Category Archives: The Cassidy Scandal

This is an item about Cassidy or his friends or the scandal of how a book full of pseudoscientific nonsense has come to be treated like a genuine work of scholarship by people, many of whom are probably smart enough to know better.

A Christmas Warning/Rabhadh Nollag

You can still buy a copy of Cassidy’s puerile, silly book on Amazon for a couple of dollars. If there were any justice, this trashy, awful book would never have been published in the first place. However, it’s Christmas, the world is full of suckers, so we can expect a few copies to be sold to the naïve and credulous.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again – if you give this book as a present, you are giving out a clear message about yourself. At least some of the recipients will find this blog or other negative reviews of this book. If they have any sense at all, they will realise that you are a total idiot, just like its author.

So, this Christmas, if you can’t think of anything to give people, don’t give this rubbish. Give a global gift from Trócaire or Oxfam or whatever the equivalent is where you live, or make a contribution to a charity on their behalf and put the receipt in a card. Give hope and help to people who need it, and say something positive about yourself.

Don’t give the gift of ignorance and lies this Christmas.

 

Is féidir leat cóip de leabhar páistiúil, amaideach Daniel Cassidy, How The Irish Invented Slang, ar chúpla dollar ar Amazon. Dá mbeadh an saol mar ba chóir dó a bheith, ní fhoilseofaí an leabhar bómánta seo riamh. Ach an Nollaig atá ann, tá an saol lán glasóg, agus is dócha go ndíolfar roinnt cóipeanna de le daoine saonta somheallta.

Tá sé ráite agam roimhe seo agus is fiú é a rá arís – má thugann tú an leabhar seo mar bhronntanas, is ionann sin agus teachtaireacht shoiléir a thabhairt faoin chineál duine atá ionat. Cuid de na daoine a fhaigheann an leabhar seo mar bhronntanas, tiocfaidh siad ar an bhlag seo nó ar léirmheasanna diúltacha eile ar an leabhar seo. Má tá ciall ar bith leo, tuigfidh siad nach bhfuil ionat ach bómán, go díreach cosúil le húdar an leabhair.

Mar sin de, an Nollaig seo, mura dtig leat smaoineamh ar rud ar bith le tabhairt mar bhronntanas, ná bac leis an raiméis seo. Tabhair bronntanas domhanda ó Trócaire nó Oxfam nó cibé rud den chineál atá ann san áit a bhfuil tusa i do chónaí, nó tabhair airgead do charthanas ar a son agus cuir an admháil i gcárta. Tabhair dóchas agus cuidiú do dhaoine a bhfuil dóchas agus cuidiú de dhíth orthu, agus abair rud éigin dearfach fút féin.

Ná bí ag bronnadh caimiléireachta agus aineolais ar do chairde agus do ghaolta an Nollaig seo.

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The Trials of Bilingualism

As anyone who has read this blog will know, I started CassidySlangScam about six years ago to tell the truth about the late Daniel Cassidy and his crazy opinions about the Irish origins of American slang. The two languages (Irish and English) have had a central role in this blog from the beginning, but for practical reasons, the majority of the posts were in English for a long while. Of course, Cassidy’s fakery was aimed at Irish Americans who don’t know any Irish, not at fluent Irish speakers in Ireland (who would recognise immediately that Cassidy’s book was nothing but nonsense) and so, I decided to provide the majority of the material in English to cater for those people.

At the start of this year, I decided to celebrate the Year of the Irish Language by posting every article in both languages. When it was a short article, I put the two versions together on one page. With the longer articles, I made two posts, one in Irish and the other in English. The question is, however, should I carry on with this bilingual policy next year?

While I love the Irish language and though I support bilingualism in this country and in other countries where there are linguistic minorities, there is a good chance that I will not carry on with this policy in 2019. There will be bilingual posts here, certainly, but I will not provide two versions of every article.

Why? Well, firstly, the Irish versions probably aren’t necessary. Every Irish speaker (well, any sensible Irish speaker) knows that Cassidy’s work is nothing but the rantings of a lunatic. I have provided this blog primarily to spread the truth among Cassidy’s supporters in America. The Irish language pages get few hits in comparison with the English versions.

Secondly, big organisations have the resources to translate their documents into Irish. I am an individual who is trying to right a wrong and spread the truth. Usually, I write my pieces in English first – although I have written a handful of them in Irish and translated them into English. Of course, it makes sense to write the English first, because this blog is primarily about a book which was written in English, with sources which are available in English, and with Irish which is not really Irish at all. However, after I have composed the basic draft (in Irish or in English), I then have to translate it into the other language. That takes effort, of course. And sometimes, the result of that can be seen in the number of mistakes and misspellings. In short, it costs me twice as much effort and the standard of the writing is lower because of that. If I had a lot of time, that wouldn’t matter. But I am a busy person and I don’t have time.

There will certainly be bilingual posts on this blog in 2019, certainly. It’s good to increase the amount of Irish on line, and it is important to show the supporters of Cassidy that the Irish language is a real language, a language that is still alive and still in daily use by me, by Ciara Ní É, by Eoin P. Ó Murchú, by Maitiú Ó Coimín and by many other people who are on the right side of this argument. I will do my best to increase the amount of Irish on this site in 2019. But I will not be posting every article in both languages next year. There is too much work involved, and I simply don’t have enough time to do it justice.

Cora Casta an Dátheangachais

Mar is eol do dhuine ar bith a bhfuil CassidySlangScam léite aige nó aici, bhunaigh mé an blag seo tuairim is sé bliana ó shin leis an fhírinne a insint faoi Daniel Cassidy, nach maireann, agus a chuid tuairimí craiceáilte faoi bhunús Gaelach bhéarlagair an Bhéarla. Bhí ról lárnach ag an dá theanga (an Ghaeilge agus an Béarla) sa bhlag seo ón chéad lá riamh ach ar chúiseanna praiticiúla, is i mBéarla a bhí mórchuid na bpostálacha ar feadh fada go leor. Ar ndóigh, bhí caimiléireacht Cassidy dírithe ar Ghael-Mheiriceánaigh nach raibh Gaeilge ar bith acu, ní ar chainteoirí líofa Gaeilge in Éirinn (a d’aithneodh láithreach nach raibh i leabhar Cassidy ach raiméis) agus mar sin de, shíl mé gur chóir dom an chuid ba mhó den ábhar a chur ar fáil i mBéarla le freastal ar an phobal sin.

I dtús na bliana seo, rinne mé cinneadh Bliain na Gaeilge a chomóradh trí gach alt a chur suas sa dá theanga. Más alt gairid a bhí i gceist, chuir mé an dá leagan le chéile ar aon leathanach amháin. Leis na haltanna is faide, rinne mé dhá phostáil, ceann amháin i nGaeilge agus ceann eile i mBéarla. An cheist atá ann, áfach, ar chóir dom leanúint ar aghaidh leis an bheartas dhátheangach seo san athbhliain?

Cé go bhfuil an-dúil agam sa Ghaeilge agus cé go dtugaim tacaíocht don dátheangachas sa tír seo agus i dtíortha eile a bhfuil mionlach teanga ann, tá seans maith nach mbeidh mé ag leanúint ar aghaidh leis an bheartas seo in 2019. Beidh postálacha dátheangacha anseo, cinnte, ach ní chuirfidh mé dhá leagan de gach alt ar fáil.

Cén fáth? Bhal, ar an chéad dul síos, is dócha nach bhfuil na leaganacha Gaeilge de dhíth. Tuigeann gach Gaeilgeoir (bhal, gach Gaeilgeoir ciallmhar!) nach bhfuil i saothar Cassidy ach ramhaille geilte. Chuir mé an blag seo ar fáil go príomha leis an fhírinne a scaipeadh i measc leantóirí Cassidy i Meiriceá. Is beag duine a léann na leathanaigh Ghaeilge i gcomparáid leis na leaganacha Béarla.

Ar an dara dul síos, tá acmhainní ag comhlachtaí móra a gcuid doiciméad a aistriú go Gaeilge. Is duine aonair mise, atá ag iarraidh éagóir a cheartú agus an fhírinne a scaipeadh. De ghnáth, scríobhaim na píosaí s’agamsa i mBéarla ar dtús – cé gur scríobh mé dornán acu i nGaeilge agus d’aistrigh mé go Béarla iad. Ar ndóigh, is den chiall an leagan Béarla a dhéanamh ar dtús, mar go mbaineann an blag seo go príomha le leabhar a scríobhadh i mBéarla, le foinsí atá ar fail i mBéarla, agus le Gaeilge nach Gaeilge í ar chor ar bith. Ach ansin, i ndiaidh dom an bundréacht a chumadh (i nGaeilge nó i mBéarla), bíonn orm aistriúchán a chur ar fáil sa teanga eile. Ní gan dua a dhéantar sin, ar ndóigh. Agus in amanna, bíonn a thoradh sin le feiceáil i líon na meancóg agus na mílitrithe. Lena rá i mbeagán focal, cuireann sé dhá oiread níos mó brú ormsa agus is ísle caighdeán na scríbhneoireachta dá dheasca sin. Dá mbeadh a lán ama agam, ba chuma faoi sin. Ach níl. Is duine thar a bheith gnóthach mé.

Anois, beidh postálacha dátheangacha ar an bhlag seo sa bhliain 2019, gan amhras. Is maith an rud é cur leis an méid Gaeilge ar line, agus is den tábhacht a thaispeáint do lucht tacaíochta Cassidy gur fíortheanga í an Ghaeilge, teanga atá go fóill beo agus in úsáid ar bhonn laethúil agamsa, ag Ciara Ní É, ag Eoin P. Ó Murchú, ag Maitiú Ó Coimín agus ag a lán daoine eile atá ar an taobh cheart sa choimhlínt seo. Déanfaidh mé mo dhícheall cur leis an méid Gaeilge ar an tsuíomh seo. Ach ní bheidh mé ag cur gach postáil ar fáil sa dá theanga amach anseo. Tá barraíocht oibre i gceist agus níl go leor ama agam lena dhéanamh mar is ceart.

Craic Baby

Last Christmas, I received a copy of the book Motherfoclóir. As I explained in several posts here, I generally like the concept of the book, but I was less impressed with its author’s etymological skills. Recently, I happened to be in a bookshop and I saw a copy of the successor to Motherfoclóir, Craic Baby. I stood for a while and glanced through it. As with the previous book, most of it seems interesting enough. However, I did happen across a discussion of the words crack and craic. Again, I was very underwhelmed with his comments on this subject.

The facts about the origins of crack/craic are well-known and have been discussed here before. From a meaning of a loud noise in Middle English (also in Scots), it came to mean boastful talk and conversation. It’s found all over Scotland and Northern England. In more recent times, it has been Gaelicised as craic but there is no evidence that it is derived from Irish. There is also plenty of evidence that it doesn’t.

Ó Séaghdha said that there are several pieces of ‘evidence’ for the Irish origin of craic. One is the word craiceann, which means skin, but has a secondary meaning of sex, as in the phrase ag bualadh craicinn, literally beating skin. (Ó Séaghdha misspells this as ag bualaidh, which is an elementary mistake.) The link between craic and craiceann is obvious nonsense. I mean, does Béarla (the Irish word for English) constitute proof that béar (bear) is an ancient Irish word? Is there an intrinsic link between skillet and skill, or kit and kitten? Of course not. And the idea that craiceann has a subsidiary meaning of sex and sex is fun so craiceann means fun is pretty silly.

Even sillier is the second piece of ‘evidence’, namely the existence of the word craiceáilte, which means cracked or crazy. While there are some native words formed with -áil or -eáil, most words with these endings are words of foreign origin. Here are some common examples: cniotáil (to knit); traenáil (to train); pacáil (to pack). These can also generate nouns for people who do things: a scíálaí is a skier, a paraisiútálaí is a parachutist. They can also form adjectives: cócaráilte means cooked, fancyáilte is fancy (in speech – you wouldn’t usually write it), and craiceáilte is cracked. In other words, this is obviously a non-Irish word.

As I say, I haven’t read this book. If I receive a copy of Craic Baby for Christmas (and there’s every chance I will), I will read it and probably enjoy most of it. However, if there’s ever a number three in the series, I do hope he resists the temptation to make any etymological speculations because he really isn’t very good at it.

 

An Nollaig seo caite, fuair mé cóip den leabhar Motherfoclóir. Mar a mhínigh mé i roinnt postálacha anseo, is maith liom coincheap an leabhair, go ginearálta, ach is lú an dúil a bhí agam i scileanna sanasaíochta an údair. Seachtain ó shin, tharla dom bheith i siopa leabhar ag amharc ar chomharba Motherfoclóir, Craic Baby. D’fhan mé i mo sheasamh ansin ar feadh tamaill agus bhreathnaigh mé ar roinnt leathanach. Mar a bhí leis an leabhar roimhe, bhí an chuid ba mhó de measartha spéisiúil. Agus sin ráite, tháinig mé ar phlé ar an fhocal craic, nó crack. Agus arís eile, is beag an meas a bhí agam ar na rudaí a bhí le rá aige faoin ábhar seo.

Pléadh na fíricí faoi bhunús craic/crack anseo agus in áiteanna eile. Fuaim ard an chiall a bhí le crack sa MheánBhéarla (agus san Albainis fosta), agus ansin fuair sé ciall eile, mar atá, caint ghlórach mhórtasach. Tá an focal le fáil ar fud na hAlban agus Thuaisceart Shasana fosta. Le blianta beaga anuas, rinneadh Gaelú ar an fhocal mar chraic, ach nil aon fhianaise ann gur tháinig sé ón Ghaeilge. Agus tá a lán fianaise ann nár tháinig sé ón Ghaeilge, ar ndóigh.

Dúirt Ó Séaghdha go bhfuil cúpla píosa ‘fianaise’ ann le bunús Gaelach an fhocail craic. Ceann de na píosaí fianaise seo ná an focal craiceann, a bhfuil an chiall thánaisteach ‘gnéas’ leis, ar ndóigh, mar shampla, sa fhrása sin ‘ag bualadh craicinn’. (Mílitríonn Ó Séaghdha an focal seo mar bualaidh – is meancóg bhunúsach é sin.) Is léir gur raiméis é an nasc idir craic agus craiceann. Mar shampla, an gcruthaíonn an focal Béarla gur focal ársa Gaeilge é béar? An bhfuil baint idir camall agus scamall? Agus is amaidí fosta an tuairim a nochtann Ó Séaghdha go gciallaíonn craiceann gnéas agus is mór an spórt é gnéas agus mar sin de, is ionann craiceann agus craic!

Tá an dara píosa ‘fianaise’ níos amaidí fós, is é sin, go bhfuil an focal craiceáilte ann. Mar a thuigfidh Gaeilgeoir ar bith arbh fhiú an t-ainm, is comhartha é -eáilte gur focal gallda fréamh an fhocail m.sh. traenáilte agus postáilte agus péinteáilte. Lena rá ar dhóigh eile, cruthaíonn foirm an fhocail craiceáilte nach focal dúchasach é craic.

Mar a dúirt mé, níl an leabhar seo léite agam. Má fhaighim cóip de Craic Baby don Nollaig (agus tá gach seans ann go bhfaighidh), léifidh mé é agus is dócha go mbainfidh mé sult as an chuid is mó de. Agus sin ráite, má scríobhann Ó Séaghdha an tríú leabhar sa tsraith choíche, tá súil agam nach mbacfaidh sé le tuilleadh buillí faoi thuairim a thabhairt faoin tsanasaíocht, mar is cinnte nach bhfuil tuairim dá laghad aige faoi stair na bhfocal.

Cluanaire Eile

Nuair a d’fhoilsigh Daniel Cassidy, nach maireann, a chnuasach cacamais How The Irish Invented Slang deich mbliana ó shin, ba chóir go dteipfeadh go hainnis air láithreach. Caimiléir agus naircisíoch a bhí in Cassidy, duine a bhain feidhm as a scileanna mar shlíomadóir le post a fháil mar ollamh i gcoláiste beag in California gan oiread agus céim bhaitsiléara a bheith aige. Ní raibh Gaeilge ar bith aige agus ní raibh tuiscint ar bith aige ar an teangeolaíocht. An chuid is mó de na frásaí ‘Gaeilge’ atá luaite sa leabhar mar bhunús fhocail bhéarlagair Bhéarla, chum Cassidy féin iad agus ní raibh focail ná frásaí dá leithéid riamh ann sa teanga s’againne.

Agus sin ráite, bhí sé de nós ag Cassidy plámás agus béal bán a dhéanamh le cuid mhór daoine mór le rá: scríbhneoirí, fíorléachtóirí ollscoile, ceoltóirí agus mar sin de, agus thug na ‘cairde’ sin léirmheasanna maithe dó le cur ar chúl a leabhair bhréagaigh. Mar gheall air sin, cuireadh dallamullóg ar a lán daoine agus shíl siad go raibh substaint éigin ag baint leis na teoiricí bómánta a bhí ag Cassidy. Straitéis eile a d’úsáid sé lena chosaint féin ar cháineadh na saineolaithe ná a mhaíomh go raibh comhcheilg ollmhór ann a raibh teangeolaithe acadúla agus lucht foclóírí páirteach ann. Dar leisean, bhí na saineolaithe Anglaifiliacha seo ag iarraidh an fhírinne go bhfuarthas focail ar nós baloney agus wanker ón Ghaeilge a cheilt le stádas an Bhéarla a ardú! Ar ndóigh, ní raibh sa chomhcheilg seo ach finscéal eile de chuid Cassidy, agus ní ghlacann an saol acadúil lena theoiricí cionn is nach bhfuil i ‘saothar’ Cassidy ach raiméis amaitéarach, amaideach gan fianaise.

Mar gheall ar na bréagadóiri a thug tacaíocht don bhocamadán naircisíoch seo, deich mbliana i ndiaidh fhoilsiú an leabhair How The Irish Invented Slang, bíonn daoine ag nochtadh ar an idirlíon go fóill ag rá gur fíric an píosa seo nó an píosa sin amaidí ó leabhar Cassidy, nó gur chóir glacadh leis an leabhar iomlán mar fhíorthaighde. Roinnt laethanta ó shin, nocht bómán eile den chineál seo ar Twitter. Mhol an duine seo, Mary Ann Pierce, do dhaoine a bhí ag déanamh taighde stairiúil ar stair na Gaeilge labhartha sna Stáit gur chóir dóibh How The Irish Invented Slang a léamh. Nuair a fheicim bómán éigin mar seo ag áitiú ar dhaoine a gcuid airgid a chur amú ar leabhar bréagach Cassidy, bím ag coinneáil súil amach d’fhianaise na comhcheilge. Cad chuige? Bhal, is cinnte go bhfuil comhcheilg ann maidir le leabhar Cassidy. Comhcheilg de shlíbhíní gustalacha i Meiriceá a bhfuil cinneadh déanta acu an fhírinne faoi Cassidy a bhrú faoi chois agus beag is fiú a dhéanamh den teanga s’againne.

Is féidir roinnt giotaí eolais a fháil ar Mary Ann Pierce ar line. Bhí sí rannpháirteach i bhfeachtas le teach pobail stairiúil i Nua-Eabhrac a shabháil le – iontas na n-iontas – Peter Quinn, an cara ab fhearr le Cassidy, agus le (John) Joe Lee, a scríobh léirmheas ardmholtach ar an chacamas seo do chúl an leabhair. Chomh maith leis sin, tá baint aici leis an Irish American Writers and Artists Association, eagraíocht a bhunaigh Cassidy le dornán dá ‘chairde’. Nuair a mholann duine ar bith an leabhar seo don phobal, is fíorannamh nach mbíonn fianaise den drong lofa caimiléirí seo ann, drong atá ag iarraidh an fhírinne a bhrú faoi chois agus níl fáth ar bith agam a chreidiúint nach amhlaidh atá sé sa chás seo fosta.

Another Phoney

When the late Daniel Cassidy brought out his moronic crapfest How The Irish Invented Slang ten years ago, it should have bombed immediately. Cassidy himself was a fraud and a narcissist, who somehow conned his way into a job as a professor in a small college in California without any qualifications at all. He didn’t speak any Irish or have any knowledge of linguistics. Most of the phrases which are given in his book as the origins of slang terms were made up by Cassidy and never existed in the Irish language.

However, Cassidy sucked up to a large number of credible people, writers, genuine university lecturers, musicians, and these people gave him good reviews for his lying book. Because of this, many people have been tricked into thinking that there is substance to his ludicrous theories. Another strategy he employed to protect himself from criticism was the claim that academic linguists and lexicographers with Anglophile leanings were involved in a grand conspiracy to hide the fact that words like baloney and wanker came from Irish! Of course, this conspiracy never existed, and Cassidy is rejected by linguists because is ‘work’ is shoddy, stupid and without evidence.

Because of the liars who have supported this narcissistic dimwit, ten years on we are still finding people on line claiming that this or that piece of nonsense from Cassidy’s book is true or that his book as a whole should be treated as real scholarship. Just a couple of days ago, another of these people popped up on Twitter. Mary Ann Pierce advised people doing research on the history of spoken Irish in the USA to ‘read the late Daniel Cassidy “How the Irish Invented Slang.”’ Whenever I see some random fool encouraging people to waste their money on Cassidy’s fraudulent book, I look for evidence of conspiracy. Why? Well, there most certainly is a conspiracy in relation to Cassidy’s book. A conspiracy of over-privileged arseholes in America who have decided to suppress the truth about Cassidy and treat the Irish language with disdain and contempt.

There are various pieces of biographical information about Mary Ann Pierce on line. She was involved with a campaign to save a church along with – wait for it – Peter Quinn, Cassidy’s best friend, and (John) Joe Lee, who wrote a glowing review of this rubbish for the back of the book. She is also associated with the Irish American Writers’ and Artists’ Association, which was co-founded by Cassidy. Whenever anyone praises this book, there is almost always evidence of this horrible parcel of phoneys trying to suppress the truth and I have no reason to suppose that this is an exception.

Rollicking/Rámhailleach

Out of the hundreds of silly claims in Daniel Cassidy’s ludicrous book, How The Irish Invented Slang, few are sillier than his theory about the origins of the word rollicking. This is a word that makes its appearance in English for the first time in 1811. Cassidy says that the dictionaries say it is ‘of obscure origin’ but there seems to be a consensus that it is linked in some way to frolicking, which is of Dutch origin.

As usual with Cassidy’s work, all he has to offer is a vague similarity of sound. He says that this word comes from Irish rámhailleach, which is either an adjective or a verbal noun deriving from rámhaille, which means raving or ranting. The word rámhailleach is pronounced something like row-will-yah, so it really sounds nothing like rollicking. Also, the meaning is completely different. People have a rollicking good time all the time in English, but nobody every had ‘am maith rámhailleach’ (a raving good time). Rámhaille in Irish means that someone is mentally or physically ill. Rollicking is the very opposite.

As na céadta bómántacht a chum Daniel Cassidy agus a d’fhoilsigh sé ina leabhar amaideach How The Irish Invented Slang, is beag ceann acu atá chomh bómánta leis an méid a bhí le rá aige maidir le bunús an fhocail rollicking. Is focal Béarla é rollicking a taifeadadh den chéad uair sa bhliain 1811. Deir Cassidy go ndeir na foclóirí go bhfuil a bhunús doiléir, ach bíonn an chuid is mó de na scoláirí ar aon intinn go bhfuil nasc idir rollicking agus an focal frolicking, a fuair an Béarla ón Ísiltíris.

Mar is gnách le teoiricí Cassidy, níl fianaise le tairiscint aige ach go bhfuil focal sa Ghaeilge a mheasann sé a bheith cosúil leis an fhocal Béarla ó thaobh fuaime de. Deir Cassidy gur tháinig an focal seo ó rámhailleach na Gaeilge, a chiallaíonn caint gan chiall a dhéanamh agus tú tinn, ar meisce, as do mheabhair srl. Ar ndóigh, níl fuaim an fhocail rámhailleach ar dhóigh ar bith cosúil le rollicking, agus tá an chiall iomlán difriúil fosta. Is féidir ‘a rollicking good time’ a bheith agat i mBéarla. Ní féidir am maith rámhailleach a bheith agat i nGaeilge! Ciallaíonn rámhaille go bhfuil duine tinn nó as a mheabhair. Ciallaíonn rollicking a mhalairt ar fad.