Tag Archives: Good Government

Cassidese Glossary – Goo-Goo

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 another bizarre claim made in Daniel Cassidy’s book How The Irish Invented Slang. Apparently, goo-goo is an American slang term for upper class ‘reformers’. This term derives from the phrase Good Government, and there was a string of Good Government clubs at the end of the 19th century promoting this ideology (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goo-goos).

Daniel Cassidy, of course, begs to differ. No, this well-known and well-attested derivation is wrong. Really, it has its origins in the teeming Irish-speaking slums of New York and represents the Irish guth guth, a reduplication of Irish guth meaning voice or (rarely) blame. So according to Cassidy, this phrase means:

‘guth guth (pron. guh guh), complain, complain; reproach, reproach; blame blame; censure, censure; fig. blah, blah.’

This is not true, of course. Guth guth doesn’t mean anything in Irish, any more than ‘voice voice’ means anything in particular in English. As usual, Cassidy fails to provide any evidence for its existence, because no such evidence exists.

Goo-goo

This is another incredibly stupid claim made in Daniel Cassidy’s staggeringly incompetent book How The Irish Invented Slang. Apparently, goo-goo is an American slang term for upper class ‘reformers’. This term derives from the phrase Good Government, and there was a string of Good Government clubs at the end of the 19th century promoting this ideology (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goo-goos).

Daniel Cassidy, of course, begs to differ. No, this well-known and well-attested derivation is wrong. Really, it has its origins in the teeming Irish-speaking slums of New York and represents the Irish guth guth. The Irish what? I hear you ask – especially if you speak Irish. Guth guth, says Danny the Dork, a reduplication of Irish guth meaning voice or (rarely) blame. So according to Cassidy, this phrase means:

‘guth guth (pron. guh guh), complain, complain; reproach, reproach; blame blame; censure, censure; fig. blah, blah.’

Is this true? No, of course not. There is absolutely no evidence of this phrase existing anywhere outside of Cassidy’s fantasy world. It’s that well-known English phrase, shit shit.

 

Seo píosa cacamais eile i leabhar sáramaideach Cassidy How The Irish Invented Slang, cacamas atá chomh bómánta sin, is deacair a thuiscint cén fáth a gcreidfeadh duine ar bith é. De réir cosúlachta, is téarma é goo-goo a bhí in úsáid i Meiriceá le cur síos ar dhaoine saibhre a bhí sásta tacú le hathleasuithe rialtais. Níl aon amhras faoi bhunús an fhocail seo. Tagann sé ó GG –Good Government, agus bhí slabhra de chumainn Good Government ar fud na Stát i ndeireadh an 19ú haois a bhí ag cothú na hidé-eolaíochta seo (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goo-goos).

Ní chreideann Daniel Cassidy sin, ar ndóigh. Dar le Cassidy, tá an tsanasaíocht seo (míniú a bhfuil a lán tacaíochta ar a shon) mícheart. Deir Cassidy go bhfuil bunús an téarma le fáil i bplódcheantair Ghaelacha Nua-Eabhraic agus is ionann é agus an ‘Ghaeilge’ ‘guth-guth’. Ar ndóigh, ní Gaeilge sin. Níl ciall ar bith leis an tsainmhíniú a thugann Cassidy air:

‘guth guth (pron. guh guh), complain, complain; reproach, reproach; blame blame; censure, censure; fig. blah, blah.’

Is raiméis cheart é an sainmhíniú seo. Níl fianaise ar bith ann go raibh an frása guth-guth in úsáid riamh taobh amuigh de bhlaosc chraiceáilte Daniel Cassidy. Lena rá i mbeagán focal, níl ann ach an friotal clúiteach Gaeilge sin, cac-cac.