(How the Irish Invented Slang The Secret Language of the Crossroads Counterpunch) [PDF] ¿ Daniel Cassidy
This book is incredible It goes through a mass of words and traces their history from America back to the depths of Irish pre history in some cases Most interesting parts are on words used in gambling that reach back to almost mythological meanings in Celtic culture and gambs legsAlso interesting how African Italian and Irish "AMERICANS BLENDED LANGUAGE AS A WAY "blended language as a way confuse the Republican elite in matters of business and crime and general oking around Two can play at the doublespeak gameehI d like to see a book Written Like This About like this about wordsI m sure sheila woman comes from Sheila Na Gighahaha A fascinating maddening read the central thesis Much American Slang Of Unknown American slang of unknown is actually straight from Gaelic is compelling and the surrounding sociology is interesting but the organization makes it very difficult to read fluently Every Irish derived word is bolded and followed by the definition of the source word in parentheses even if the same word was defined one page before Many of the stories and sociological observations are used as connective tissue between definitions rather than fully explained And Cassidy spends too much time detailing convoluted outdated etymologies for words which he then proves must surely be Irish in origin after the first few times I was happy to assume that there were plenty of bunk contraction of bunkum buanchumadh pron bun cume n perpetual invention a long made up story a shaggy dog tale explanations to be had and I Their Convenient Amish Marriage (Pinecraft Homecomings just wanted to get to the true stuff It s a great thesis though and the dictionary which comprises the second half of the book is amazingIncidentally the most surprising bit of the book to me and one I wanted to see explored much further many words we think of as African American slangazz you dig daddy o are also Gaelic in origin probably because there used to be a lot of African American native speakers of Gaelic including Dizzy Gillespie s family For real There s your seuel Daniel Cassidy come on A astounding book about word etymology than I would have ever imagined I had always thought most English words were derived from old Germanic or French or Greek The influence of the native Irish language was an unacknowledged secret until this book brought it out A real head slapper Ben gave me this book and I didn t read it for a long time because it was in a box Honestly I didn t even read all of it now because it is TERRIBLE Interesting concept but bad bad research and execution I m sure some of those words did come from IrishGaelic but a lot of them I ve never heard of and please come up with a better way to present them than flitting about history throwing them in everywhere you can I m not even sure the author read over his own book once he put the chapters together because he repeats himself a lotApologies to Ben It does look interesting at a glance I don t normally read non fiction but if I could find non fiction like this that might change My mother is taking an Irish history class and she chose this book to do a book report on She enjoyed it a great deal so I decided to read it too Only about 80 pages of the book is writing by the author the rest is a Gaelic English dictionary so it s a much shorter read than it leads you to believe Unbeknownst to me there was a consensus among linguists that unlike almost every other language of people who assimilated into the english speaking world no gaelic remained in modern speech The author given a dictionary of gaelic words from a friend who passed away with no background in the language looked up one word a night in honor of his friends memory He started to see a pattern when he compared definitions and their pronunciations Rather than not leaving a mark at all the language left huge swaths of words taken directly from the gaelic and infused into street talk slang and terms particularly centered. In a series of lively essays this pioneering book proves that US slang has its strongest wellsprings in nineteenth century Irish America Jazz and poker sucker and scam all derive from Irish While demonstrating this. ,
Guage for once This book is pure fiction Cassidy was a fantasist and it is incredible to me that he managed to hold down a Un amore scandaloso job as an academic The level of his scholarship is ridiculously low An intelligent elementary school child could do better And in case people think I must sounding off for the sake of it here are a few facts A great many of the phrases that Cassidy claims as the origin of obscure words in American slang are complete fabrications If you look up uath dubh s ch r b al nna boca rua teas ioma na on ar chuma bub and a host of other Cassidy compositions on Google you will find that there are no references apart from those relating to Cassidy If you look up a few common Irish phrases real ones that is you will find the opposite They get lots of hits from lots of sources proving that they are real Irish phrases used by Irish speakers Try it with for example cothrom na F inne or p ca na sm ar Then to prove to yourself once and for all that this book is a worthless pile of buffalo chips try looking up the origin of some of the words that Cassidy claims Come From Irish Words from Irish words giggle clamour racket uirky
*mayhem all of *All of words entered English centuries before the Irish flooded into the slums of NY and other cities So how could they come from Irish At a push there might be ten correct entries in the book but that is really pushing it The vast majority of this book is ust embarrassing nonsense Great book and Cassidy obviously angered some of the snooty academics he criticized in the book The big criticism of the book is that modern native Irish speakers don t approve of his interpretations of the language into American New York English of Irish terms The problem with this of course is that the people who spoke this form of Irish came to New York in the aftermath of the Famine Last count there were three modern dialects of Irish and though speakers of different dialects can understand each other their use of local slang is precisely the thing which makes them alldifferent dialects So it s very possible that words that had currency in early to mid 19th century Ireland among peasants "of the West slowly fell into misuse after they had left Ireland "the West slowly fell into misuse after they had left Ireland continued to be used in America Pre Famine Ireland was markedly different from Post Famine Ireland especially in the accelerated decline of the language and the conscious turning away from all things Gaelic After all many words and phrases from 19th century American English are either no longer used today or have evolved into different usage Few people today speak like Abraham Lincoln Wyatt Earp or Teddy Roosevelt It s unrealistic to think that the loss of 1 million speakers of Irish didn t somehow affect the language either at home or abroad But leave it to the Irish to condemn anything they haven t thought of themselves let alone something written by a Yank Interestingly a modern historian has theorized that New York born gangstercowboy Billy The Kid was a native Irish speaker who would have learned Irish growing up probably in the Five Points ghetto recent evidence which supports Cassidys theory but which is conveniently ignored by his critics Personally I think Cassidy goes to far and puts forward probably cognates as actual etymology such as actually bothering to try and say we say Mommy and Daddy due to the Irish But the book is fun and convincing that he has actually cleared up a lot of derivation unknown slang like case the oint Dead Rabbit azz etc Regardless of how valid the linguistics the plethora of period uotes newspaper excerpts etc and underworld details make this a fun read even the dictionary portion A fun whimsical assault on language history this has the cartoonish appeal that could be make it a light opening featurette to one of my fave books John McWhorter s Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue The Untold Story of English. T grew out of them Cassidy uncovers a secret national heritage long discounted by our WASP dominated cultureDaniel Cassidy is the founder and co director of the Irish Studies Program at New College in San Francisco. .
Around gambling and cheating which the Irish essentially ran in the 1800 s clear across the country Words like slugger scam slum poker azz crony phoney shindig finagle baloney and countless others have almost exact pronunciations and meaning taken from Gaelic A fascinating read It makes me wonder about all the things we think we know and understand but really "Don T I Know Irish I Speak Irish It S "t I know Irish I speak Irish It s bothered me how so many Irish words sound like English words that are similar in sound AND those English words have NOTHING to do with
A SIMILAR ENGLISH WORD LIKE RASPBERRIESsimilar English word like Raspberries I can sleep at night The book makes so much sense if you can speak as Gaeilge The Irish make up one of the biggest ethnic groups in the English speaking world of Britain the USA and Australia As the first colony of England where much of later British imperialist policies were perfected and tested the Irish were the laborers the soldiers and the maids of the Anglo rulers in the United States and Britain Irish women were especially popular in the States as servants because they spoke English However it is very easy to forget that the Irish s native language is not English but Irish GaelicYet for a group whom was so emerged in English speaking culture after they were conuered by the English and crushed over and over again in rebellions very little of the Irish language appears to have influenced the English at least according to most mainstream English dictionaries like Oxford In How the Irish Invented Slang Daniel Cassidy lays out an argument that most English linguistic study have all overlooked the Irish influence most because much of the words come from working class language of the Irish slums and therefore much of our colorful language actually is descended from the Irish Gaelic language though the spelling has changed and origin was often listed as unknown by the scholars Therefore Irish Americans changed and origin was often listed as unknown by the scholars Therefore Irish Americans take heart that their language is still spoken in the bars and streets across the US especially amongst working peopleHe explores popular songs like railroad songs cowboy songs and baseball songs to how the Irish influenced popular card game lingo to cowboy lingo to how the book and movie Gangs of New York got the name of the gang Dead Rabbits completely wrong In the back is a nice dictionary of words that Cassidy attributes to being descended from Irish Gaelic a language not crushed out of existence by Anglo culture after all For examples listed below are 45 slangdescended from slang words which Cassidy attributes to the working class Irish1 Babe sexually attractive young woman2 Baloney as in foolishness3 Bee s Wax as in none of your4 Booze5 Brat6 Chuck as in to throw7 Cop as in policeman8 Dork9 Dude10 Fluke11 Freak12 Gams as in legs13 Geek14 Guzzle15 Hick as in peasant or country fool16 Honky17 Jerk18 Lunch19 Lick as in to beat someone20 MaPa21 Mug as in someone s face22 Malarkey foolish talk23 Mutt24 Phoney25 Pussy as in vagina or whiner26 Puss as in mouth or lips27 Slugger as in baseball hitter28 ueer as in odd29 Razzamatazz showing off high spirits30 Root as in to cheer for31 Slew as in large number a whole of em32 Shanty33 Shindig party34 Shoo35 Whiskey36 Skinny inside information37 Slacker38 Slogan39 Smack as in to hit40 Sock as in to punch41 Spunk spirit energy semen42 Sucker as in fool43 Taunt44 Yacking45 Yellow as in cowardlyThis is a great book for anyone curious about language and why certain words arose In a country where working people are often slammed for their language as being outrageous or overly emotional or dramatic or offensive and while working people are told how stupid they are for they way in which they talk or continuingly corrected their entire lives it s very nice to read a history of where those dirty words of the rabble come from It s nice to not feel stupid when people are talking about lan. Daniel Cassidy simultaneously traces the hidden history of how Ireland fashioned America not ust linguistically but through the Irish gambling underworld urban street gangs and the powerful political machines tha.