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.
The origins of the word kitty for a pot of money in a card or other game are unknown, though there are several possibilities. You can find some information at these links:
In Daniel Cassidy’s work of etymological fiction, How The Irish Invented Slang, Cassidy claimed that the word kitty derives from the Irish phrase cuid oíche. This is highly improbable.
The phrase cuid oíche (earlier spelling cuid oidhche) is an historical term. It literally means ‘a night’s portion’ and it refers to the entertainment which a lord could expect from his subjects. It is pronounced roughly as cudge-eeha and has been anglicised as cuddy and cuddihy. In other words, it is not a good match for kitty in terms of pronunciation or of meaning.