A Man Sent us This


Bryan MacMahon Commemorative Weekend 2009

The four surviving MacMahon brothers at the statue off their father during a Bryan MacMahon Commemorative event in Kerry Writers’ Museum in 2009.


When Tae Lane Boutique was located in Tae Lane


It was once the Las Vegas Ballroom

 Photo: John Hannon Archive


Knitting in Scribes on November 4 2017

We were happy that day. This was a typical Saturday with my knitting group gathered in Scribes to knit and natter and forget the troubles of the world for a while. We are, clockwise from gap at front, Mary Boyer, Patricia Borley, Joan Carey, Brigitta(Scribes owner) Mairead Sharry, Maureen Connolly, Ruth O’Quigley, Mary Cogan, Una Hayes, Mary Sobieralski who called in for a chat on her way to Brenda Woulfe’s Bookshop, Peggy Brick, Anne Moloney R.I.P. and Carmel Hartnett


Learning and Teaching New Words and Old

Nicholas Leonard wrote to us

Never knew the difference between a graveyard and a cemetery, Mary. Not the most appealing topic, but nice to learn some ‘old news’. Only priests seem to be buried in church grounds nowadays; usually apart from their flock. Now, the word ‘gob’ is interesting. Such a high-flying ‘authority’ as the Irish Times published in 1999: “gob”, the shortened form of “begob”, (itself a corruption of “by God”)… I have known a chap with nickname ‘Begobs’ from his characteristic use of that epithet. Another man, long since with the God he adored, regularly used ‘Jaybus’ for ‘Jazes.’ Of course, he himself was universally known as ‘Jaybus!’ Another refined friend used ‘Jeekers.’ There are myriad such terms in the English speaking world- the cowboy films turn to Jumping Jehosophat; the British uppity class favoured ‘By Jove.’ Jove, of course was the Devil. The Irish language had ‘Dar magairlí an Diabhail! (By ‘orchids’ of the Devil).  A man I knew whilst living in the Laois/Kilkenny border area, when ‘rizz’ as they say there, would roar his battle-cry, (usually in a ‘rizzen’ pub), ‘Be the Jawsus, Min! if yirr not wud me yirr agin me!’ More irreverent was my Meath neighbour’s, ‘Be the crass a Christ.’ He also used ‘Be the Holy Smoke’- I am not sure what that referred to, maybe incense’; another of his was ‘Be the Holy Saint Paatrick,’ and also ‘Be the Holy Moses,’ and ‘I declare ta Moses.’ Betrothal was also referred to in the Meath utterance ‘By my troth’ or ‘I troth you won’t’ – both used as a crude form of a pledge of the truth of what was said. Such pledges usually pointed up the fact that anything but the truth was being ‘betrothed!’ Something similar in Meath was the ubiquitous ‘Dam’ the lie in it,’ indicating a cast-iron lie! When questioned, the reply was, ‘I was never found out in a lie yet!’ A more authoritative utterance was my Mother’s saying, when laying down the law (usually to an argumentative me): ‘I’ll go bail you won’t!’  There must be hundreds of such phrases still remembered, if not still in use.


To finish with ‘Gob’ and to add to your phrase for the fellow talking through sh**e- you most likely have heard it given to someone -other than yourself, of course – the advice to ‘Shut your a*se and give your gob a chance!’

You may have heard the story of the distinguished Vet leaving Mass in Kanturk long ago, happy in the most genteel and refined female company and engaged in a high-toned, polite conversation, when they were approached at speed by an old woman who roared as she drew near, ‘Come Quick, Mister XXX- the pig’s boondoon is out!’ (i.e. Búndún, a prolapse of the fundament). The Vet’s high status was levelled instantly when the ‘fundamentally’ distasteful nature of his next Sunday duty was proclaimed to all! N.L.