Monthly Archives: January 2019

Bíodh muinín agat as – is dlíodóir é!

Longshoreman certainly derives from the Gaelic/Irish word, longseoireacht meaning shipping. From the Irish word for ship which is , long, but pronounced,lung. There can be little doubt about this. Just as stevedore derives from the Portuguese Spanish estivador meaning a person who unloads a ship. Longshoreman is as Irish as the word smithereen meaning smidiriní or a small particle. Gaelic was broadcast throughout the world by Irish speaking emigrants fleeing the Great Famine in their millions.

Fuair mé an teachtaireacht thuas cúpla lá ó shin, ar an phíosa a scríobh mé faoi Longshoreman. Is léir gur dlíodóir é an t-údar, Maurice O’Callaghan, agus go bhfuil ardmheas aige ar a chuid tuairimí féin. Rud amháin a chuireann an dú-iontas orm ná nach bhfuil aon tuiscint ag an dlíodóir seo ar bhunchoinchip ar nós fianaise agus cruinnis.

Mar a dúirt mé a lán uaireanta roimhe seo, sílim féin go bhfuil an ceart ag na daoine a deir gur focal é longshoreman a cumadh i Meiriceá, agus atá ag tagairt do na sluaite daoine a chruinníodh ar na dugaí nuair a tháinig long isteach le corrlá oibre a fháil ag iompar an lasta amach as bolg na loinge. Sin an scéal atá ag ceardchumann na Longshoremen, mar a dúirt mé san alt faoin fhocal. Sin an scéal a bhí ag an staraí Maud Russell nuair a scríobh sí an leabhar Men Along The Shore: The I.L.A. and its History sa bhliain 1966. Is scéal iomlán inchreidte é gur ‘men along the shore’ a bhí i gceist, dar liom féin.

Is dóigh leis an fhear seo O’Callaghan nach bhfuil an ceart ag na saineolaithe sin. Creideann seisean go bhfuil baint ag an téarma le loingseoireacht, a chiallaíonn shipping, dar leis. Ar ndóigh, “seamanship, navigation, voyaging” is ciall don fhocal loingseoireacht. (Loingeas an focal is fearr ar ‘shipping’.) Go dtí seo, níor chuala mé duine ar bith ag nascadh loingseoireacht le longshoreman. Cuid mhór daoine, Daniel Cassidy ina measc, nascann siad an focal longshoreman le loingseoir, a chiallaíonn (de réir FGB) “mariner, seaman, navigator”. Mar a dúirt mé roimhe seo, deirtear loingseoir mar ‘lingshore’, ní mar longshore (tá comhaid fuaime sna canúintí éagsúla anseo https://www.focloir.ie/en/dictionary/ei/navigator mura gcreideann sibh mé). Agus cé go mbíodh cuid mhór de na dugairí amuigh ar an fharraige sular chuir siad fúthu ar an tír mór, níl ciall ar bith le loingseoirí a thabhairt ar dhaoine nach mairnéalaigh iad. ciall leis an bhunús eile, ‘men along the shore’.

Bunaithe ar na fíricí seo, ní féidir an bunús Béarla a bhréagnú. An cás is láidre a thiocfadh leat a dhéanamh ná gur chóir an dá bhunús a chur ar chomhchéim lena chéile (agus caithfidh mé a rá, ní aontaím leis sin – tá teoiric na ‘men along the shore’ i bhfad Éireann níos láidre). Ní thuigim cad chuige a bhfuil an fear seo chomh cinnte sin gur Gaeilge atá san fhocal loingseoir. An bhfuil fianaise ar bith aige? Má tá, cá háit a bhfuil sí?

Maidir leis na focail a scaip na Gaeil ar fud an domhain agus iad ag éalú ón Drochshaol, an bhfuil aon fhianaise aige le tacú leis sin? (Agus ar ndóigh, ní fianaise leabhar amaideach Cassidy How The Irish Invented Slang, agus níl aon fhianaise luaite ag Cassidy ann. Níl oiread agus leabharliosta ann, gan trácht ar thagairtí cearta!)

Agus, ar ndóigh, bhí longshoreman sa Bhéarla sular tharla an Drochshaol, agus mar sin de, níl baint ar bith ag an fhocal longshoreman leis an diaspóra a bhí ag teitheadh roimh an ghorta in Éirinn.

Agus, ós rud é go bhfuil O’Callaghan chomh flaithiúil sin leis an chomhairle maidir le bunús stairiúil na bhfocal sa Ghaeilge, agus gur saineolaí féincheaptha Gaeilge é, scríobh mé an freagra seo sa teanga s’againne d’aonturas. Tá súil agam go mbaine sé sult as!

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Moolah Isn’t Irish

I have just noticed a tweet put out by Shamrock Clubwis (Wisconsin Shamrock Club) on January the 12th.

Today’s slang word from the Irish language is “Moolah.”

Moolah comes from the Irish phrase, “Moll Oir,” meaning “a pile of gold.”

Thanks to Daniel Cassidy’s “How The Irish Invented Slang,” from 2007.

It’s unfortunate how this garbage just keeps on circulating, disappearing and then surfacing again like a dead rat in a blocked drain. No, there is no evidence that moolah has any connection with Irish. While Cassidy’s suggestion of moll óir is much better than his usual standard (at least the phrase could exist and doesn’t infringe any grammatical rules) there is precious little evidence of anyone, anywhere using this phrase. On Google, the one example I found was in relation to a taped interview with a native Irish speaker from Donegal. In a description of the contents of the audio, it talks about someone finding a pile of gold (moll óir) under a flagstone. However, listening to the actual audio, the phrase isn’t mentioned.

There are numerous theories about the origins of the word moolah, which first appears in America in the 1930s. The strongest suggestion, as far as I’m concerned, is the Spanish phrase (especially associated with Venezuela) bajáte de la mula, which literally means ‘get down off the mule’ and figuratively means ‘give me the money!’ Mula sounds exactly like moolah. (However, there are problems with this. See the comment from David Gold below.)

Moll óir, on the other hand, sounds like ‘moll oar’. In other words, it sounds absolutely nothing like moolah.

 

Tá mé díreach i ndiaidh tvuít a fheiceáil a chuir Shamrock Clubwis (Wisconsin Shamrock Club) suas ar Twitter ar an 12ú lá de mhí Eanáir.

Today’s slang word from the Irish language is “Moolah.”

Moolah comes from the Irish phrase, “Moll Oir,” meaning “a pile of gold.”

Thanks to Daniel Cassidy’s “How The Irish Invented Slang,” from 2007.

Ní thagann. Más féidir leat an Ghaeilge seo a léamh, beidh a fhios agat nach frása coitianta é “moll óir”. Agus níl an frása sin ar dhóigh ar bith cosúil le moolah, agus cé go bhfuil a lán teoiricí ann faoi bhunús an fhocail moolah, an ceann is fearr, is dócha, ná an frása Spáinnise (atá le cloisteáil go coitianta sa Veiniséala, de réir cosúlachta) “bajáte de la mula”, a chiallaíonn “tuirling den mhiúil” ach a bhfuil brí fháthchiallach leis, mar atá, “tabhair dom an t-airgead!”  Tá an focal mula go díreach cosúil le moolah, ní hionann agus moll óir. (Agus sin ráite, tá fadhbanna ag baint leis an tsanasaíocht seo fosta – féach na tuairimí thíos.)

Holy Mackerel

Of all the stupid things invented by Daniel Cassidy and presented to the world as truth in his idiotic work of fake etymology How The Irish Invented Slang, none is more ludicrous than his claims about the English exclamation ‘Holy Mackerel’, which dates back to 1803. 

Holy Mackerel, as we’ve said before, belongs to a class of exclamations called minced oaths, where a similar word is said in order to avoid a vulgar or blasphemous term. Thus, the French say Sacré Bleu (Holy Blue) to avoid saying Sacré Dieu (Holy God), and the Irish say Dar Fia (by the deer) instead of Dar Dia (by God). Holy Mackerel is probably a minced oath for ‘Holy Mary’. Mackerel is particularly appropriate because the mackerel is associated with Roman Catholics – people of the Catholic tradition tend to eat fish on a Friday instead of meat, and mackerel was a common choice.  Mackerelism was used as a pejorative slang term for Catholicism in the 19th century.

Cassidy claimed that this was wrong and that it derives from an Irish phrase mac ríúil – ‘kingly son’. In other words, it was supposedly something to do with Jesus. The problem is that while mac rí (son of a king) is a common phrase for a prince in Irish, mac ríúil is not. By definition, a prince is a mac rí. But princes are princely, not kingly and ríúil means kingly, not royal. That’s another word, ríoga.

As with the other minced oaths dealt with by this pompous dilettante (Holy Cow, Holy Gee), there is no evidence for mac ríúil (or the older spelling mac righiúil) existing in the Irish language as a term for a prince, or for Jesus.

 

As na rudaí amaideacha uile a chum Daniel Cassidy agus a chuir sé i láthair don tsaol ina leabhar bómánta bréagshanasaíochta How The Irish Invented Slang, is beag ceann acu atá chomh bómánta lena chuid tuairimí faoin uaillbhreas Béarla ‘Holy Mackerel’, atá le fáil chomh fada siar leis an bhliain 1803.

Mar a mhínigh mé roimhe seo, baineann Holy Mackerel le haicme uaillbhreas ar a dtugtar mionnaí mionaithe. Sa mhionn mhionaithe, baintear úsáid as focal atá cosúil leis an bhunfhocal le focal gáirsiúil nó blaisféimeach a sheachaint.  Mar sin de, deir na Francaigh Sacré Bleu (Gorm Naofa) le Sacré Dieu (Dia Naofa) a sheachaint, agus deir muidne  Dar Fia in áit Dar Dia. Is dócha gur mionn mionaithe é Holy Mackerel bunaithe ar ‘Holy Mary’. Tá maicréal (nó ronnach nó murlas más iad sin na focail atá agat air) thar a bheith fóirsteanach cionn is go raibh baint idir an t-iasc sin agus Caitlicigh – ar ndóigh, bíonn Caitlicigh ag ithe éisc ar an Aoine in áit feola, agus bhí maicréal saor agus flúirseach. Baineadh úsáid as Mackerelism mar théarma maslach ar an Chaitliceachas sa 19ú haois.

Deir Cassidy nach bhfuil an tsanasaíocht seo ceart agus go dtagann sé ó fhrása ‘Gaeilge’, mar atá mac ríúil, ainm ar Íosa. Ar ndóigh, ní raibh mac ríúil riamh ann sa Ghaeilge. Níl ann ach cumadóireacht.

Go díreach mar an gcéanna leis na mionnaí mionaithe eile a phléigh an t-amadán poimpéiseach seo (Holy Cow, Holy Gee), tá ciall leis na bunúis Bhéarla agus níl ciall ar bith leis an ‘Ghaeilge’ a chum Cassidy. 

Clabber

It’s a terrible disgrace that there are a lot of people in the world of the Irish language who supported the con-artist Daniel Cassidy, author of the idiotic book How The Irish Invented Slang. For example, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir was prepared to support him and described him as ‘our friend’. Joe Lee speaks Irish too. It seems that he supported this weak-minded book because of his friendship with friends of Cassidy’s. In the case of Liam Ó Cuinneagáin, it seems that he was responsible for providing teachers for the Gaeltacht Weekends in San Francisco. If he had criticised Cassidy, he would probably have lost whatever money and status is associated with that, because Cassidy’s supporters have the upper hand in the world of ‘Irish Studies’ in California.

Pól Ó Muirí is a journalist with the Irish Times. In an article which is still available here  (www.beo.ie/alt-leabharmheas-7.aspx), he praises Cassidy’s dim-witted efforts, though, apparently, he didn’t know Cassidy, unlike the people mentioned above. It is hard to understand why he would be prepared to praise rubbish like this. He says, for example, that there is sense to the theory proposed by Cassidy that buckaroo comes from the Irish phrase ‘bocaí rua’. Of course, bocaí rua makes no sense in Irish. Were the cowboys all ginger? And as everybody knows, buckaroo comes from the word vaquero, which means ‘cowboy’ in Spanish!  

He also says that John Wayne speaks the word clábar (Irish for mud or curdled milk) when referring to women being thick in the film True Grit. That much is true and the word clabber is a word of Gaelic origin, without doubt. What he doesn’t say (he probably hadn’t done any fact-checking at all) is that bonny-clabber and clabber came into the English language from Irish bainne clábair and clábar early in the 17th century. They were in common use in the English of England, America and the West Indies for hundreds of years when John Wayne used the term in True Grit. 

There is an interesting article on Wikipedia about the word Clabber:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clabber_(food)

 

Clábar

Is mór an díol náire é go bhfuil a lán daoine i saol na Gaeilge a thug tacaíocht don chaimiléir Daniel Cassidy, údar an leabhair amaidigh How The Irish Invented Slang. Mar shampla, bhí Máirtín Ó Muilleoir sásta tacú leis agus ‘ár gcara’ a thabhairt air. Tá Gaeilge ag Joe Lee fosta. De réir cosúlachta, thug seisean tacaíocht don leabhar laginntinneach seo mar gheall ar a chairdeas le cairde de chuid Cassidy. I gcás Liam Uí Chuinneagáin, de réir cosúlachta, bhí seisean freagrach as múinteoirí a chur ar fáil don Deireadh Seachtaine Gaeltachta in San Francisco. Dá gcáinfeadh seisean Cassidy, is dócha go gcaillfeadh sé cibé airgead agus stádas atá ag baint leis sin, mar tá lucht tacaíochta Cassidy i réim i saol an léinn Éireannaigh in California.

Is iriseoir leis an Irish Times é Pól Ó Muirí. In alt atá go fóill ar fáil anseo (www.beo.ie/alt-leabharmheas-7.aspx), molann sé iarrachtaí bómánta Cassidy, cé nach raibh aithne aige ar Cassidy, de réir cosúlachta – ní hionann agus na daoine eile a luadh thuas. Is deacair a rá cad chuige a raibh sé sásta amaidí mar seo a mholadh. Deir sé, mar shampla, go bhfuil ciall ag baint leis an teoiric a bhí ag Cassidy gurbh ón fhrása Gaeilge ‘bocaí rua’ a tháinig an focal buckaroo. Ar ndóigh, níl ciall ar bith le bocaí rua sa Ghaeilge. An raibh na buachaillí bó uilig rua? Agus mar is eol do chách, tháinig buckaroo ón fhocal vaquero, a chiallaíonn ‘buachaill bó’ sa Spáinnis!  

Deir sé fosta go labhraíonn John Wayne an focal clábar agus é ag rá go mbíonn na mná ‘ramhar sa réasún’ sa scannán True Grit. Tá an méid sin fíor agus is focal de bhunús Gaeilge é clabber, gan amhras. An rud nach ndeir sé (is dócha nach raibh na fíricí fiosraithe aige ar chor ar bith) ná gur tháinig na focail bonny-clabber agus clabber isteach sa Bhéarla ó bhainne clábair agus ó chlábar na Gaeilge go luath sa 17ú haois. Bhí siad in úsáid go coitianta i mBéarla Shasana, Mheiriceá agus na nIndiacha Thiar leis na céadta bliain nuair a d’úsáid John Wayne an téarma in True Grit.

Tá alt spéisiúil ar Wikipedia faoin fhocal Clabber: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clabber_(food)