Tag Archives: Daniel Cassidy

Cassidese Glossary – Jake

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 an expression for ‘the best’ or ‘something good’ that first makes its appearance (in American English) in the early twentieth century. There is no agreed etymology. Cassidy, in his book How The Irish Invented Slang, claims that it comes from the Irish deach, which means ‘the best’. There are several problems with this. Firstly, the pronunciation is not at all close. Secondly, this is an archaic expression. It is marked in Ó Dónaill’s dictionary as Lit. – a literary expression. A look through Corpas na Gaeilge shows that there are no uses of this word in the corpus itself after the 17th century. (Later uses of deach, as in Cín Lae Amhlaoibh, are misspellings of other words, such as deich, the Irish for ten.) In other words, it is highly improbable that it would have been known or used by Irish speakers in 19th or early 20th century America, even if it sounded anything like jake.

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Cassidese Glossary – Jag (2)

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.

According to the late Daniel Cassidy, jag in the sense of being drunk (to have or get a jag on) is not related to the word jag meaning a load. According to him, it comes from the Irish word deoch, meaning drink (see here for pronunciation: https://www.focloir.ie/en/dictionary/ei/beverage#beverage__2)

This is very implausible. The most commonly accepted theory is that jag is the same word as jag meaning a load – to have a load on is certainly a reasonable metaphor for drunkenness. As you can see in the link above, deoch does not sound like jag.

Cassidese Glossary – Jag (1)

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.

According to Daniel Cassidy in his work of false etymology, How The Irish Invented Slang, the word jag, meaning a load for the back, comes from the Irish word tiach (as, according to him, does the word jack). There is no evidence in favour of this theory.

Jag originally meant a load of furze or whin, then later came to be a general term for a load: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/jag

Cassidese Glossary – Jack-roll

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 was originally a term for the act of robbing a drunk. In recent years, it has been used, notably in South Africa, for crimes of gang-rape. Again, Cassidy claims that this is from the Irish tiach, which he says means ‘a wallet, small purse; fig. money’. In fact, tiach means a bag or satchel and is not specifically used to refer to a purse. There is no evidence of it being used to mean money (any more than there is evidence for satchel being used figuratively for money in English slang). It is also quite different in pronunciation from the English jack.

Cassidese Glossary – Jackpot

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.

In his work of false etymology, How The Irish Invented Slang, Daniel Cassidy claimed that the word jackpot derives from the Irish word tiach along with the English word pot. As we have seen with the word jack, tiach does not mean money and it sounds nothing like the English word jack.

Furthermore, it is widely accepted that jackpot is a poker term derived from the card, the jack. Follow this link for further details: https://www.etymonline.com/word/jackpot

Cassidese Glossary – Jack

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 word jack as a slang term for money first appears in the US in the 1890s. There is no agreement about its etymology. Some sources note that jack was used as a term for a small coin in English as early as the 16th century. However, the fact that the term jackpot makes its appearance around the 1880s and derives from poker leaves open the possibility that jack is a back formation from jackpot (which really derives from the card jack – the jackpot was won with two jacks). Wherever jack comes from, there is no reason to believe that it derives from Irish.

Daniel Cassidy, in his etymological hoax, How The Irish Invented Slang, claimed that jack derives from the Irish word tiach, which Cassidy defines as: ‘a small purse, a wallet, a budget; fig. money’. Tiach is an archaic word for a bag or satchel and is pronounced chee-ah or tee-ah (not j’aċ, as Cassidy claims). It sounds nothing like jack and it doesn’t mean money. This claim is entirely false.

 

H and I

So, I have now completed another two letters in the glossary in Daniel Cassidy’s absurd book, How The Irish Invented Slang, and as with A and B and C, D and E, and F and G, I have prepared a short account of my conclusions in relation to Cassidy’s efforts.

There are only 31 words in the H and I categories. Added to the 219 words dealt with above, that makes a total of 250 headwords from the glossary of Cassidy’s book. As in the previous letters, none of Cassidy’s explanations is in any way convincing, apart from one that has already been mentioned, the supposed link between the expression ‘big bug’ in English and the Irish boc mór. However, even in this case, Cassidy totally failed to conduct any real research.

The rest of Cassidy’s ‘research’ in relation to these letters is the usual utterly stupid made-up nonsense that breaks the grammatical rules of Irish and stretches credibility (and sanity) well beyond breaking point. There is a lot of material in relation to these two letters that demonstrates very clearly how little Irish Cassidy had. And while it has often been claimed that Cassidy had native Irish speakers available to help him and to vet the material he was coming out with, it is quite clear that these claims are also nonsense. What competent Irish speaker would endorse árd-iachtach-tach as a piece of genuine Irish? Who would give the thumbs-up to a phrase like ag céimnigh? Almost all the Irish in this book is pure invention and bears no relation to the real language, which Cassidy, a loud-mouth, a fool and a narcissist, had never even bothered to learn before setting himself up as an expert.

This man was a disgrace. This book, which so many Irish-Americans and even Irish people have been fooled into thinking was a valid contribution to the history of Irish America, was a collection of utter nonsense. People can believe what they like about Cassidy. They can ignore this blog and all other evidence and claim that he was a genuine radical, someone who actually cared about the poor and oppressed. (While claiming to have degrees from Ivy League colleges to take a job he wasn’t entitled to have.) They can ignore the evidence that claims he made about other aspects of his life were also dodgy. (For example, that he was in the newsroom of the New York Times when Kennedy was assassinated, or that he sold a script to Francis Ford Coppola – though he actually mentions two different scripts as the one he sold to Coppola.) And they can stick their fingers in their ears and hum while they ignore the truth about Cassidy’s etymological hoax. But facts are facts. They remain facts, however many people choose to lie or disbelieve or pretend that they are untrue.

The facts are laid out clearly here. There is no hiding place for liars in these pages, which is why we never hear from the liars in California, New York and even in Ireland who continue to pretend that Cassidy was a scholar and an intellectual. They don’t bother challenging the facts because they have no facts of their own to offer. In the past, some people have claimed that Cassidy was controversial. The truth is that there never was a controversy. Cassidy’s theories were always obvious and indefensible nonsense.