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’s etymological hoax How The Irish Invented Slang, the expression pill for a ball (especially a golf ball), comes from the Irish word peil, which means a ball. Of course, a golf ball resembles a pill, and indeed the word pill comes from Latin pilula, which means a little ball. There is no clear etymology for the Irish word peil, but it probably comes ultimately from the Latin pellicius (a thing made of skins). Note that no native Irish words start with the letter p. All words beginning with a p are borrowings apart from pus, which was originally spelled bus.