Hick and Aitheach

The English word hick (peasant, bumpkin) means the same as the Irish words tuathánach, cábóg, tútachán, farcach. That is, it means the same thing, more or less, as that common word in the English of Ireland, culchie.

According to Daniel Cassidy, in his work of fantasy How The Irish Invented Slang, it comes from the Irish word aitheach. Aitheach is an old-fashioned, literary word for a churl and of course, the sound of aitheach is nothing like the sound of hick. (For English speakers with no Irish, it’s pronounced something like Aha or eye-hah. To get a proper flavour of how it might be pronounced in the main dialects, go to focloir.ie and play the sound files for the words maith and teach.)

And of course, etymologists know where the word hick originated in English. Hick is an affectionate version of the name Richard. It’s a form of the name which was found among rural people. Hick is used with the meaning of yokel as far back as 1565. As usual, Cassidy ignored what real scholars had to say about this word.

Cassidy’s conjecture about this word is just a bare-faced lie – just like the rest of Cassidy’s stupid conjectures.


Ciallaíonn an focal Béarla hick an rud céanna leis na focail Ghaeilge tuathánach, cábóg, tútachán, farcach. Is é sin, ciallaíonn sé an rud céanna, a bheag nó a mhór, leis an fhocal choitianta sin i mBéarla na hÉireann, culchie.

De réir Daniel Cassidy, ina leabhar fantaisíochta How The Irish Invented Slang, is ón fhocal Gaeilge aitheach a tháinig sé. Is focal seanfhaiseanta liteartha é aitheach a chiallaíonn cábóg nó duine tuaithe agus ar ndóigh, níl fuaim aitheach cosúil le hick ar chor ar bith.

Agus ar ndóigh, tá a fhios ag lucht na sanasaíochta cá has a dtáinig an focal hick sa Bhéarla. Is leagan muirneach é Hick den ainm Richard. Bhí an leagan seo den ainm le fáil i measc na dtuathánach. Faightear hick leis an chiall sin tuathánach chomh fada siar leis an bhliain 1565. Mar is gnách, rinne Cassidy neamhaird den méid a bhí le rá ag daoine léannta faoin fhocal seo.

Níl i mbuille faoi thuairim Cassidy faoin fhocal seo ach deargbhréaga, ar ndóigh – go díreach cosúil leis an chuid eile de thuairimí amaideacha Cassidy.

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