Category Archives: Humour

Mayday Your Nipples With Google Translate

One of the stupidest things I have seen in the press recently was an article by Newton Emerson about the Irish language. Newton (who normally talks a fair amount of sense) obviously knows nothing about languages. He claimed in the article that with automatic translation, nobody needs translators any more.

Hmm. This is, to say the least, a pile of horse feathers. Irish is a difficult language. If Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, arguably the most prominent champion of the Irish language in Stormont, can make a complete hames of the language in a prominent position on his Twitter feed – the phrase ‘Bí thusa an t-athrú’ is equivalent to saying ‘Tá mé polaiteoir’ or ‘An bhfuil tú an múinteoir?’ and he also misspells the word for opinions – then someone with no knowledge of the language using Google Translate is bound to come up with something ludicrous.

I’ve just seen this Google Translate gem on Twitter: Bealtaine an ádh ar an Shine na hÉireann ar tú an lá seo Fhéile Pádraig. It’s supposed to mean ‘May the luck of the Irish shine upon you this Saint Patrick’s day.’ It really means something like ‘Mayday the luck on the nipple of Ireland on you this day Festival of Patrick.’

Ó, m’aintín mheadhránach! (That’s a crap translation of Oh, my giddy aunt …)

Eek! Cassidy has risen from the grave …

I recently came across a disturbing little blog from California by an individual calling themselves Wandering Graveyard Rabbit. You can find it here: http://wanderinggyrabit.blogspot.co.uk/2008/11/abandoned-cemetery-purissima-in-half.html It ran from 2008 up until 2012. I was shocked to see that the individual who wrote the blog claims to be Daniel Cassidy:

Over the years I have lectured and assisted in family history under the guise of Danny Cassidy-Professor, film maker and award winning Author (How the Irish Invented Slang The Secret Language of the Crossroads).

In other words, Daniel Cassidy has returned from the grave and until five years ago, he was frequenting Californian graveyards as … appropriately enough … a dead rabbit.

However, the individual also mentions a daughter and a bath products business (I don’t think Cassidy had either). In that case, it could be that the person who wrote the blog means guidance rather than guise and that Daniel Cassidy did die in 2008 as we always thought.

However, I intend to eat a lot of garlic for the next couple of weeks, just in case …

It’s Official: The Etruscans Were Irish!

[I would like to make it quite clear that THIS IS NOT A REAL THEORY. I AM TAKING THE PISS. Unfortunately, it is the nature of the Internet that people flit around reading little bits of things and then tweeting about them and republishing them in other ways, so it is no surprise that there is a thing called Poe’s Law, which states that unless the material is clearly labelled as ironic, somebody will always take your parodies and satires at face value. On this blog, I have already had people take seriously claims that the phrase Vichy Water is from Irish and that the Irish language has a word for the sound horses make when you pull their feathers out. Seriously! So, just to be clear, I’m being sarcastic – Etruscan is NOT an early form of Irish.]

The Irish Milesian Academy For Intellectual Arts (IrishMAFIA), founded five years ago to further the work of the late Daniel Cassidy, have come up with their biggest and boldest claim yet. According to Brendan Patrick Gurne, Head of Creative Etymology with IrishMAFIA:

“We were looking at Google and found a website about Etruscan, an ancient language of Italy, and its links to extra-terrestrials, the Illuminati and home-made anti-gravity machines. We then found a vocabulary of Etruscan and were amazed to find clear parallels between Irish and Etruscan. We are convinced that Etruscan is in fact an early form of Irish and that through the Etruscans, Irish was responsible for the Roman Empire and the whole history of Western Civilization.

Let’s look at some examples. For example, clan is Etruscan for son. This is just like clann in Irish, which means children. The Etruscan for jar is pruchum, which is like the Irish próca. Shuthi, meaning a vault or grave is very like the Irish or sidhe, meaning a fairy mound or grave mound. The Etruscan word for a state, tuθi (tuthi) is almost exactly the same as Irish tuath, meaning a petty kingdom. Cel, the word for earth, ground or soil, is very similar to cill, which means churchyard. The Etruscan for bull, thevru, is very like Irish tarbh. The Etruscan for I is mi, which is just like Irish . The Etruscan for a free person is zeri, which is just like the Irish word saor. And what about mech, meaning lady or queen? Surely this is the same word as Macha, the ancient goddess of war who gave her name to Armagh? There can be no doubt about it. The Etruscans were Irish.”

Reaction to the revelation from academic linguists has been universally skeptical and hostile, but it has been enthusiastically repeated by the Irish Times, the Irish News, IrishCentral , the Irish Echo, RTÉ, Michael Patrick MacDonald, Joseph Lee and Peter Linebaugh.

[WARNING: THIS IS SATIRE! The Etruscans were NOT Irish. The vast majority of Etruscan vocabulary bears no relation to any Celtic language. Próca isn’t originally an Irish word. Clann is an early Irish borrowing of Latin planta. Cill also comes from Latin and is related to English cell. The taurus/tarvos word for bull is found in many Indo-European languages and is probably Afro-Asiatic in origin. The others are just coincidental similarities, helped along by selective use of definitions. It just goes to show how easy it is to make random and completely worthless connections when you are dealing with a fairly large set of data.]

It’s Official – Mazel Tov is Irish Too!

For centuries, people have believed that Mazel Tov is Hebrew and an exclusively Jewish expression. Now an Irish-American academic has thrown down the gauntlet to this biased scholarship which refuses to give Irish culture its rightful place at the centre of the universe.

Brendan Patrick Gurne, Professor of Creative Etymology at the newly-founded Irish Milesian Academy For Intellectual Arts (IrishMAFIA) could not hide his delight when he spoke to our correspondent.

“The Academy was founded last year with funding from Celtic Research On New York (CRONY) to continue the research of the late Daniel Cassidy into the Irish influence on American speech. This is our first important breakthrough. We have checked it with our extensive library and both of the books are in full agreement. Also our special Irish language consultant, the guy in the Blarney Stone Bar who says he speaks Irish, concurs with our findings.”

“The Irish word asal means donkey and tofa means chosen. Therefore the phrase m’asal tofa means ‘my chosen donkey’. This seems to go back to the old days when donkey racing was a common activity in Ireland. When someone was lucky and won a race, they used to shout m’asal tofa! When large numbers of Irish speakers came to New York in the 1840s, Jewish people heard the expression and adopted it.”

Another Irish American who is delighted with the revelation is John Weeney of the SoLo Dalliance.

“It stands to reason that these people are right. They’re friends of mine! You only have to look at the nonsense given out by the traditional Anglophile linguists. They say that it comes from two Hebrew words meaning ‘planet good’! It doesn’t even make sense! I think all these linguists in their ivory towers should go off in a rocket and find a better planet and leave us working stiffs down here with our feet on the ground!” he guffawed, smugly. “Anyone who refuses to believe that Mazel Tov is derived from Irish donkey-racing slang and accepts the discredited Hebrew origin is simply a self-hating Irishman.”

Professor Gurne says that they are working on hundreds of other words now.

“We hope to have Irish derivations for kimono, blitzkrieg and mariachi very soon!” he said. “Watch this space!”

A number of people have commented on the revelation.

“Oy vey, voss far a mishegoss!” (I endorse this message!) said Rabbi Samuel Tishbein.

“Tha è sin glè mhath!” said Dizzy Gillespie, channelled from beyond the grave by internationally renowned medium Madam Bletherovsky.

“Daniel Cassidy was a god, a champion, a muse, an idol, a star, a force of nature, the greatest intellectual since Plato. At last his genius is beginning to bear fruit! Mazel Tov, Danny Boy!” said Peter Quint, Professional Irish-American.

“What do I think? I don’t know. Ask Peter Quint or Mallarkey McQuart!” said Ned Lunch, writer and fighter.

“This is a great claim altogether, a wonderful claim. Sure, it’s like Danny was still here beside me sharing a bit o’ the old crack. Now, where’s the buffet?” said writer Mallarkey McQuart, brother of the more famous.

“THIS IS A MAJOR REVULSION IN ENTOMOLOGY. ITS THE BIGEST THING SINSE COPPERKNICKERS,” said some guy on the Internet with a tinfoil hat.