Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Folklore: Irish figure of speech

GUEST,Arkie 25 Mar 13 - 05:21 PM
MartinRyan 25 Mar 13 - 05:42 PM
Jim McLean 25 Mar 13 - 05:50 PM
GUEST,Arkie 25 Mar 13 - 05:58 PM
Joe_F 25 Mar 13 - 06:27 PM
zozimus 25 Mar 13 - 07:15 PM
Effsee 25 Mar 13 - 10:41 PM
Jim I 26 Mar 13 - 02:32 AM
MartinRyan 26 Mar 13 - 03:58 AM
Mo the caller 26 Mar 13 - 05:38 AM
Snuffy 26 Mar 13 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,GuestTF 26 Mar 13 - 12:31 PM
zozimus 26 Mar 13 - 12:33 PM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 26 Mar 13 - 12:46 PM
GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler 26 Mar 13 - 04:21 PM
Claire M 27 Mar 13 - 03:42 PM
Fergie 27 Mar 13 - 08:30 PM
GUEST 27 Mar 13 - 10:18 PM
GUEST,Murphy 28 Mar 13 - 10:25 AM
Lighter 28 Mar 13 - 10:28 AM
Gurney 28 Mar 13 - 08:51 PM
Seamus Kennedy 28 Mar 13 - 10:13 PM
zozimus 28 Mar 13 - 10:47 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Mar 13 - 04:16 AM
GUEST,Bill Kenn edy 29 Mar 13 - 08:32 AM
Jim McLean 29 Mar 13 - 08:58 AM
zozimus 30 Mar 13 - 07:21 AM
Lighter 30 Mar 13 - 08:50 AM
Tattie Bogle 30 Mar 13 - 08:56 AM
zozimus 30 Mar 13 - 10:08 AM
Mrrzy 30 Mar 13 - 01:22 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 30 Mar 13 - 02:16 PM
Jim Carroll 30 Mar 13 - 02:20 PM
Lighter 30 Mar 13 - 03:32 PM
GUEST 30 Mar 13 - 06:30 PM
Jim Carroll 31 Mar 13 - 04:41 AM
Jim McLean 31 Mar 13 - 05:46 AM
GUEST,guestlex 31 Mar 13 - 06:10 AM
GUEST 31 Mar 13 - 06:15 AM
Steve Shaw 31 Mar 13 - 06:15 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Mar 13 - 06:32 AM
Steve Shaw 31 Mar 13 - 06:44 AM
Lighter 31 Mar 13 - 08:40 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Mar 13 - 09:28 AM
GUEST,guestlex 31 Mar 13 - 11:23 AM
Steve Shaw 31 Mar 13 - 12:12 PM
Dave Hanson 31 Mar 13 - 12:22 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 05:21 PM

I am reading Patrick Taylor's latest book which is set in a small town in Northern Ireland. One of the character's uses the expression "If I don't see you through the window, I'll see you through the week". Is that term still in use anywhere?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: MartinRyan
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 05:42 PM

I (childhood in Dublin, adult years in Irish Midlands, retired in West of Ireland) have certainly heard it and similar plays on words over the years - but not often.

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: Jim McLean
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 05:50 PM

Very common in West of Scotland, ever since I can remember ... 75 years.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 05:58 PM

Martin and Jim, thanks for responses. I've been here in the Ozarks for a little over 40 years and have heard similarities of speech between some oldtimers and the Taylor characters, but had never heard this one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: Joe_F
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 06:27 PM

What's it mean?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: zozimus
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 07:15 PM

Its just a play on words. How can a person see you through the week? This actually should be" I'll see you some time during the week." It is possible to see someone through a window. I presume it's poking fun at some english phrases that don't make absolute sense. Check out Pete Seeger singing a song called Crazy english" for more examples.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: Effsee
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 10:41 PM

In Scotland, I've heard the version..."If I dinna see ye knockin' aboot the toon, I'll see ye knocking aboot the knees"...Many moons ago!

Glossary:

Dinna-Don't
Aboot-About
Toon-Town


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: Jim I
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 02:32 AM

My Irish mother (1922 - 2010) used it often as did her sister. Both lived most of their lives in Scotland or England but I believe they got the saying at home in Ireland when they were younger.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: MartinRyan
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 03:58 AM

A srelated figure, used when someone is in your line of sight at a football match, gig or whatever is "Hey! You'd make a better door than a window!".

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: Mo the caller
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 05:38 AM

From my London childhood in the 50s "I'll be seeing you" "Not if I see you first"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: Snuffy
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 10:40 AM

There's a similar idea in the story of the woman buying a sheep's head at the butcher's shop, saying "Leave the eyes in, and they'll see us through the week"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: GUEST,GuestTF
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 12:31 PM

Nowadays there's the more modern; " A trouble shared is a trouble doubled".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: zozimus
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 12:33 PM

Also, of course "I'll give you a pain where you'll never have a window"
For skinny people "Iv'e seen more meat on a crutch" or "He'd have to stand twice to make a shadow".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 12:46 PM

I have heard it in Northern Ireland, but on only one occasion that I can recall.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 04:21 PM

She's as thin as a yard o' pump watter!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: Claire M
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 03:42 PM

Hiya,

Mum uses this for skinny people – "(s)he looks like a match with the wood scraped off"

& my grandad, on my mum's side, who I was very close to used – "you've got legs like gat'poosties, girl"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: Fergie
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 08:30 PM

I think it's a variation on "Well if I dont see you in the mattress, I'll see you in the spring".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 10:18 PM

I think the phrase should have 'if I don't see you through the week' first, and my imagination supplies someone with a broad Belfast accent saying it, with window sounding more like 'windy.' Could it have been a comedian's catch-phrase?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: GUEST,Murphy
Date: 28 Mar 13 - 10:25 AM

"I'll see you right when I get my glasses"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: Lighter
Date: 28 Mar 13 - 10:28 AM

The "Not if I see you first" routine was also familiar in NYC during the '50s.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: Gurney
Date: 28 Mar 13 - 08:51 PM

And the 'leave the eyes in' one was in a Benny Hill song in the 60s, I think.
The Irishism I like best is to describe a drunk as 'With drink taken,' and I once thanked yer man by hoping 'May you die in Ireland.'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 28 Mar 13 - 10:13 PM

Another one re: someone blocking your line of sight - You might be a pain in the neck, but you're not a pane of glass.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: zozimus
Date: 28 Mar 13 - 10:47 PM

As regards drink "your not really drunk, as long as you can hold onto one blade of grass, and not fall off the edge of the earth"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Mar 13 - 04:16 AM

Some popular ones from here in West Clare Clare and, from memory, Liverpool.
When somebody does you a great favour the thanks is:
"You're blood's worth bottling"
If somebody shows talent that he/she has inherited from the family;
"He didn't lick it off the ground".
A diminutive individual is described as;
"Having to stand on tuppence to look over threepence"
or
"I bet he has to have turn-ups on his underpants"
Our local undertaker also ran a bar; if you thanked him when he served you a pint he'd say "thank yourself".
A dishonest person;
"He'd steal the pennies off a dead man's eyes"
Somebody who pontificates:
"He's all wind and pee, like the barber's cat".
When somebody is 'past it'
"It's all gone up"
We had a coffee with Joe Heaney in a scruffy cafe near Euston Station after one of his last performances in Britain and he said he believed he was getting "too old".
He told us "it takes me all night to do what I used to do all night".
A whole range of similar responses when you ask "what's for breakfast"; my mother's was "cow's cock and hairy bacon".
A comment on a bad singer;
"If he was singing for sh** he wouldn't get the smell of it".
Somebody the worse for wear following a night of heavy drinking
"He's got eyes like a s***house rat"
Haven't thought of these for years - thanks for the opportunity.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: GUEST,Bill Kenn edy
Date: 29 Mar 13 - 08:32 AM

my favorite of this type is:

"I knew a girl who could whistle through the hole(whole) of her
afternoon"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: Jim McLean
Date: 29 Mar 13 - 08:58 AM

Said about a thin person:

He's as broad atween the shooders as a haddie is atween the een.

He's as broad between the shoulders as a Finnan Haddock is between the eyes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: zozimus
Date: 30 Mar 13 - 07:21 AM

Said about a bald person "There's more hair on a cat's shit under the bed".
A mother's threat "I'll put the smile on the other side of your face"
A refusal to do something "I will in me shite".
Another threat "I'll have your guts for garters"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: Lighter
Date: 30 Mar 13 - 08:50 AM

In 2004 I was passing through Houston International Airport when I happened to fall in with a trio of welders back home from a Vegas vacation.

At one point the eldest man, who'd been talking about retirement, casually said, "I can weld anything but a broken heart."

The second eldest said, "I can weld anything I can jump across."

The youngest, who looked to be in his late thirties, said, "I can weld the crack of dawn."

And that pretty much settled it. I imagine they'd run the routine many times.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 30 Mar 13 - 08:56 AM

One from my medical school days - Professor to dim student:
"if you had one one more neurone you could make a synapse" - translated to:
"If you had one more nerve cell you could make a nerve junction". (doesn't sound half as good that way!)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: zozimus
Date: 30 Mar 13 - 10:08 AM

Also, "If he had a brain cell, it would be lonely"
On a surprise meeting with a long lost friend "Jasus, I must have gone to the wrong funeral, your still alive"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: Mrrzy
Date: 30 Mar 13 - 01:22 PM

The Tasmanians apparently say I'll have your balls for a bowtie instead of your guts for garters. I like that imagery.

"see you through" means "take care of you for" whatever comes after, like the afternoon.

I am somehow and awfully reminded of BBC coverage of that terrible gang rape that became murder when the victim died, they said She got off the bus bleeding from her (and i winced before they finished with) injuries.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 30 Mar 13 - 02:16 PM

Last year the Irish Times ran a 'History of Ireland in 100 insults' in their letter pages. Many times the intended number were sent in by readers, mostly hilarious. Google will bring them up but not, unfortunately, in a way where one link will suffice.

Irish Airlines? They'd charge for the bags under your eyes.

Irish tv characters Podge & Rodge have been running up a much quoted repertoire as well, not always to everybody's taste but many popular in teenage speak (my son has a good collection of them at the ready):



I'm as sick as a small hospital

I'm so hungry I'd eat a small child

She had a face on her like a well slapped arse

Your' re as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit

My mouth's as dry as a nuns cr@ck

He has rubber-lined pockets so he can steal soup

He thinks manual labour is a Spanish musician

As funny as a burning orphanage

He's so camp, he shites tent pegs

I'm as sick as a plane to Lourdes

I feel like a boiled sh1te (hungover)

I'm off like a debs dress(when leaving)

She had a face on her that would drive rats from a barn

As busy as the dalkey dole office

Sweatin' like a paedophile in a Barney suit

As tight as a nun's knickers

I'm so horny I'd get up on the crack of dawn

I'd crawl a million miles across broken glass to kiss the exhaust of the van that took her dirty knickers to the laundry.

Up and down like a hoor's knickers

No show pony but would do for a ride around the house

Did your mother find out who your father is yet?

What would ye expect from a pig but a grunt

I left her with a face like a painters radio

A mickey the size of a double-value can of Right Guard

Jaysus, she could breastfeed a crèche

As fit as a butcher's dog

She's got more chins than a chinese phone book

Not even the tide would take her out

Mother Teresa wouldn 't kiss her

Daz wouldn't shift her

Des Kelly wouldn't lay her

A sniper wouldn't take her out

Jaysus, ya wouldn't ride her into battle

If I'd a bag of bruised willies I wouldn't give her one

She has a face on her like a bulldog that's just licked piss off a nettle

She wouldn't get a kick in a stampede

She had a fanny like a badly packed kebab

If I'd a garden full of mickeys I wouldn't let her look over
The wall

Give her a boot in the hole and a bucket of mickeys would fall out of her fanny




Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Mar 13 - 02:20 PM

Many of these are folk speech rather than folklore.
We found working with singers and musicians in Ireland that these figures of speech were common.
We asked one old musician his opinion of a very skilful young player who we thought played very fast - his reply - "he'll be great when he's too old to move that fast.
He told us a story of a now internationally admired player being introduced to an old fiddle player and dancing master; when asked his opinion the old man said - "ah, he's doing his best, poor feller".
Helen Brennen wrote a magnificent account of Irish traditional dancing, her book, 'The Story of Irish Dance', which has several example of these sayings. County Clare features greatly in her work - she quotes a man talking about the dancing here - "If they had a thousand legs they'd use every one of them".
Calls of encouragement from the audience to the solo dancers include;
"That you may live till the skin of a gooseberry makes a coffin for you" or "waggle your bum Nora Crionna and see who you'll get for the night".
A good dancer was said to be able to "dance on a plate".
A bad dancer was described as "killing clocks" (stamping on black beetles) or "a rat killer".
It was said of a good musician for dancing, "he was fantastic, he'd put every step under your foot".
This description of a dancer from Muiris O Suilleabhain's book 'Twenty Yers a'Growing' sums up the beautifully skilful way the Irish use language.

"The two of us were sitting now, a good coat of sweat on us, a couple of sets being danced on the floor. A short, sharp-eyed, hardy block of a lad came in through the doorway. He stopped and looked around. Everyone was watching him till the dances were over. Then, he ran across to the musician, put a whisper in his ear and took a goat's-leap back into the middle of the floor.
The musician struck up a hornpipe and the dancer beat it out faultlessly. It is wonderful feet he had, not a note of the music did he miss, as straight as a candle, not a stir of his body except down from the knees. The whole company sat watching him, without a word. You could hear them drawing their breath. He gave the last kick, looked around and cried out:
"The broom from Maurhan you have seen.
Who else will beat a step so clean?"
No one answered. When he saw no one was rising to accept his invitation to beat a step with him, he disappeared through the doorway."
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: Lighter
Date: 30 Mar 13 - 03:32 PM

The unanswerable question for folklorists is how widely known any particular remark really is.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Mar 13 - 06:30 PM

Probably not even Irish, but a take off of the vodka ad a while back was
"I thought cunnilingus was an Irish airline, till I discovered Smirnoff"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 04:41 AM

"how widely known any particular remark really is."
I agree to a point, but I think the important aspect of them is the universal form of expression, rather than whether the individual sayings survive and are passed on.
The Radio Ballads developed into a series because of one of these sayings recorded during the making of the first one, 'The Ballad of John Axon', when a driver, explaining the effect of the job on the people who worked on the railways said: "railways go through you like Blackpool goes through rock".
The original idea of 'John Axon' was that the team should record some background information, take it back into the studio and turn it into a script to be read by actors along with a few songs. They recorded a mass of actuality which they insisted was "too good to be given to actors" and persuaded their bosses that it should be edited into a coherent form and broadcast as workers talking. It was the first time that the 'ordinary' voice was used on the radio to any significant extent without linking commentary.
The technique developed with 'Song of a Road' with magnificent speakers like concrete layer Jack Hamilton from Sligo, and by the time Sam Larner arrived on the scene with his "shimmer of herring" and his description of poverty as being "down to the knuckle-bones of your arse", the form had been established.
The Beeb had the added incentive of prestige when 'Singing the Fishing' took the 1960 Italia Prize.
These figures of speech went through the series like "Blackpool goes through rock" right up to the end of the last one, 'The Travelling People', when Belle Stewart said "there'll be Travellers on the road till Doomsday in the afternoon".   
Working people's speech can be incredibly creative, to the point of high art - it's the stuff our traditional ballads and songs are made of.
Sorry - a hobby horse of mine.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: Jim McLean
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 05:46 AM

I'm that hungry I could eat a scabby heidet wean.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: GUEST,guestlex
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 06:10 AM

Most have been mentioned above that I can remember.Here is an old and still used one from work; is that cut right ? mmm yeh it's like our front room,there's fuck all in it;That mix better be good, fik off its sound it'l stick like shighte to the blanket.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 06:15 AM

typo l..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 06:15 AM

I think that the original poster's saying is an example of the figure of speech called syllepsis, though someone might like to give me an argument about that!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 06:32 AM

"I'm that hungry I could eat a scabby heidet wean."
Variation on this - a friend who was a teacher in a church school in London heard a pupil going in to dinner say "I'm so hungry I could eat a Christian Brother".
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 06:44 AM

I'm so hungry I could a horse. Come on then - off to Tesco...




I'll just get me coat...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: Lighter
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 08:40 AM

> Working people's speech can be incredibly creative.

I fully agree, as those Texas welders showed. Unfortunately - like most people's - it usually isn't.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 09:28 AM

"it usually isn't"
Don't underestimate people L - maybe it's just that we don't listen.
There's enough offered up here to suggest it is.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: GUEST,guestlex
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 11:23 AM

The guest below my post is me.If i ever forget to tag, i mention it or it is obvious.Wasting two hours last night reading Steve's passionate God threads ;-) has made me guestily aware.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 12:12 PM

Passionately Godless, perhaps... ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish figure of speech
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 31 Mar 13 - 12:22 PM

I'm so hungry I could eat a Walkers crisp.

Dave H


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 21 June 10:03 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.