sexta-feira, 16 de março de 2012

18 Everyday English Words That Come from Irish

Sent by Emma Taylor

Check some English words that come from Irish

Break out your "Kiss me, I’m Irish" shirt, lads and lassies; St. Patrick’s Day is comin’ a’callin. While you’re nursing a green beer at your favorite pub, look like a nerd dazzle your friends with your knowledge of the Irish origins of some common English words such as these. (If they say, "Hey, that word’s etymology is Scottish Gaelic," tell them Scottish Gaelic grew out of Middle Irish, and then punch them in the gob.)

Whiskey: It may be a cheap shot, but we’ve got to start with one that’s alcohol-related. Yes, it was the Irish who brought us whiskey, or uisge beatha, "the water of life." We do not recommend it as a healthy substitute for water.

Boycott: There’s no word evolution involved with this one. Some folks in County Mayo, Ireland decided to fight back against a stubborn land agent for an English landlord who wouldn’t lower their rent. So they refused to have any dealings with one Capt. Charles Cunningham Boycott.

Hooligan: Without this word we’d just have to call soccer fans "criminals." No one argues it’s Irish in origin, but exactly what it sprang from is murky. Perhaps a gang leader and cop-killer of the same name gave rise to the term, or the family name of a rowdy Irish clan. We’d believe either.

Gibberish: The Irish had to come up with a word to explain talking while drunk. "Gibberish" could be from the Celtic gibber, or the Gaelic gabairechd, meaning unintelligible talk. It could even be a play on "gob" or "gab."

Leprechaun: Here’s one you should be able to call to mind even after a few pints. Many believe the word comes from the Irish leipreachán, meaning "pygmy." We prefer the theory that it refers to their penchant for shoe-making: leath bhrógan roughly translates into "one-shoe-maker." After all, no one’s ever caught a leprechaun making two shoes at once…

Slogan: Weird to think the term for a war cry has now come to describe what a chorus line sings about paper towels. The Gaelic sluaghghairm breaks down into "army" (sluagh) and "shout" (ghairm). Soldiers would scream their "slogan" at the top of their lungs before rushing into battle.

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