Category Archives: Cassidese Glossary

Cassidese Glossary – Gism

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.

Gism or gasm are slang words for energy or for semen. The origin of these expressions is unknown.

Daniel Cassidy claims that they come from the ‘Irish’ teas ioma, which he claims means ‘an abundance of heat, passion, excitement.’ Cassidy thinks the word iomaí (or ioma) is an ordinary adjective which can follow a noun. It isn’t and it can’t: https://www.teanglann.ie/en/fgb/iomaí

In other words, this is not just a non-existent phrase in Irish. This is an impossible phrase. It is a piece of made-up nonsense which means nothing.

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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.

Cassidese Glossary – Giniker

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 is a word that occurs in one or two texts about a hundred years ago but disappears soon after its appearance. Because it is associated with jazz pep and linked to the term fizz, it is probably a jocular mispronunciation of the word ginger.

Cassidy claims that it is from the Irish for a fireball, tine caor. (This is an odd and ungrammatical version of the more usual caor thine, only found in Dinneen’s dictionary. It may be a misprint.) As usual, there is no evidence at all for this claim.

Cassidese Glossary – Gimmick

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.

Gimmick first makes its appearance in the 1920s. It originally meant a device for fixing a roulette wheel or something similar at a fairground so that people would not win anything valuable. It then came to mean any kind of magician’s device and then a publicity stunt or politician’s trick.

Its origin is not known. Some have suggested a link to gimcrack are a backslang version of magic but there is little to support these theories. Cassidy’s suggestion is that it comes from the Irish camóg. Camóg is a diminutive of the word cam, meaning crooked.

Here are its definitions, according to the electronic version of Ó Dónaill’s dictionary.

  1. crook, hooked stick
  2. camogie stick (camogie is the women’s version of hurling)
  3. gaff-hook
  4. chinks
  5. camóg ara, hollow of temple
  6. a. concave scallop shell
  7. b. small wooden dish
  8. wisp (of smoke)
  9. ripple (on water)
  10. comma

Is there anything there which makes you automatically think of devices or tricks? Maybe the original gimmick which was used to interfere with the wheel of fortune was hooked. And maybe it wasn’t. But I can’t really see why camóg would become gimmick, where the vowels are completely different and the g and c are reversed. Cassidy spoofed a lot about the ‘English phonetic overcoats’ which cover his candidate ‘Irish’ phrases but the fact is that most genuine borrowed words look a lot like the word they derive from. Samurai, bagel and shebeen may not be exactly like their Japanese, Yiddish or Irish source-words but they’re close enough and I see no reason why fairground folk wouldn’t have talked about kammogs instead of gimmicks if this were really the origin of the word.

 

Cassidese Glossary – Gilpin, Gulpin

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.

Cassidy claimed that gilpin or gulpin, word for a lout in American English, comes from the Irish guilpín, which means a lout.

In fact, there is no doubt that gulpin is a Scots word which entered into Irish and also into American English.

Here is the relevant entry from the Concise Ulster Dictionary from the OED:

(Scots gilpin, gulpin; possibly a form of galopin “a servant boy”, from French galopin, a servant boy.)

Cassidese Glossary -Giggle

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.

One of Cassidy’s most idiotic and left-field claims is that giggle, meaning a half-suppressed laugh, comes from the ‘Irish’ gíog gheal.

Firstly, while the origins of giggle are unsure, certain facts are known. You can find some information on the origins of giggle here: https://www.etymonline.com/word/giggle and here: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/giggle

As for gíog gheal, Cassidy provides evidence for the existence of gíog and evidence for the existence of geal, but he provides no evidence that the two words have ever been combined in the Irish language. The phrase does not exist and in the absence of any evidence, there is no need for anyone to take Cassidy’s claim seriously.

Cassidese Glossary – Gigger

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.

Gigger is a cant (criminal slang) expression for a door. According to the late Daniel Cassidy, this word comes from the Irish gíogaire, meaning a squeaker.

There is one glaring problem with this claim. The English g can be hard as in goblet or soft as in ginger. The evidence suggests that gigger is as often written as jigger than as gigger. If its primary pronunciation is jigger, it definitely doesn’t come from Irish gíog. You can find some more information here:

https://www.etymonline.com/word/jig

It is clearly related to terms like jigsaw, in that jig refers to the moving portions of a device or machine.