The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #66835   Message #1116455
Posted By: GUEST,An Púca
15-Feb-04 - 02:10 PM
Thread Name: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
Re. smashin(g) < is math sin; this etymology actually does not emanate from any folk other than the academic folk. There is no evidence disproving it. However, the evidence for it is merely (90%) the shared phonemes (in Scotland only) and shared semantics.   That's why I mentioned Godel and incompleteness - many things are true but cannot be proven without doubt. An etymology for smashing from smashing, breaking (of plates) cannot be disproved either.

On that side of the scales, you would have to consider the greatest "Irish" word in contemporary English. This one, "craic", has managed to recover from earlier "anglicisation" unlike "pogue mahone" which gave rise to this thread.   This is probably because of the spelling "crack" being usurped by the drug. No one now writes "for the crack" when they mean "for fun" even in the English-language contexts. The word "craic", however, is merely the English word "crack". It was borrowed in slang usage such as "he's cracked (in the head)".   From slang usage such as craiceáil for having fun, craiceáilte for being funny, mad etc. came craic for the fun itself. Earlier printings of "the crack was ninety" were not therefore anglicisations at all but retention of the original spelling of a borrowing from English into Irish. We are unlikely to see again the near contemporary usage of the word in Irish and in Hiberno-English as it is nearly all one-way traffic at this stage - from English to Irish.

It does however show that a breakage can be considered good, which is smashing crack altogether in this context.