Cassidese Glossary – Pogue Ma Hone

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.

This phrase, an anglicisation of Irish póg mo thóin, is universally acknowledged to be from Irish. In one of his more lucid moments in an interview, Cassidy points out that there is no early evidence for the phrase póg mo thóin and that it would not have been recorded because it was obscene. Thus he argues that if expressions like this have left no trace, it is no surprise if other slang terms in Irish like sách úr and béal ónna didn’t get recorded.

This is true but it is also a fact that all Irish speakers accept the validity of póg mo thóin/pogue ma hone. It immediately makes sense to anyone with Irish. The overwhelming majority of Cassidy’s phrases – pure invention from an ignorant fantasist – do not.

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