Cassidese Glossary – Gink

For some time now, some of my on-line friends have advised me to provide a version of CassidySlangScam without the invective aimed at Cassidy and his supporters. In response to that advice, I am working on providing a glossary of the terms in Cassidy’s ludicrous book How The Irish Invented Slang with a short, simple and business-like explanation of why Cassidy’s version is wrong.

Gink seems to be an American slang term for an idiot or just for an ordinary bloke or man. It first appears around the early 20th century and is probably related to words like geek.

Cassidy claims it comes from a complex of words related to the meaning ‘snub nose’. Here is Cassidy’s multi-word, multi-meaning definition:

Geanc, geannc, geancaire, n., a snub-nose; a short-faced surly person; a homely snub-nosed person; a crooked dumpy-looking person; one of the lower and more vicious kinds of fairies, a leprechaun.

In reality, of course, geanc (pronounced gyank) means a snub-nose. It cannot be used of a person. A geancaire or geancachán or geancán can mean a snub-nosed person, while the fairy definition above is the definition of geanncanach from Dinneen’s dictionary.

In short, there is no word similar to gink that means a person and the various offshoot words of geanc are so dissimilar from the meanings of gink that there is no reason to suppose any connection.

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