susan Cassidy Connors

    Maybe some day we can have a private conversation… I just don’t feel comfortable with what I’ve already said. No loyalty to him or his horrible wife, just my parents.
    Keep up the good work. Don’t give up on your research. I promise you, he did not have a college degree–he never took a single course at Columbia–my brother Michael finished a degree there.


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