As forwarded to the Father Ted Mailing List by Fr. Peter Fitzpatrick; author unknown.
Introductory notesHere follow some pointers to Dublin life for you culture vultures out there who wish to "get to know" Ireland a bit better. This is a highly personalised guide to the verbal life of de cappitel city of Ireland. It is divided into conveniently packaged parts for use on specific occasions and will be an invaluable asset for brits, merkins, foreigners in general, sundry culchies and posh people who wish to mingle. The lessons are nothing like complete guides and are mere tasters.
1) SurvivingDublin is a tough city on the face of it. Most of the aggression is ritualistic and it is essential to know how to deal with basic street encounters. The streets are full of:
bowsiesand other miscellaneous tough types. These characters roam the streets looking for excitement and
It is essential not to stare at these gentlemen, especially if you have a non-Dubbelin accent. You must cultivate a vacant intense stare (looking straight ahead or at the ground) and a lumbering slouch and must respond
or any meaningless grunts that might imply mild intoxication and a mean/non-educated disposition if they say ANYTHING to you. NEVER LOOK THESE PEOPLE DIRECTLY IN THE EYE!!! (Unless you are a 7th dan hard man or greater). If you do, you will be assumed to want to challenge said individuals. They will be forced to confront you with:
- You lookin at me pal?
The answer to this is ALWAYS:
followed by a hasty exit. If you respond:
the gouger will be forced to respond
- You callin me a liar?
And you are then in deep shite (see later lesson for excretions and secretions). The only way out then is to pretend to be Danish. That will leave them baffled long enough for you to run like the jayzis.
2) School (pronounced Skyoowel and usually followed by a spit to the pavement)Traditionally every male (female contributors may wish to add their own experiences) in the country went to one of two types of school:
a) comprehensives and fee paying schools (where you do things like art and learn languages and do exams and learn to be a better individual)
b) de brudders (also know as those ignorant fuckers or that crowd of bastards or The Christian Brothers). Here you learned about Irish history, Irish culture and how to avoid getting the shit kicked out of you by big men (usually not from Dublin) in dresses.
Here are some important phrases:
Mala scoile (pronounced mawlah skullya) school bag Sambos sandwiches Ekker or ekkers homework Mitching going on the hop, playing truant Snared caught smoking cigarettes behind the bicycle shed Snared rapid caught shooting heroin Grush throwing sweets (or later, packets of heroin) into the air to see the mayhem as 30 kids dive on them all at once. Beemer a fast German car Bleedin beemer a very fast German car De Hedder school principal Mill a fight Loosies loose cigarettes (most kids could not afford entire packets so we would buy them loose from certain shops).
That is enough for now. I am too old to remember much more.
3) The pubDubliners are suspicious (of foreigners and culchies (see later) especially) and are constantly on the look out for being set up in conversation in the pub. They will constantly question the veracity of suspect statements with a contemptuous negation such as in the following scene:
Person1: Manchester United are tremendous.
Person2: They are in me arse.
The ARSE above can be replaced by any of the following, more or less freely:
e.g. they are in me granny etc.
This can be abbreviated to just
It must be said/spat out with the correct degree of contempt and disbelief.
Sobriety is a pityful affliction which will be remedied by copious quantities of miscellaneous stouts and lagers. There are numerous names for this, most of which are also used elsewhere in Ireland and even further afield but it is important to be fluent in all of them:
Mouldy (pronounced mowl-dey)
4a) PeopleThe use of nouns for different categories of people is very regular and simple.
Males are fellahs and wimmin are wans
Boys are then youngfellas and girls are youngwans
Older males become oulfellas Your father is THE oulfella older wimmin are oulwans and your mother is THE oulwan
It is essential to master the use of the 1st person post-indicative whereby you can refer to a person without using their name as
yer man or
being the person in question e.g
Did you see yer man the other day?
(did you see the person in question on that day that I will not repeat?).
can be used to refer to the matter in question (perhaps of a sensitive nature)
e.g. did you see yer man about the other?
4b) Bold parts of the body
Arse, hole botty Shite see under botty above Willy, micky, lad male naughty bit Bollix attached to above Gee female naughty bit Jars more female bold parts
The rest of the body is named as per normal (e.g. elbows and fingers).
4c) People from different exotic placesDublin has now expanded enormously but in olden days it was divided into two parts by the River Liffey: The Nortside (where all true Dubbeliners live) and De Soutside (full of homosexuals, foreigners, protestants, academics, teetotallers and WORST OF ALL culchies (see below)).
This classification is no longer valid as half of Donegal and Limerick now reside in Phibsboro and The Soutside has some very respectable places like Tallaght, Ballyfermot and Clondalkin where real people live.
Traditionally it was not sufficient to live North of the Liffey to be a real Dub; it was said that anyone born beyond The Five Lamps was a culchie or from Northern Ireland. The 5 lamps is a famous landmark situated about 500 yards North of the Liffey.
Brendan Behan, famously referred to one of the lots of people above (I cannot remember which lot) as:
They ate their young out there.Everyone else is foreign (i.e. Danish, British or American) or a CULCHIE. Culchies are anyone from any part of the globe who is not foreign (see above) and who does not speak with a pronounced Dubbelin Accident. They work in the civil service and police, listen to Daniel O Donnell or Big Tom and are also known as:
bog menIt is the worst possible insult to be called one of these names if you are from Dublin. You must respond with immediate violence or emigrate.
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Chuck Taggart (e-mail chuck)