I have just had a pleasant surprise. Apparently Douglas Harper’s Online Etymological Dictionary or Etymonline (an amazing resource which I have frequently referenced in this blog) has published a link to CassidySlangScam on Facebook with the words: “Salute to this site for patiently and persistently picking apart bad popular etymology”.
It’s always nice to know that my efforts are appreciated and doubly so when it comes from etymologists who really know what they’re doing.
I just wanted to remind readers of this blog about what I said when I went into partial retirement a couple of months ago. I have written what I think about Daniel Cassidy’s ‘etymology’ here. I have provided facts and I would encourage people to seek out etymology sites and Irish language resources to check my claims (and Cassidy’s, of course).
If people contact me here with a genuine question or a piece of relevant information, I will reply. However, the opinions of strangers unsupported by any facts or evidence do not interest me. If someone thinks that Irish bealach is a better candidate for block in ‘city block’ than the English word block, they are plainly either mad or stupid. I am not interested in having a debate with mad or stupid people. I have already had plenty of fruitless arguments with people who don’t know their arses from their elbows and I can’t be bothered having any more.
If people can provide some evidence, great! Evidence means, for example, proof that anyone, anywhere has ever pronounced bealach in a similar way to block. Or proof that anyone, anywhere ever regarded city block as a distinctly Irish expression. Or proof that anyone, anywhere ever thought that block refers to the roads and not to the masses (or ‘blocks’) of buildings in between the roads.
If you can provide such evidence, bring it on. If all you want to do is bore me with your groundless opinions that Cassidy must have been right because you think he was right and you’re always right and yadayadayada, then go and bore someone else. Or better still, go get a life.