Monthly Archives: March 2018

Spirited Away le Maggie Plummer – Léirmheas

Is dócha go gcuimhneoidh léitheoiri an bhlag seo ar na haltanna a phostáil mé anuraidh inar thacaigh mé le Liam Hogan ó Luimneach, duine a bhfuil cion fir déanta aige le troid in éadan mhéim (nó mhiotas!) Sclábhaíocht na nGael. Is píosa raiméise é seo, cacamas athbhreithnitheach a bhfuil cuma bhréagach na staire air. De réir na méime seo, cuireadh neart Gael chuig na coilíneachtaí i dTuaisceart Mheiriceá agus i Muir Chairib sa tseachtú haois déag, san ochtú haois déag agus fiu sa naoú haois déag, díoladh mar sclábhaithe iad agus caitheadh ní ba mheasa leo ansin ná mar a caitheadh leis na sclábhaithe Afracacha. Is é an ‘ceacht’ atá le baint as seo, dar lena lán, ná más féidir le Gael-Mheiriceánaigh iad féin a tharraingt amach as ainnise na sclábhaíochta, ba chóir go mbeadh Afra-Mheiriceánaigh ábalta an rud céanna a dhéanamh. Ni nach ionadh, is Forchiníochaithe Geala iad an chuid is mo de na daoine a chuireann an raiméis seo chun cinn.

Má amharcann tú ar Irish Slavery ar Twitter, tá a lán barúlacha ann ar nós ‘The Irish were slaves too’ agus a lán barúlacha eile a bhréagnaíonn iad. Ó am go chéile, áfach, bíonn teachtaireacht ann faoi leabhar darb ainm Spirited Away le Maggie Plummer. Tá léirmheasanna léite agam ar an úrscéal seo faoi na ‘Gaeil a goideadh’ roimhe seo, ach roinnt seachtainí ó shin, shocraigh mé go gceannóinn cóip de agus go léifinn é. Ní as siocair go raibh dúil agam san ábhar, ach mheas mé gur chóir do dhuine éigin atá in éadan na méime é a léamh agus léirmheas ionraic a chur ar fáil.

Is raiméis lom an leabhar seo ó thús go deireadh. Tosaíonn sé le Plummer ag labhairt ar an ‘taighde’ a rinne sí ar théama Sclabhaíocht na nGael. Deir sí gur díoladh Gaeil tríd an chéad trí scór bliain den 17ú haois agus go raibh suas le 100,000 duine i gceist. Mar a chonaic muid roimhe seo, is figiúr randamach an 100,000 a chum Thomas Addis Emmett (agus a luaigh James Connolly agus A.M. Sullivan ina dhiaidh.) Nil sé bunaithe ar fhianaise ar bith. Na Gaeil a fuadaíodh nó a gabhadh mar chimí cogaidh i gcogaí Chromail, is mar sheirbhísigh dhintiúir a cuireadh chuig na coilíneachtaí iad, ní mar sclábhaithe. Tugadh dintiúr suas le deich mbliana do na príosúnaigh chogaidh. Is cruálach agus is uafásach an scéal é go bhféadfaí dintiur níos faide ná sin a thabhairt do pháistí, mar níor saoradh iad go raibh bliain agus fiche bainte amach acu.

Is le moll amaidí a thosaíonn an leabhar seo agus téann rudaí chun sioparnai as sin amach. Insíonn sé eachtraí cailín a bhfuil sracadh inti darb ainm Frederica (Freddie) O’Brennan. Tá Freddie trí bliana déag d’aois agus ina cónaí i gCill Chainnigh nuair a thosaíonn an leabhar sa bhliain 1653. Seo i ndeireadh ceann de na tréimhsí ba mheasa agus ba choscraí i stair na hÉireann. Bhí cogaíocht agus gorta agus galar i ndiaidh slad a dhéanamh ar an tír (mar a deir Plummer sa réamhrá, cé go bhfuil na meastúcháin faoi chéatadán an phobail a fuair bás ró-ard, mar is gnách le Plummer). Ach de réir cosúlachta, níor chuir na heachtraí tubaisteacha sin isteach ar mhuintir Bhraonáin. Bhí feirm acu, a lán bia, roinnt capall agus bó, agus cairt. Agus arán agus mil.

Ar ndóigh, ní raibh ach fíorbheagán daoine de bhunús Gaelach in Éirinn sa tseachtú haois déag a raibh Béarla acu. Agus nuair a bhain siad úsáid as an Ghaeilge, bhíodh a gcuid ainmneacha i nGaeilge. Ní O’Brennan nó Ó Braonáin a bheadh uirthi, ach an leagan baininscneach, Ní Bhraonáin. Agus maidir le Frederica nó Freddie, ní ainmneacha Gaelacha iad sin. Bheadh sé chomh maith ag Plummer Cheyenne nó Chelsea nó ainm randamach ar bith eile a roghnú ó scuad áitiuil na ngárthóirí molta in Montana. Níl leagan Gaeilge ann de Frederica, go bhfios domsa, agus ní bheadh an t-ainm sin in úsáid ag Gaeil in Éirinn sa 17ú haois. Mar an gcéanna leis an ainm Ryanne. Is ainmneacha Gael-Mheiriceánacha iad sin, ni ainmneacha Gaelacha.

Tá Freddie amuigh ag marcaíocht ar chapall breá nach mbeadh sí ábalta é a choinneáil, is dócha, agus cogadh dearg ag dul ar aghaidh sa tír, agus nuair a fhilleann sí ar an teach, tá saighdiúirí Chromail ag tógáil a hathar leo. Tá sé le dul chun na Spáinne le troid ar son na Corónach, mar dhea. Cé acu coróin, áfach? Coróin na Spáinne? Ba phoblacht nó ‘commonwealth’ é Sasana in 1653 agus bhí Cromail ann mar cheann stáit in áit rí nó banríona. Agus ní raibh cogadh ann idir na Sasanaigh agus na Spáinnigh go fóill.

Ar scor ar bith, deir duine de na saighdiúirí Sasanacha go gcaithfidh siad imeacht agus an fheirm a fhágáil, ach fágann sé na rudaí luachmhara uilig acu, rudaí ar nós na mbó agus na gcapall. Ó aidhe, agus tá cead acu an Bíobla a thabhairt leo fosta. Teaghlach Caitliceach in Éirinn sa 17ú haois, agus Bíobla acu. Tugann siad aghaidh ar Ghaillimh, mar a bhfuil aintín dá gcuid ina cónaí. I nGaillimh, bualann strainséir bob ar Freddie agus a deirfiúr Aileen. Cuirtear ar bord loinge iad agus cuirtear chuig oileáin Mhuir Chairib iad.

Ag an phointe seo, éiríonn gach rud cineál gáirsiúil. Díoltar na cailíní ar ceant mar sclábhaithe agus iad lomnocht. Bíonn íomhánna de na ceantanna lomnochta seo coitianta go leor ar line i gcomhthéacs ‘Sclábhaíocht na nGael’. Is seanphictiúir ón 19ú haois déag iad, pictiúir Fhrancacha a bhí lonnaithe i saol na seanRómhánach nó i saol na nArabach, cosúil leis an cheann thuas.

Díoltar Freddie, brandáiltear le hiarann te í agus éignítear í. Tá an chuid seo tipiciúil de chineál ficsean stairiúil ar a dtugtar bodice-ripping i mBéarla (scéal réabtha cabhlach). Is iontach an méid uaireanta a luann Plummer an focal cabhail (bodice). Cibé rud a tharla do na cailíní óga Gaelacha a cuireadh chuig oileáin Mhuir Chairib – agus ní duine saonta mé agus is cinnte gur imríodh mí-úsáid ghnéasach ar chuid de na daoine óga seo – ní sclábhaithe a bhí iontu. Níor díoladh mar sclábhaithe buana iad. Ní dhéantaí iad a bhrandáil, mar ní earra nó sealúchas nó maoin a bhí iontu. Agus is rídheacair a shamhlú gur cuireadh cailíní óga ar ceant lomnocht faoin tseanPhiúratánach sin Cromail, cibé rud a tharla go príobháideach. Bhí Cromail agus a chuid maolagán sásta go leor babaithe a dhúnmharú ach daoine gan éadaí in áit phoiblí – sin scéal eile ar fad!

Lena rá ar dhóigh eile, níl a fhios ag an údar faic na fríde faoi Éirinn sa tseachtú haois déag agus níl a fhios aici faic na fríde bídí faoin sclábhaíocht ná faoin tseirbhíseacht dintiúir sa Mhuir Chairib sa tréimhse sin.

Aisteach go leor, ní dóigh liom gur ciníochaí í Plummer. Bíonn Afracaigh nó Bundúchasaigh Mheiriceá uasal, cineálta sa leabhar seo. Is Sasanaigh iad an chuid is mó de na drochearraí in Spirited Away. Agus is aisteach an dóigh a mbíonn sí ag díol an leabhair seo ar Twitter taobh le daoine a chreideann nach bhfuil daoine de bhunús Afracach chomh maith le daoine geala ó thaobh na géineolaíochta de. Ar dhóigh, cuireann sé i gcuimhne dom duine a bhíonn ag freastal ar linseálacha le líomanáid a dhíol agus a ghnóthaíonn neart airgid as. Mise? Níor linseáil mise duine ar bith riamh! Níl mise ach ag díol líomanáide le duine ar bith atá á hiarraidh …

Lena rá ar bheagán focal, is cacamas an leabhar seo. Cuireann an drochscríbhneoireacht agus an drochthaighde ó mhaith é. Ní fiú faic é. Duine ar bith a mheasann go bhfaighidh siad eolas iontaofa faoi stair a shinsear ó Éirinn (agus ar an drochuair, tá a lán daoine dá leithéid ann, de réir na léirmheasanna deimhneacha ar Amazon), tá dul amú air nó uirthi.

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Spirited Away by Maggie Plummer – A Review

Readers of this blog may remember that I posted a number of items last year in support of Liam Hogan of Limerick, who has done great work in standing up to the Irish Slavery meme. This is a piece of revisionist nonsense masquerading as history. The meme claims that the Irish were sent to the colonies in North America and the Caribbean in the seventeenth, eighteenth and even nineteenth centuries as slaves and that they were treated worse than African slaves. The usual ‘moral’ drawn from this is that if the Irish-Americans could pull themselves up from the degradation of slavery, African Americans should be able to do the same. Not surprisingly, most of the people who promote this nonsense are White Supremacists.

When you look at Irish Slavery on Twitter, there are lots of comments saying that ‘The Irish were slaves too’ and lots of comments saying the opposite. However, every few tweets, there is one about a book called Spirited Away by Maggie Plummer. I have read reviews of this ‘novel of the stolen Irish’ before, but just recently I decided to buy a copy and read it. Not because I wanted to, but because I felt someone should read it and provide a review.

This book is absolute nonsense from beginning to end. It starts with Plummer’s ‘research’ about the theme of Irish Slavery. She states that the Irish were sold as slaves throughout the first six decades of the 17th century and that up to 100,000 Irish were treated this way. As we have seen, this figure of 100,000 is a random figure invented by Thomas Addis Emmett (and later quoted by James Connolly and A.M Sullivan.) It is based on no evidence at all. The Irish who were kidnapped or taken as prisoners of war in the Cromwellian wars were sent as indentured servants, not as slaves. Prisoners of war could be given up to ten year indentures, while children, perversely, couild be kept for longer until they reached the age of majority.

The book starts with a great deal of silliness and gets worse. It recounts the adventures of a spirited girl called Frederica (Freddie) O’Brennan, who is thirteen and living in Kilkenny in the year 1653 at the start of the book. This is the end of one of the most traumatic periods in Irish history. The land had been ravaged by war and disease (as Plummer states in the introduction, though her estimates about the proportion of the population who died are characteristically high). Yet the O’Brennan household had not been affected by these catastrophic events, apparently. They had a farm, plenty of food, several horses and cows, and a cart. And bread and honey.

Of course, very few Gaelic Irish people spoke English in the 17th century. And where they spoke Irish, they would have used Irish forms of their name. This girl would not have been called O’Brennan. She would have been called the female form, Ní Bhraonáin. As for Frederica or Freddie, she might as well have called her Cheyenne or Chelsea or any other random name from the local cheerleading squad in Montana. There is no Irish form of Frederica and nobody would have called their child that in 17th century Ireland. The same goes for Ryanne. These are Irish –American names, not Gaelic names.

Freddie, as she’s known, is out riding a fine horse which probably would have been taken from her by somebody in this time of war, and comes back to find English soldiers leading her father away. He’s being taken to fight for the Crown in Spain, apparently. Whose Crown? The Spanish Crown? Because at this stage, England was a Republic, or Commonwealth, with Cromwell at its head. And the English were not fighting the Spanish in 1653.

Anyway, an English soldier tells them to get off their farm, but leaves them all the valuable things like cows and horses. Oh, yes. And they take their Bible with them. An Irish Catholic family in the 17th century. With a Bible. They head off to an aunt living in Galway. In Galway, Freddie and her sister Aileen are tricked and forced to go on board a ship. They are sent to the Caribbean.

Here, the whole thing becomes pretty lurid. There is a naked slave auction. Images of such slave auctions are common enough on line in the context of ‘Irish Slavery’. They are taken from 19th century French pictures of slave auctions in Ancient Rome or in the Arab world, just like the one above.

Freddie is sold, branded, raped. It’s typical of a certain genre of historical fiction called bodice-ripping. It’s amazing how often Plummer mentions bodices. Whatever happened to young Irish girls who were sent to the Caribbean – and I’m not naïve enough to think that such sexual abuse didn’t happen – these people weren’t slaves, sold in perpetuity. They wouldn’t have been branded because they weren’t property. And it’s hard to imagine that slaves were auctioned naked under the old Puritan Cromwell, whatever happened in private. Cromwell and his roundheads were quite happy to slaughter babies but people naked in a public place – that’s another matter entirely!

In other words, the author knows damn all squared about Ireland in the seventeenth century and damn all cubed about slavery and indentured servitude in the Caribbean.

Strangely, it seems to me that she is probably not a racist. Black characters are generally depicted as noble or kind, while the villains are all English. Which makes it doubly strange to find her peddling her wares on Twitter beside people who think African Americans are genetically inferior. In a way, it reminds me of someone who attends lynchings to sell lemonade and makes a huge amount of money out of it. Me? I never lynched anybody. I’m just selling lemonade to whoever wants it …

In summary, this book is dross. It is badly-written, badly-researched and entirely devoid of merit. Anyone who thinks this will inform them about the history of their Irish ancestors (and sadly, there seem to be a lot of them, judging by the positive reviews on Amazon) is deluding themselves.

Ditch

This is one of the silliest claims in a very silly book. I mean, how stupid would you need to be to believe that the word ditch (as in ‘she ditched him’) comes from the supposed Irish phrase de áit? The phrase de áit isn’t in use in Irish and never has been.

The two words exist independently, of course. De means from or ‘off of’, ‘from the surface of’ (bhain siad an pictiúr den bhalla – they took the picture off of the wall), while áit means place. And occasionally they occur together in phrases like an phrochlais sin de áit (that dump of a place) or taobh amuigh de áit (outside of a place) but in the standard language, this would usually become d’áit and it isn’t anything to do with displacing or dislodging or dumping in these cases. If you want to say that someone displaced something or put it out of its place you would use as áit, not de áit: cuireadh na brící as áit nuair a thit an scafall orthu (the bricks were dislodged when the scaffolding fell on them). So, de áit is pretty much impossible as the origin of ditch.

The English ditch, on the other hand, is a very likely source. A ditch, meaning a kind of trench at the side of the road (or sometimes the bank beside the trench in Ireland), comes from the Old English word dic. And in the old days, when you had some rubbish you dumped it in the ditch, or ditched it. In time, this became a general term for discarding or dumping.

This isn’t rocket science. I do have academic degrees but you don’t need a degree (or even the high-school certificate that Cassidy had instead of a degree) to work out that Cassidy’s claim is nonsense. All you need is reasonable literacy skills, access to the internet and an open and sensible mind. Which is why I find it really strange that so many people are prepared to support a book that contains so many transparent stupidities like this.

Seo ceann de na rudaí is bómánta dá maíonn Cassidy sa leabhar amaideach seo. Bheadh ort bheith millteanach ramhar sa réasún lena chreidiúint gur ón fhrása ‘Gaeilge’ de áit a thagann an focal Béarla ditch (mar shampla, sa fhrása ‘she ditched him’.  Níl na focail de áit le fáil sa Ghaeilge agus ní raibh riamh.

Tá an dá fhocal ann leo féin, ar ndóigh. Ciallaíonn de ó ó dhromchla ruda  (bhain siad an pictiúr den bhalla), agus is ionann áit agus ionad. Agus bíonn an dá fhocal ag teacht le chéile corruair i bhfrásaí mar an phrochlais sin de áit nó  taobh amuigh de áit ach sa Chaighdeán, dhéanfaí d’áit de sin, agus ní bhaineann sé le rudaí a dhíláithriú sna cásanna seo.  Bhainfeá úsáid as as áit, ní de áit le sin a rá – cuireadh na brící as áit nuair a thit an scafall orthu, mar shampla. Mar sin de, níl seans dá laghad go bhfuil de áit ceart mar bhunús an Bhéarla ditch.

Ar an láimh eile, tá an focal Béarla ditch thar a bheith fóirsteanach agus thar a bheith soiléir mar mhíniú. Tagann an focal ditch, a chiallaíonn ‘díog’, ón fhocal Sean-Bhéarla dic. Agus sna seanlaethanta, nuair a bhí bruscar agat, dhéantaí é a dhumpáil sa díog, nó é a ‘ditcheáil’. Leis na blianta, fuair an focal ditching an chiall chéanna le dumping.

Ní rud deacair casta é seo. Tá céimeanna ollscoile agam ach níl céim de dhíth ar dhuine (ná fiú an teastas ardscoile a bhí ag Cassidy in áit céimeanna) lena oibriú amach gur raiméis é an méid a dúirt Cassidy faoin fhocal seo. Níl de dhíth ar dhuine ach scileanna réasúnta litearthachta, teacht ar an Idirlíon agus intinn oscailte chiallmhar. Sin an fáth a gcuireann sé a oiread sin iontais orm go bhfuil a oiread sin daoine sásta tacú le leabhar a bhfuil a oiread sin bómántachtaí follasacha ar nós an chinn seo ann.

 

 

 

 

 

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig

 

St Patrick’s Day is here again, so it seems like a good opportunity once again to attack Cassidy’s rubbish book of fake Irish, to encourage people to learn a little of the real thing, and to say a couple of words about the philosophy of language learning.

At this time of year, many people in the Irish diaspora take an interest in their culture and history. Because of the irresponsible behaviour of a number of prominent members of the Irish-American establishment like Peter Quinn, Joe Lee, Michael Patrick MacDonald, Tom Deignan, the organisers of the San Francisco Irish-American Crossroads Festival and countless others, who recommended and continue to recommend this nonsense to gullible people, this book is still being sold. This is a disgrace. Cassidy’s ‘research’ is a cruel and disgusting hoax and IMHO no decent person would support it. However, thanks in part to this blog, people are now much more aware of how dishonest and foolish this book is, so the newspaper articles about Cassidy’s linguistic ‘revelations’ which used to appear at this time of year have been considerably fewer over the last couple of years. The only major organ (yes, I’m aware of the innuendo) of the diaspora which still supports this raiméis is the egregious IrishCentral. They continue to republish a semi-literate ‘review’ of Cassidy’s book by some 9/11 Truther called Brendan Patrick Keane.

Anyway, it seems appropriate to celebrate St Patrick’s Day with some handy (and GENUINE) phrases in our beautiful Ulster dialect of the Irish language.

 

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig duit!

Ban-akh-tee na fayla pahrig ditch!

Blessings of St Patrick’s day to you!

 

Go raibh míle maith agat.

Go roh meela moy oggut!

A thousand thanks!

 

Tá sé iontach deas inniu.

Tah shay intah jass inyoo.

It’s very nice today.

 

Sláinte mhór agus saol fada agat!

Slahn-chya wore ogus seel fadda oggut!

Good health and long life to you!

 

If you want some more information on these things, there are hundreds of resources on line. Focloir.ie is particularly good and has audio files for common words. Just don’t trust anything you read on IrishCentral, in any language, and don’t use Cassidy’s book as a source for learning Irish!

As for the philosophy of language learning, here’s a few points for people thinking of learning Irish:

DO

  • learn a little every day – start NOW!
  • label things you use every day – fridge, cooker, car, door
  • write common words or phrases on cards and carry them round with you
  • learn a few proverbs or songs by heart
  • use apps and words of the day and the Kindle and other new technology
  • get output by TG4 and Raidió na Gaeltachta and listen to the language as much as possible (without bothering about understanding it) just to get used to the sounds and intonation

DON’T

  • go to a class once a week and forget about it the rest of the time
  • try to learn everything at once and get disheartened when you can’t
  • use Google Translate to translate INTO Irish (it’s useful to get an idea of what a text means in a language you don’t speak well or at all but, for example, if you put I cycled a lot into Google Translate, you get Rothar mé go leor, which is garbage!)
  • make up sentences which are too complicated for you – stick to the structures you know to be correct. Walk, then run! There’s no point in practising elaborate structures which are wrong. Stick to simple sentences which are right! 
  • Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!!

An Update/Nuashonrú

 I have been really busy recently, so I have had little time to devote to this blog. Last week, Eoin Ó Murchú, an old friend of CassidySlangScam, wrote a piece about Cassidy’s nonsense in the Irish supplement to the Irish Independent. He discussed the list of words the RubberBandits put out last year.

The RubberBandits also put up a piece on Twitter. They said that they wanted to speak to people who have Irish and ask them questions about the language. One person raised the question of cultural appropriation and Dennis King (an American who speaks good Irish) replied with another piece about Cassidy’s book.

I think it’s worth mentioning these two things. Although I am the most determined and most vitriolic critic of Cassidy and his stupid book, I am not alone. There are plenty of people out there who have a knowledge of Irish, of Irish history, of linguistics or of English slang who also hate Cassidy and his garbage.

 

Bhí mé thar a bheith gnóthach ar na mallaibh agus mar gheall air sin, is beag am a bhí agam leis an bhlag seo a scríobh. An tseachtain seo caite, scríobh Eoin Ó Murchú, seanchara le CSS, píosa faoi raiméis Cassidy i bhforlíonadh Gaeilge an Irish Independent. Phléigh sé na focail a chuir na RubberBandits amach anuraidh.

Chuir na RubberBandits píosa suas ar Twitter fosta. Dúirt siad go raibh siad ag iarraidh labhairt le daoine a bhfuil Gaeilge acu agus ceisteanna a chur orthu faoin teanga. Thóg duine ceist na leithghabhála cultúrtha agus d’fhreagair Dennis King (Meiriceánach a bhfuil Gaeilge mhaith aige) le píosa eile faoi leabhar Cassidy.

Is fiú an dá rud seo a lua, dar liom. Cé gur mise an duine is díograisí agus is binbí maidir le Cassidy agus a leabhar bómánta, níl mé liom féin. Tá neart daoine amuigh ansin, daoine a bhfuil cur amach acu ar an Ghaeilge, ar stair na hÉireann, ar an teangeolaíocht agus ar bhéarlagair an Bhéarla, a bhfuil an ghráin fáiscthe acu ar Cassidy agus ar a chuid amaidí fosta.

 

 

 

 

 

Nincompoop

This is another really stupid Cassidy suggestion. He claims that the word nincompoop comes from the Irish naioidhean ar chuma búb, which he says is pronounced neeyan [er] um boob and (again, according to him) means “a baby in the shape of a blubbering boob.”

Let’s examine this claim carefully. Firstly, does the ‘Irish’ phrase sound like nincompoop? Not much. Is there any evidence of anyone ever using this expression before Cassidy? No, of course there isn’t. Is it likely that anyone would use it? Think about it. Insults need to be clever or punchy. They need to be effective as ways of putting someone in their place, which is why you very rarely find people saying things like “He is a man who seems to have the appearance of a dolt.” If you want to insult someone, you simply call them a dolt. Because of this, the chances of Cassidy’s claim being correct are vanishingly slight.

Although we don’t have any solid evidence about the real origin of nincompoop, there is nothing to suggest that it comes from Irish. It is first found in English in the 1670s. Some dictionaries conjecture that it probably comes from the phrase non compos mentis (a legal formula meaning not of sound mind). Others dispute this. But Cassidy’s ridiculous suggestion is just another confirmation that he was far from compos mentis himself.

 

Seo tuairim bhómánta eile de chuid Cassidy. Maíonn sé go dtagann an focal Béarla nincompoop ón ‘Ghaeilge’ naioidhean ar chuma búb. Dar leisean, ciallaíonn an bolgam gránna seo “a baby in the shape of a blubbering boob.”

Tá an teoiric seo gan bhunús, ar ndóigh. Níl an frása ‘Gaeilge’ seo cosúil le nincompoop an Bhéarla ar chor ar bith. Agus ní gá dom a rá nach bhfuil fianaise ar bith ann gur bhain duine ar bith úsáid as ‘naíon ar chuma búib’ riamh. Ní dócha go mbainfeadh duine ar bith úsáid as, ach oiread. Caithfidh maslaí bheith cliste, gonta. Ní mór dóibh bheith éifeachtach mar dhóigh le duine a chur ina áit. Sin an fáth nach ndeirtear ‘Is duine é a bhfuil cosúlacht an bhómáin air.’ Más maith leat duine a mhaslú, déarfaidh tú gur bómán é, gan fiacail a chur ann. Agus sin an fáth nach bhfuil ciall ar bith leis an raiméis bhréag-Ghaelach a chum Cassidy faoin fhocal seo.

Cé nach bhfuil aon fhianaise chruinn againn maidir le bunús fíor an fhocail nincompoop, níl fianaise ar bith ann gur Gaeilge é, ná go bhfuil baint ar bith ag an fhocal le hÉirinn. Fuarthas é sa Bhéarla den chéad uair sna 1670í. Tá barúil ag cuid de na foclóirí gur leagan as a riocht é den fhrása dlí Laidine non compos mentis (a chiallaíonn nach bhfuil duine ina chiall cheart). Tá daoine eile ar a mhalairt de thuairim. Ach is ábhar gáire é míniú Cassidy, agus cruthaíonn sé nach raibh Cassidy féin ina chiall cheart.

Amadáin na Míosa – Eagraithe agus Urraithe an Irish-American Crossroads Festival

I gceann cúpla lá, cuirfear tús leis an Irish American Crossroads Festival in San Francisco. Ba é Daniel Cassidy agus cuid dá chairde agus leantóirí a bhunaigh an fhéile. Sin an fáth a mbíonn eagraithe na féile ag insint bréag faoi Cassidy go fóill.

Níl aon amhras faoi na fíricí a bhaineann le Cassidy. Ní raibh céim aige, mar gur theip air céim a fháil ó Cornell in 1965 cionn is go raibh sé i dtámhshuan mar gheall ar na drugaí. Ní raibh céim aige ó Cornell agus níor fhreastail sé fiú ar Columbia. Bhí saol corrach lán teipeanna aige agus ansin, d’éirigh leis post a fháil mar ollamh ag ollscoil bréige darbh ainm New College of California trí bhréaga a insint faoin taifead acadúil aige. I ndiaidh dó tuarastal léachtóra nach raibh tuillte aige a fháil ar feadh dhá bhliain déag, d’fhoilsigh sé leabhar aiféiseach darbh ainm How The Irish Invented Slang. Sa leabhar sin, chum Cassidy (fear nach raibh Gaeilge ar bith aige) na céadta frása bréige i ‘nGaeilge’, leithéidí béal ónna agus gíog gheal agus gearról úr agus pá lae sámh, ionas go dtiocfadh leis cur i gcéill gur tháinig a lán cora cainte i mbéarlagair Mheiriceá ón ‘Ghaeilge’ nuachumtha seo.

Ba bhréagadóir cruthanta é Cassidy, duine a chum a lán raiméise faoina shaol agus a shaothar – ní a chuid céimeanna amháin – agus duine ar bith a léann an blag seo go cúramach, tuigfidh siad láithreach cé chomh bréagach a bhí sé.

Ar an drochuair, tá cinneadh déanta ag eagraithe na féile seo nach maith leo an fhírinne agus gur chóir dóibh leanúint leo ag moladh Cassidy mar eiseamláir agus gur chóir plé leis an chur i gcéill mhailíseach a chum sé (cur i gcéill a bhfuil an Ghaeilge agus cultúr na hÉireann thíos leis go mór) mar a bheadh fíorléann ann. Tá an raiméis seo faoi Cassidy go fóill ar shuíomh gréasáin na féile.

Sin an fáth a bhfuil mé lánsásta an teideal Amadáin na Míosa a bhronnadh ar eagraithe agus ar urraithe na féile seo. Duine ar bith a bhfuil ciall dá laghad aige, nó duine ar bith a bhfuil náire ar bith ann, coinneoidh sé glan amach ón bhastard seo agus a chuid cairde.