Tag Archives: mo mhuirnín

Cassidese Glossary – Mavourneen

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 part of the vocabulary of stage-Irishness. It was used widely in sentimental ballads and plays in the 19th century and there was never any doubt about its Irish origin. All dictionaries and language experts accept that it’s a version of mo mhuirnín, which means ‘my darling’. In other words, it has nothing to do with Cassidy’s thesis.

Cassidese Glossary – Avourneen

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.

Cassidy correctly states that a mhuirnín, anglicised as avourneen, is an endearment meaning ‘oh darling’. (It is actually pronounced ‘awoorneen’ in Ulster.)

As is the case with other Irish endearments discussed here, it is quite clear that this is not an English word. If, as Cassidy claimed, there were hundreds or thousands of Irish words and phrases in English, you would expect common endearments like this to have been borrowed first, yet Americans do not address one another as ‘avourneen’. Also, like most of these endearments, they are given in the English dictionaries – here is a link for avourneen from Merriam-Webster:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avourneen