If you search for insulting words or browse through our collection of insulting words, you may be insulted

30 March 2006

When I was at college, suffering through a year of shite in order to become a librarian, we were introduced[1] to the world of classification, and language, keywords and descriptors. And how when you describe something you have to be accurate and careful in the language you use. You have to think about how other people might search. Extended terms, alternative spelling and all that sort of crap.

While messing about with the DDC a lot of people in my class complained about the fact that geographically Ireland was listed under the British Isles. I don’t really have a problem with that, because a geographic entity is not the same as a political one. But when Ireland is referred to as being British. Well, thats a whole different kettle of fish.

And so I must point the finger at the BBC America, who in attempting to help American’s understand some of the phrases used in their shows have launched this British American Dictionary.

And do they cover Irish terms? Of course. So already it should be British & Irish, but even worse than that, they’ve listed us as a region.

A region? not even a country, but a region. Whats that all about? The other regions are England, Scotland and Wales. How hard would it have been to ask people to chose a country?

Fecking gobshite eejits

And while I’m on the subject, is give out really just an Irish expression? Do other people not use it to mean complain too? Damnations, has this lying dictionary proved to be useful?

And while I’m giving out why can’t I manage to change my blogroll[2] I mean, everytime I click on the link to Disillusioned Lefty I tell myself, must change that spelling, as I have an extra s in there. Yet I never do.


  1. I’m not going to say taught about, because that would be a lie
  2. I’m not too fond of this word you know. I always want to type bog roll, which is totally different

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16 Responses

  1. Mal says:

    Yes, give out is purely Irish I think. So is "bold" to mean "naughty", and English people pronounce sixth "sikth". But Scottish people call shopping "messages", too, for some weird reason. But I think only Irish people call cutlery "delf".

  2. kyknoord says:

    Maybe it has something to do with the difficulty they have in distinguishing their brains from their nether regions?

  3. Fence says:

    Now Mal, it isn't just Scottish people who call shopping messages. My cousin in Tipperary use to go get messages when she meant go shopping.

    Ah but Kyknoord, we expect better from the BBC.

  4. Mal says:

    I didn't express myself well. I meant that Scottish people call shopping messages, too, meaning as well as us Gaels.

    But why messages? Is it something to do with clandestine revolutionary organisations, women with secret communiqués hidden between the praties and the milk, during the 800 years?

  5. Mal says:

    By the way, Fence, the moving pictures on your gréasán (see, I can do it too) make me think I'm in Hogwarts again.

  6. Kelly says:

    Mal's been to Hogwarts? Lucky.

    We here in Amerikay get the benefit of ALL you guys's expressions, since we're a mixed bunch. We say "give out" when we're tired. Is that what it means in Ireland?

    I was going to get het up and political and start bad-mouthing people, but I decided not to because then I'd have to put spoilers around all my statements and I'm in a good mood today and don't WANT to spoil it.

    A bog roll sounds fun, doesn't it?

  7. mysfit says:

    ok so the british are still upset about the fall of their empire – and it's shite that they still think of scotland and ireland not as countries but as regions of the UK – but, um do you irish folk really call Guiness, "black stuff"? – i've ne'er heard of that

    and no, rolling in a bog doesn't sound fun, even if said bog is near Hogwarts

  8. Kelly says:

    What if the bog was IN Hogwarts, and teeming with mermaids?

  9. Mal says:

    Fence, does the heading to this post refer to Samuel Johnson's reply to two ladies who congratulated him on not putting rude words in his dictionary: "Ah, so you've been looking for them!"

  10. Alan says:

    Yes, I'd never heard the expression "giving out" before I went to Ireland. It is one of those that I have picked up and use all the time now though (along with "yer man", "good man yerself" and the aforementioned "feckin eejit"). Agree on the "bold" and "delf" thing as well. Another word which is purely Irish is calling a cupboard a "press".

  11. NineMoons says:

    We don't call cutlery delf! We call crockery 'delph'.

    And Alan, when I lived in Scotland, I discovered a fair few ways we say things that Englanders and Scots don't understand. The 'press' thing caused confusion with my flatmate who thought I wanted an iron.

  12. Fence says:

    Ye furriners are all so weird *shakes head*

    And of course a press is a cupboard. What else would it be :)

    Mal the quote is actually from the BBC site, it is their disclaimer so you don't get offended when coming across terms like eejit.

    Oh, and as bog is slang for a toilet. Bog roll is toilet paper.

  13. Kelly says:

    I was going to say, "I KNOW you're not referring to me," regarding your furriners statement, but then I read that 'bog' is slang for toilet and a little light bulb sprang up over my head. No WONDER. Just so you know, I would steer clear from any bog teeming with mermaids. I think it's about time I bought that dictionary.

  14. Alan says:

    Oh, and I forgot the best one. When I first arrived I was asking a girl I worked with about a particular pub and she said, "oh you don't want to go there, it's always really black in there." I thought she was being racist.

  15. Fence says:

    Kelly, you're only a half furriner :)

    Ah yes Alan, black with people, meaning crowded. From the Irish, dubh le daoine.
    And as anyone who has seen In America might now, in Irish fear dubh which means the devil, is literally black man. So to avoid confusion black people are refered to as gorm, blue.

  16. kowboi says:

    The term "go get messages" means to go and pick yup the staples you need daily ie. bread and milk and such. In the past, mail was called post and it was delivered to the local neighborhood grocery store. You would go get your messages (aka mail) daily as it was not delivered to your front door (like in North America). So getting messages was adapted to getting the mail and the daily supplies you needed. Hence the term "go out to get messages".

    Hope this helps.