advice, Ireland

Irish cursing…

Today’s post is liable to be a bit raunchy, so if you have delicate sensibilities, I recommend skipping it.  On the other hand, if you like a little swearing, stick around.

Some readers may know that on Friday of this week, Bill and I will finally be making our way to Ireland.  This trip has been years in the making.  We’ve been trying to arrange a visit to Bill’s ancestral homeland for ages, but our plans always ended up being overcome by events.  For as long as I’ve known Bill, he’s told me about when he and his mom went to Ireland back in the 80s.  At that time, there was a terrible economic crisis going on.  Now Ireland is presumably in much better shape than it was the last time he went there.  We’re looking forward to having a great time celebrating our 14th anniversary and recovering from the election.

Although I do have some Irish ancestry, my people seem to have come more from Scotland, Germany, and England.  Bill, on the other hand, has an Irish surname and the map of Ireland on his face.  He’s also got some undeniably Irish traits like a kind disposition, a love of irreverence, and an appreciation for feistiness.

Yesterday, I came across a funny video about how to say “Kiss my ass!” in Irish.  Check this out.

Here it is in Gaelic.


Given our upcoming trip, it seemed especially appropriate yesterday to update my profile picture on Facebook, so I found myself an Irish themed picture…

I probably ought to get a baseball cap with this printed on it.


The Irish actually have a pretty good collection of curse words.  Because they mostly speak English in Ireland, I think many people forget that Ireland has a language all its own and it’s very colorful.  For example, if I had wanted to say “Fuck off!” in Gaelic, I certainly could have done so by learning how to say “Foc il leat.”  While most people who know me know I have a propensity for cussing when the mood strikes, I didn’t think it would be appropriate to change my Facebook avatar to something that says “Fuck off.”  The sentiment was there, though.

Seriously, this stuff is pretty interesting.

Maybe it would have been less offensive to say “Suas Do Chul!”, which in Gaelic means “Up yours!”  But it’s been many years since I said “Up yours!” in English, so why would I say it in Gaelic now?  Even if I wanted to speak Gaelic, though, I would have to contend with the many different dialects.  Bill’s people are mostly from County Donegal, where people speak Ulster Irish.  Ireland is not a big country, though, and even if you speak a certain dialect, you’ll probably still be widely understood.

I probably should just stick to swearing in English.  But I have to admit, it’s fun to be vulgar in a different language.  When I was learning Armenian, I made a point of learning how to cuss properly.  It came in handy during my two years living in Armenia.

I’m really looking forward to this trip and hope it goes off without a hitch.  Regardless of who wins the election, I have a pretty good idea that I’ll want to drown my sorrows.


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