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Tag: Colloquialisms

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

St. Patrick’s Day 2024

Getting it Right

and getting it very wrong.

Tasteful, stylish grey and red branding on MBC new offices in Church Street

Garish, unsightly signage at the new Mr. Price store. We know the goods are cheap. We don’t need it shouted at us from every window.

A St. Patrick’s Day Card

I was telling you before about my experience with An Post’s AI generated card. My friend, Catherine, fascinated by my account of this new product, sent me one.

I dont know which category of image she chose, could be strange Irish animals. Is that fellow in the centre a lion?

Catherine let AI compose a “poem” as well.

No words!!!

Daffodil Day

Friday March 22 was cold and windy. The hardy souls of the Irish Cancer Society were out in force selling their daffodils.

Alice and Rachel were on the island in Main Street.

Anne and Áine were at Carrolls.

More Colloquialisms

Stephen Twohig of Kanturk and Canada says;

Here are a few more old sayings that us Wild Geese may have forgotten .

Little by little  and without notice they slip away from you and you hardly ever miss them. Like the shadows of a twilight or the chatter of little birds before dark. What I am referring to are some of the old sayings, axioms and expressions of our elders. From a more simple life and time. Some of these sayings I suppose are derived from our native tongue. Some are still in use today by those of you closer to the well. As before some of you will remember them, others will come back to you like an old friend. Most are sayings you would never hear at this side of the Atlantic. Here are some of my favourites with their corresponding meanings for those who have forgotten them. 

A ruction is a commotion.

 “‘Next nor near’ nowhere near. 

“Make a fist of”, to try to be good at.

 “Fit to be tied”to be angry or annoyed

“Fair play” , the same as “fair dues”, a term of praise or acknowledgement .

‘Heel of the hunt”‘, in the end. 

“Bad cess”, an old term wishing bad luck to someone or something. ·

“For love or money “self explanatory but hopefully not a regret after marriage! 

“‘Hale and hearty … happy or joyous. ·

“With a heart and a half”, with great generosity. 

“Between two minds .. , undecided. I think. but I’m not sure! 

 “A right fix” in a tough predicament or situation. Like being “found on” after hours. 

‘Real old stock,  a term to describe someone as coming from the older and purer generation. 

“‘Great gas … great craic or fun. ·

Straight away” promptly or right way. Not usually associated with any government body or public works. 

“To put your oar in” , to put a word in, or add to the conversation. Rarely done at home! 

”Heart in my mouth, scared. 

The time that was in it … the time that was left. 

“The fat in the fire’·, trouble brewing. Like if you forget her Birthday or Anniversary. 

“ A jorum”, a drink. 

“Traipsing”, to saunter or drag yourself along. Like the County Council. 

“Mooched”, to indulge oneself in the generosity of others. And I will let the poor Cavan people alone. ··

“Highfalutin”, high on the hob, law di daw, or seemingly well off. In looks anyway. 

“Joe Soap”, a term like John Doe or your average Joe. Just as we say “‘Happy as Larry”, whoever or wherever he is. 

“The Hammers of hell”, a term to suggest immediate urgency. To do something in great haste. Like vacate the premises when the twin bulbs (squad car) shows up. 

“Within an ass’s roar”, nowhere near. As up near the counter on Paddy’s night.

“A caper”, a racket. Not as in tennis but in underhand dealings. As opposed to backhand. 

“Pulling  someone’s leg”, having them on or playing a joke on them. 

“·Putting something over” on someone as in pulling the wool over someone’s eyes or deceiving them.

A Fact

On March 23 1906 the Wright brothers received the patent for their flying machine.


Maurice Walsh Remembered

Killarney; Photo, Chris Grayson

More from St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2024

West Munster English


“Shiner”, a black eye. Seen on days after a social or a wedding in the west.

” Spacer”, Someone out there or not altogether with it.

 “Spot”, to lend money.

“Stocious”, See “scuttered”.

“Stop the Lights”, a phrase of affirmation, taken from an old RTE quiz

show with Bunny Carr.

“A trot”, is a dance.

” The Merries”, the amusements or after you close your eyes on a Saturday night.

“Twinchy”, See “Doonchie”.

 “Wan”, is a woman.

“A Wiz”‘ an action in a toilet or against a suitable wall.

 “A soft day”, miserable weather.

“After a few scoops”. after a feed of drink.

” Fien “, someone you can’t remember his name.

” Fine piece of stuff “. someone attractive.

 “Grand altogether”. Status quo.

” Hardy man”, a tough cookie.

” Locked”. after a little too many aperitifs.

“Shyster”, someone dodgy.

Then there are a number of local sayings that would make you wonder how they ever started.

“Horse over” ,pIease pass over.

“Missile abroad”, Lets get out of here.

A “show” or a “fright” means a lot of.

“Sham”, is a term of endearment.

And on and on the list is endless.

  Stephen Twohig remembers…Years ago I was lucky enough to be working with a fellow Corkman by the name of Ed Cregan, brother of the local city politician and of the famed fish shops “Dinos”. We were both co pilots and would get together whenever we could. He now spends his time between Cork and Florida.. While both flying for the same Delta Connection commuter one had always to listen on your second radio to the Delta frequency in case they needed to get hold of you. Wherever we were if we heard each other, no matter if I was in Canada and Ed was in New York we would always switch to the second radio and say just one word.

 “Bollox”. There would be a pause and from hundreds of miles away would come back “Langer”! It was our own inside joke and I’m sure there were people all around the Northeast saying,” What was that?”

Meanwhile miles away we were smiling to ourselves, in our own world, far away but a little closer to home.

Maurice Walsh: Revenue official and author of The Quiet Man

Text from the Revenue website and photo I took in Kerry Writers’ Museum

The man behind the story of the film “The Quiet Man” was Maurice Walsh, a Civil Servant and Excise Officer in Revenue, who worked for both the British and Irish administrations. The Oscar winning film, starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, hit the silver screen in 1952, seventy-one years ago. Arguably, it put Cong, Co. Mayo on the map.

Maurice Walsh was born near Listowel, County Kerry in 1879. He received his early education in the local national school, later moving to St Michael’s College, Listowel. After his schooling, the twenty-two-year-old embarked on a career in the Civil Service. He spent a short period in Limerick and in the north of England, before heading to Speyside in the Scottish Highlands, where he took up duties in the distilleries at Moray and Banff. In 1909, he moved back to Ireland, with postings at Ballaghaderreen and Tullamore. He returned to Speyside in Scotland in 1919 and lived in the village of Forres.

Maurice transferred back to Ireland in 1922 when the Irish Free State was formed and took up duty in a Dublin distillery at Chapelizod. He had begun writing short stories in 1908, but it was on his return to Ireland in 1922 that he began writing about his time in Scotland. By 1926 he had his first novel “The Key Above The Door”, set in Moray and the Isle of Skye. Although not an initial success, over the years the book went on to sell a quarter of a million copies. Two more novels followed in quick succession: “While Rivers Run” and “The Small Dark Man”. Maurice’s fame came in 1932 when he wrote a historical work about the Ulster Rebellion, led by Hugh O’Neill and Hugh O’Donnell. The book was called “Blackcock’s Feather”. At this time, he was editor of the Excise Officers’ journal “Cáiniris” and played a major role in the Excise Officer’s Union “Comhaltas Cána”, becoming its General Secretary and later its President.

In 1933, when the Government announced a public service pay cut, civil servants who had transferred from the British Administration to the Irish Free State could opt to retire on full pension. Although Maurice had completed only 33 of his 40 years of service, he opted to retire.

Once retired, Maurice continued writing, and he wrote short stories for various publications in Ireland, England, and the USA. One such story was told in a book titled “The Quiet Man”. It was first published in the Saturday Evening Post on 11 February 1933. It wasn’t long until Hollywood came knocking on his door, enquiring about turning the book into a film. Maurice had just moved house from Inchicore to Blackrock, Co Dublin. The Quiet Man was made into a film in 1952 by John Ford, one of the greatest ever film producers.

Maurice died on 18th February 1964 and was buried at Esker cemetery in Lucan, near to where he had worked many years earlier as an Excise Officer in Chapelizod.

Fishing flies prop at KWM; Maurice was a keen fisherman.

The Maurice Walsh mural in Charles Street

And the Winners are…..

Chris Dennehy and Bobby Cogan won the men’s doubles, Division 2 competition at the Carrigaline Open. The tennis competition was sponsored by Kerry.

A Fact

In Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela, lightening occurs for 10 hours a night for 140 to 160 days a year.


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