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.
Once again, this is a minced oath, a way of avoiding an offensive or blasphemous expression by disguising it. The first letter of God – G – is used instead of the whole word. Cassidy claimed that this is not the letter G but the Irish Dia, (pronounced jeea), meaning God. This is most unlikely. Dia is used in exclamations but only in phrases like Dia ár sábháil (God our saviour) or in vocative expressions like a Dhia (pronounced a yeea). There is little chance of either of these yielding Gee in English and of course, the English explanation that it is the letter G makes perfect sense.