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Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?

DigiTrad:
DELIRIUM TREMENS
GENERAL GUINNESS
IT'S THE SYME THE 'OLE WORLD OVER
SHE WAS POOR, BUT SHE WAS HONEST


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Joe Offer 24 Aug 01 - 03:30 PM
Pene Azul 24 Aug 01 - 03:34 PM
GUEST 24 Aug 01 - 03:37 PM
Hollowfox 24 Aug 01 - 03:46 PM
Joe Offer 24 Aug 01 - 03:52 PM
DonMeixner 24 Aug 01 - 04:10 PM
JohnInKansas 24 Aug 01 - 04:25 PM
lady penelope 24 Aug 01 - 04:55 PM
GUEST 24 Aug 01 - 05:20 PM
Uncle_DaveO 24 Aug 01 - 05:25 PM
Marymac90 24 Aug 01 - 05:35 PM
GUEST 24 Aug 01 - 06:12 PM
JohnInKansas 24 Aug 01 - 06:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Aug 01 - 06:36 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Aug 01 - 06:39 PM
GUEST 24 Aug 01 - 06:59 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Aug 01 - 07:14 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 24 Aug 01 - 07:25 PM
Gareth 24 Aug 01 - 07:35 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 24 Aug 01 - 08:24 PM
Gareth 24 Aug 01 - 08:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Aug 01 - 08:52 PM
The Hiker 24 Aug 01 - 09:10 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Aug 01 - 09:41 PM
Den 24 Aug 01 - 10:29 PM
DonMeixner 25 Aug 01 - 12:56 AM
Joe Offer 25 Aug 01 - 01:20 AM
Fiolar 25 Aug 01 - 05:58 AM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Aug 01 - 06:32 AM
Fiolar 25 Aug 01 - 10:08 AM
Brigie 25 Aug 01 - 10:15 AM
Fiolar 25 Aug 01 - 10:44 AM
Shields Folk 25 Aug 01 - 12:13 PM
GUEST 25 Aug 01 - 12:29 PM
Shields Folk 25 Aug 01 - 12:42 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 25 Aug 01 - 01:29 PM
Joe Offer 25 Aug 01 - 02:37 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 25 Aug 01 - 02:58 PM
Shields Folk 25 Aug 01 - 03:05 PM
Gareth 25 Aug 01 - 03:06 PM
Shields Folk 25 Aug 01 - 03:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Aug 01 - 04:05 PM
GUEST 25 Aug 01 - 04:13 PM
Brigie 25 Aug 01 - 04:19 PM
Gareth 25 Aug 01 - 04:38 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 25 Aug 01 - 07:11 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 25 Aug 01 - 07:26 PM
Rich(bodhránai gan ciall) 25 Aug 01 - 08:49 PM
GUEST,finnmacool Tralee 27 Aug 01 - 03:48 PM
lady penelope 27 Aug 01 - 04:16 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 27 Aug 01 - 08:51 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Aug 01 - 09:22 PM
GUEST,imbibulator 27 Aug 01 - 11:41 PM
Keith A of Hertford 28 Aug 01 - 06:18 AM
Shields Folk 28 Aug 01 - 09:42 AM
Fibula Mattock 29 Aug 01 - 07:48 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 29 Aug 01 - 08:52 AM
SlowAlan 29 Aug 01 - 10:20 AM
GUEST 29 Aug 01 - 02:08 PM
John MacKenzie 29 Aug 01 - 04:26 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 29 Aug 01 - 05:59 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 29 Aug 01 - 06:23 PM
reynardyne 29 Aug 01 - 07:03 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 29 Aug 01 - 07:30 PM
Rich(bodhránai gan ciall) 29 Aug 01 - 07:36 PM
GUEST 30 Aug 01 - 05:36 AM
Shields Folk 30 Aug 01 - 06:45 AM
forty two 30 Aug 01 - 12:19 PM
Paddy Plastique 30 Aug 01 - 02:07 PM
Paddy Plastique 30 Aug 01 - 02:12 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 30 Aug 01 - 02:42 PM
Fiolar 31 Aug 01 - 06:23 AM
Uncle_DaveO 26 Jul 03 - 10:55 AM
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mack/misophist 26 Jul 03 - 02:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Jul 03 - 07:59 PM
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Thompson 05 Sep 09 - 05:19 PM
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Subject: Whiskey in Jars, Pails of Guinness?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 03:30 PM

I was in Ireland with a group from church the last couple weeks. Our pastor, Father Martin, went home to County Clare for his annual vacation, and then joined us on our tour. I told him I had heard that in some Irish families in the past, Da sent the kids to the pub for a pail of stout. Martin got a little upset at that, and said it was a misconception brought on by Frank McCourt and Angela's Ashes. Many people in the West of Ireland seem to be more than a little upset by McCourt, and tend to blame him for all the misconceptions people have about the area.

Martin admitted that his dad would go to a pub for "a jar" - but what's a jar? Did people buy draft beer to take home, and how did they carry it?

For that matter, how about money? Nowadays, the Irish pound is called a "punt," pronounced "poont." It's divided into pence. Previously, Irish money was similar to the old system of British currency. What are the idioms and terms used to describe currency?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Whiskey in Jars, Pails of Guinness?
From: Pene Azul
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 03:34 PM

A "jar" is a mug.

Jeff


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Subject: RE: Whiskey in Jars, Pails of Guinness?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 03:37 PM

Joe,

A jar is simply a glass

From the Oxford English Dictionary:

"A glass of beer or other alcoholic drink"


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Hollowfox
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 03:46 PM

There are references in at least two USA origin songs to a bucket of beer: Frankie and Johnny, and Candy Man, so Ithink this sort of measurement is more historic than Irish. Also, Louis Killen refers to going to the pub to have a jar with the lads in at least one of his Northumberland-based Pitman's Bible stories.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 03:52 PM

Yeah, OK, "jar" means a glass or a mug, but what does that glass look like? Do I order a "jar," or do I specify a "jar of Bushmills"?

If I order a jar, how much do I get?
Is it on ice, mixed or diluted, or what? Dictionaries describe only so much - I'm looking to find out exactly what the idioms are, and what they mean. I'm looking for language that would allow me to order things in a pub of today, 50 years ago, and a hundred years ago. I want to be able to order something - or sing about tomething - and not sound like a rube.

Actually, I have this problem in bars in the U.S., too. I don't know the language, so I end up ordering what I always have, or I say "I'll have what he's having." Sometimes, I listen to the way the locals order, and try to order the same way - sometimes with unpleasant results.

When I lived in Germany, it was worse. In Italy a couple years ago, moreso.

So, can anybody teach me the language, so I can be cool in pubs in Ireland?


-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 04:10 PM

It was very common in Syracuse, one time home of nearly thirty breweries, for a kid to go to a saloon to get a pail of beer for Dad for the evening. My Dad spoke of his foster father getting a milk bucket filled at the Hotel to "Pay Off" the hands after haying. A bucket or pail was just a simple way to carry beer. Some saloons had specvial pails that they lent to customers. It was common place in the states, I assume so in Ireland and the rest of her colonies to the south and east.

Don


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 04:25 PM


This would seem to be something that would be local - to the point of differing from bar to bar.

I've probably seen more references to "sending the kid for a bucket" in tales about frontier towns in the US than in European sources. (Of course, I've seen more US references than Euro?)

These sources frequently imply that it is a practice associated with certain "ethnic populations," but the Irish are not significantly more often cited than several others.

A suggestion seen somewhere - with the US's Calvinist(?) traditions, you had to bring it home if mama wanted some, since "ladies" couldn't be seen in a place that served it. If papa got it, people would think he was drinking too much, but if you sent the kid, everybody knew it was for the whole family.

Of course nowadays it would be for the kid - so that's illegal most places.

Most places in the US, a "shot" is the amount of liquor added to other ingredients in a "drink" served in a bar. This doesn't mean a lot though. Most places, a shot means whatever the management thinks they can get by with, and can vary from a half-ounce (or less) up to about an ounce and a half (the usual maximum that's common), except in Nevada where by law a shot is 2 ounces. (or is that just a folk legend?).

And isn't the old joke:
Q: How do you tell when an Irish family is on vacation?
A: They go to a different bar.

Surely it's because things are different at the other bar?

John


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: lady penelope
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 04:55 PM

Generally, if you order a jar you will get a pint of beer of some sort. If you order a jar of whiskey you're libal to get some very weird looks! That's rock star type behaviour, that is.

I don't know about Ireland but in England, a bucket of beer was just any container you used to get "carry out"s from the pub in. Often off licenses ( liquor stores ) would close at the same time normal shops did and the only place to get a beer was at the local. Some pubs, NOT all (and generally only for people the landlord knew well) would sell beer to take away, but to keep the police off their backs, the punter ( customer ) would have to provide their own vessel. This is not something a middle class family would have done.

This sort of thing stopped when I was quite young ( about 7 or 8 ) but I can clearly remember it.

In a good bar ( and I stress the good ) if you ask for a spirit ( whiskey, vodka, gin etc.) you should get it without ice. I believe in the U.S.A. ( I could be wrong about this I have never been there ) you should ask for it " straight up " if you don't want ice. Other than that you should specify that you want ice / slice of lemon / olives etc. Spirits are sold in 30ml shots ( I'm not sure how large the shots or 'shorts' are in the Republic of Ireland )

As for odd drinks that are peculiar to the local area, I'm afraid you'll have to find a native guide. But I tend to find that if you simply ask the bar staff ( unless you're in a bar in the west end of London, where the bar staff neither know nor care, except for a very few exceptions ) they will tell you all you need to know.

In Ireland and the UK, 'beer' or 'bitter' is a chestnut coloured ale, 'lager' is more like what Americans drink ( Budweiser and Michelob are classed as lagers here ),'stout' is Guiness or Mackesons ( black beer ), 'porter' is somewhere between stout and bitter and all of the above can be VERY STRONG, so watch yourself. They can all be bought over the bar either in a bottle ( usually 330mls here ) or "on tap" ( poured by the pint or half pint ). Prices vary ENORMOUSLY from area to area. So ASK before you spend your fare home by mistake!

A popular way to drink across the British Isles, is to order a pint of beer ( whatever variation of that theme that you prefer, bitter, stout, lager etc ) and a "chaser". This often a shot of whiskey but it purely depends on your own preference. The idea is to alternate between the short and the beer. I quite like it but some people hate it.

Depending on the establishment you're in depends on what kind of wine you can expect. Generally you have a better chance of a half decent wine if (a) they sell meals in the bar and (b) they list the wines on the food menu. It's generally cheaper to buy a bottle than by the glass.

Now, is that of any use to you?

TTFN M'Lady P.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 05:20 PM

Joe,

A jar is a colloquialism used across much of the British Isles.

Whilst it usually refers to beer, it isn't used in terms of ordering a certain drink, but refers to having a drink in general.

Generally usage is: "Do you fancy a few jars?" (said to a friend)

When you get to the pub, you order the drinks by name (as in, presumably, the rest of the world)

Hope this makes sense.

Please don't 'try' to be cool, just be yourself


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 05:25 PM

The pail of beer to take home was also referred to as "a growler". AS in the song:

There was a little man
And he had a little can,
And he used to rush the growler!
He went in a saloon
On a Saturday afternoon,
And you oughta heard the bartender holler:

CHO:
No more beer, no more beer,
No more beer on ---- Sun-day!
No more beer, no more beer,
Gotta gitcher can till Monday!

A lot of brew pubs these days will sell growlers to take home.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Marymac90
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 05:35 PM

Joe, remember the line from Stan Rogers' Mary Ellen Carter--"And with every jar that hit the bar, we swore..."

I could be wrong, but I thought one had whiskey with a BEER chaser, not the other way round.

And Don, there were THIRTY breweries in Syracuse??? Where were they all hiding in my formative years there??? I can't say I ever knew anybody to wax nostalgic over upstate beer: Genesee, Utica Club, etc, were all compared UNfavorably to another yellow liquid! If one couldn't get German or Irish beer, CANADIAN beer was the drink of choice, as I recall. And Coors was some kind of exotic thing that was unavailable in the wild east!


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 06:12 PM

I second what was said by the previous guest.

I don't know what the hell language you use to order "to be cool" in a pub in Ireland.

However, if you actually want to get yourself a drink, you order a pint or a glass (glasses being something the little ladies order) of Guinness or whatever.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 06:31 PM


I spent some time in Milwaukee quite a few years back, and the popular blue-collar drink there was "brandy and beer."

Those who drank the beer and chased it with the brandy were about as numerous as those who drank the brandy and chased it with the beer.

An almost equal number simply poured the brandy in the beer to "fortify" it.

Whatever.

Brandy is not particularly popular anywhere in the US - except around Milwaukee. While I was there, the local news media reported in several consecutive years that Wisconsin had retained their "title" by consuming two-thirds of the brandy in the US.

And for the purists, yes it was usually with lager.

John


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 06:36 PM

"A jar" just means a drink. Any quantity, any drink. "Do you fancy a jar?" "I'm off to have a few jars". But you'd never order "a jar" at the bar that I've never heard. You'd say "a pint of bitter" or "a pint of Guinness" or whatever the name of it was, or a half pint. If you didn't specify the quantity the barman or barmaid would probably take it to be a pint, but might check. Or you might ask for a bottle of whatever you wanted instead of draught.

And when it comes to draught in England anyway, there's a big thing about what sort of pump you get it out of - it's almost a religious thing with some people. Mind it does taste a lot better out of a handpump.Click on this to find out all about that stuff.

You can get draught beer to carry home in any normal pub. Either in special carry-out plastic containers they have - or just bring in a jug and they'll fill it. This is less customary than it used to be.

I know they used to drink Guinness from buckets at one time at parties, but it's not the best way. Goes flat.

It's a hot night, and this is making me thirsty.

I felt there was a tongue-in-cheek aspect to Angela's Ashes that a lot of people seemed to have missed., The way it was always raining. A touch of Flann O'Brian's The Hard Life.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 06:39 PM

This was the CAMRA link about beer poumps and alkl thta, only it went wrong in that post: http://www.camra.org.uk/


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 06:59 PM

"A glass" in Ireland is the half pint.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 07:14 PM

And the pint over here is a bit bigger than it is in the States, as you've probably noticed.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 07:25 PM

In the US midwest, order a submarine for whiskey plus beer. Then you drop the shot glass in the beer. Used to be popular in the working class bars around Chicago.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Gareth
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 07:35 PM

Dave0 and others.

Now here in Wales there used to be laws against the public houses opening on a Sunday (that Chapel Influence you know) but clubs could open, and every 7 years if enough of the electorate applied in each local authority area, there would be a referendum on whether or not the public houses (pubs) could open on a Sunday or not.

I recall the last referendum we had here in the Caerphilly Area (1967 or 8). Landlord of local Pub had it well organised. A series of teller (poll watchers) noting who came in and ticking off the names. Come opening time you did not get served unless you had voted. No vote, no beer !!

I am surprised that this verse of Crawshaw Bailey is not in the DT version.

" If you ever come to Wales,
You must try our Brains* pale Ales,
If you want to drink on Sunday,
Mun, you have to wait till Monday."

"Have you ever saw, etc"

It's a pity that this all day opening including Sunday has destroyed our National Sport. Getting a jar after closing time.

Gareth

* Brains a local South Wales brewery.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 08:24 PM

At a hotel in Edinburgh, years ago, the owner moved us guests (mostly American) to a "parlor", as the pub-bar was closing. The doors of the bar were closed, blinds drawn, we noticed when we went outside much later for a walk- but we heard talk. When we came back, we managed a peek through an inside door and saw the room half-full of patrons with their pints. I guess this is what Gareth means by getting a jar after closing time. A couple of days later we were accepted by the owner and joined in.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Gareth
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 08:32 PM

Dicho - got it in one !

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 08:52 PM

It's called "a lock-in".


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: The Hiker
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 09:10 PM

Just to confuse things more down here in the "Independant Republic of Cork" we rarely go for a pint or a jar, we normally go out for a "Quart". A Quart being any amount from two pints to ten!


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 09:41 PM

Here's good luck to the quart pot... GOOD LUCK TO THE BARLEY MOW


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Den
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 10:29 PM

I can only speak in terms of Norn Iron (N.Ireland) and a jar refers to your pint of choice. If you went into a pub and asked for a jar you would be looked at by the bar staff in an enquiring sort of way (they are very patient for the most part, except on Friday and Saturday nights). You don't order a jar...a jar is what you end up with. You have to be specific. You must order the kind of beer that you are (a) accustomed to (b) the kind of beer you aspire to (c) the kind of beer you've never had before but would really like to try. A very good example would be (if you found yourself in Dundalk in the Tain Bar) a pint of Guinness please. That would be your jar...probably for life.

John in Kansas are you really that insensitive or just fuckin' thick.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 12:56 AM

Marymac,

If your formative years straddled the depression and prohibition you would know about the northside breweries in Syracuse. Most every red brick structure along North Salina Street and North Townsend and Lodi were either breweries or candle shops it seems. Remember the Northside was mostly Germans and Italians? Thats where the ready force of employees were.

Most of the breweries were shut down by the 50's and all gone by 1965.

Don


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 01:20 AM

Actually, I don't want to be cool, because that would be pretentious. Maybe it would be more accurate to say I'm trying to find out how to order a drink without being noticed. Where I come from in Southeastern Wisconsin, I'd go to a neighborhood tavern and order a "beer and a bump" and get a 10-ounce beer and a shot of brandy. I know how to do that, but I'd like to be a bit more cosmopolitan. I've lived in California for 25 years, but I'm still shy about going into a place so pretentious it calls itself a "cocktail lounge." And I don't know for pubs at all.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Fiolar
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 05:58 AM

Interesting thread. Incidentally at one time in County Cork when you went into a pub, you just asked for a pint or a half and were usually given draught Guinness. Also at the end of harvest time when the corn (wheat, oats or barley) was threshed, the host farm always had a keg of porter (Guinness) to round off the evening. Whe it was tapped the oldest man in the room was usually given the first drink. Spirits on the other hand were usually asked for by name as in "A Paddy or a Jameson please." "Growler" by the way also means a motor.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 06:32 AM

Surely down in Cork it'd be more likely to have been Murphy's than Guinness?


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Fiolar
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 10:08 AM

Funny enough it was mostly "Guinness" where I grew up. It was however never called by name and was always referred to as "porter."


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Brigie
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 10:15 AM

what a fascinating lot of information!! coming from Dublin myself, the term going for a jar, means going to the pub for a pint (of beer ).Even if you end up drinking whiskey or Godforbid Whiskey and coke!!! you are still going for a jar! If you look up any old books or talk to any old folk, the reason it is called a jar, is because years and yonks ago they didnt use glass. The beer (of whatever sort ) was served in a ceramic mug.In England they serve Cider in similar mugs. There you go. As many have pointed out, to order what you want to drink, you plainly ask for it............a glass of Smythicks, a pint of Guinness, etc etc etc. Have fun Brigie


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Fiolar
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 10:44 AM

Brigie. I think you'll find that pewter was used rather than ceramic for drinking pots in alehouses. Also leather was formed into mugs and waterproofed. This was probably the earliest drinking utensil and many travellers used to carry their own. Regulars used to have a personal drinking mug behind the bar. Some pubs still have this custom.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Shields Folk
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 12:13 PM

Dichio, in the UK (or my bit of it anyway) your submarine is refered to as a depth charger.

On the subject of drink measures. On Tyneside a woman would never go out for a pint or a jar, she would have a gill. Now technically a gill is a 1/4 of a pint but here in this instance it refered to a 1/2 pint. If you want a Newcastle Brown Ale ask for a Bottle of Dog (perhaps that's local to Tyneside). And my dad had his beer brought from the pub off licence in a large white jug.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 12:29 PM

Shields Folk,

Would she pronounce it as 'Gill' as in 'Gilt' or as 'Jill?'


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Shields Folk
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 12:42 PM

It is pronounced Jill.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 01:29 PM

The quart bottle was favored in Quebec, but in most other Canadian provinces you were limited to 12 oz (if I remember my sizes OK) bottles. Now, with all the micro breweries and such, you can get pitchers as well as glasses. The laws have been much liberalized. The sexes used to be segregated in Alberta beer parlors through the 50s at least. Jar has invaded Canada, along with trendy pubs with many brands from all over. In some of the pubs (the James Joyce in Calgary) you can specify temperature of your Guiness. Steak and Guiness pie is all the rage, to use an old expression. Most people here reject kidneys. In many bars you can say jar and get a draft with no raised eyebrows on the part of the (no longer bartender or barmaid) serving person. Joe, you are too shy. They may be old-fashioned terms but a beer and a shot is still understood everywhere. Brandy is (or was) popular in parts of eastern Canada but rum was the drink in Nova Scotia.


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Subject: Snug?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 02:37 PM

On another note, what exactly is a "snug"? I saw the term "Mudcat snug" crop up here, and gathered it was a song circle. Then, on my travels in Ireland, I saw taverns with the name "snug." The Good Father explained to me that a snug was a part of a pub that was reserved for women, who weren't really supposed to be drinking at all. If a pub is a snug, does that mean men aren't allowed?

Is there a further explanation of the concept of "snug"?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 02:58 PM

Snug has more than one meaning. One is a rugged projection, a meaning which has, perhaps, disappeared. Another is a safe, comfortable place. Snuggery means the same thing. Snug used to be a verb, now surviving as snuggle. Snug is dialect for a bar parlor. To snug is to put things in order on a ship. A cozy gathering place is the meaning behind Mudcat snug, (e. g. a bar ?). In Ireland the term may have other meanings, such as the one found by Joe. I haven't heard the term in Canada for a bar, but it may exist on the east coast.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Shields Folk
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 03:05 PM

Most pubs would have several rooms incuding the public bar, lounge and the snug. Often rooms other than the public bar would get service from a small hatch. The lounge is where you would take your lass on a saturday night. The snug was always (and still is in some unimpoved pubs) a very small room.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Gareth
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 03:06 PM

Joe, as one who has supped many a pint in England, and Wales over the last 35 years the snug is now an anachronism destroyed by the brewers in thier quest for big open plan pubs.

It was originally a small well furnished snug or parlour bar - deliberatly kept quiet, from the main public (low furnishings traditionally used by working men in working clothes) and saloon bar (better furnishings - seats tables etc) used by couples out for the evening etc.

The snug or parlour still survives, but it is not very common these days.

Before legislation changed the law many Public Bars would not serve woman - particullaly in industrial areas.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Shields Folk
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 03:07 PM

I missed a letter r out of my last post. See if you can spot where.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 04:05 PM

some unimpoved pubs - which is ironic for the ones that haven't been wrecked.

There's not many left. Snugs were for a quiet private drink.It might just be for privacy, maybe a bit of business to take care of, or because the customer didn't want to be seen drinking, or didn't want to socialise. Some pubs did have ladies bars as such.

Traditional pubs are brilliant pieces of social engineering. Modernised pubs have tended to sweep away all the handy little complexities that make a pub a place to suit a wide range of people and situations, all happening alongside each other, without interfering. Where you have just the one open plan bar it means that it's all or nothing. Music, or TV, or games, or conversation, but not all coexisting happily. So people either shift on out, or they get on each others nerves. And you get awful things like "youth pubs".


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 04:13 PM

Snugs are still alive and well in many a Dublin pub. Hughes', the pub behind the Four Courts where there are nearly nightly sessions, sometimes have the snug for the music. And when its packed full of fiddles, folk, and craic, it is grand!

P.S. And yes, there is a wee door through which you are served your drinks in Hughes'.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Brigie
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 04:19 PM

yez have it all wrong!!!!!!THE SNUG!!!!My goodness, the snug is sacred ground, well in Dublin it is. Yes it is for the people who want to go for a quiet pint with one or two friends and not be discovered. But it is very much the mans corner. Dare a female put her toe over the hatch, woe on her!!!! In Dublin most of the old traditional pubs didn't serve women at all until the late 70's or early 80's."We" fought long and hard for out right to go for a pint. There are still the few ( despite new legislation ) who don't allow women, but they have consequentially lost quite a few men too. But in places like the LONG HALL, THE PALACE, and a couple of others the snug is a hard held onto corner for the oul'fellas!!! There you go! Brigie


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Gareth
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 04:38 PM

EEEER re my last post - please read many publicans would not allow women in as customers in the public bar.

The mind boggles at the thought of going into the pub and asking for a pint of bitter, and a lively wench ( or perhaps not !!!) :-)

Gareth en route to a jar or three.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 07:11 PM

Joe - you never asked! I could have explained most of the Dublin argot as we sat in the snug of Kehoe's - where you figured out the match-strikers! Now, for the advanced class - try asking for a "meejum an' a ball of malt"!

As far as coins are concerned, the interesting thing will be to see how much slang survives the double-whammy of decimilisation and eurofication.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 07:26 PM

I was in a so-called country bar in California where the beer WAS served in jars- Mason jars that is. It was a place for rhinestone cowboys and redneck wannabees. A ball of malt is understood in places in Canada, perhaps in the States by now also. I wonder where the term came from. Please explain meejum.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Rich(bodhránai gan ciall)
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 08:49 PM

OK this is bit off the subject, but not entirely.

The National Road, which became US 40 runs west through Pennsylvania, was once the absolute hub of travel east and west in America. A farmer could sometimes see up to 100 Conestoga wagons led by teamsters in a single day. At the taverns a well traveled and thus well known teamster could run a tab for the night which was kept on a slate. There would be a slot for each teamster's name and the and a column for pints signified with a "P" and a column for quarts signified with a "Q". Now if the bartender in the course of the evening put one or more scratches in the wrong column, either the teamster or tavern would be cheated so it was important that one "mind his P's and Q's". One of numerous teamster expressions now used all over, that began right here in PA

A couple other good ones include an unwritten code which dictated that one traveller came upon another whose wagon had fallen over, sunk in the mud or whatever, he was to help, no questions asked. He could not ask for or accept monetary compensation, however each team of horses was fitted with metal bells on the yoke. If a traveller helped another in need, he could take the other's bells and add them to his own wagon. Therefore, if you expected a safe, uneventful journey, you said that you'd "be there with bells on".

Finally there was a tobacconist where the teamsters could pick up really cheap cigars rolled from a single leaf. They all would stock up and, being travelling with not much else to do, smoke like chimneys. They ate with them tucked in one corner of their mouth, strode in to the barfights with them and were carried out with the cigar still clenched in their remaning teeth. The cigars became so associated with the teamsters, that they were called Conestogan cigars, for the Conestogan wagons, eventually shortened to "Stogies".

Rich


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: GUEST,finnmacool Tralee
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 03:48 PM

This conversation about ordering drinks while in Ireland reminds me of a story I heard about a foreigner in Ireland. He goes into this pub in rural Ireland and trying to be cool he wonders what he will ask for. All the locals are going to the bar saying ''the usual Jim'' and getting in return Guinness, So he says ''Can I have a pint of usual please?.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: lady penelope
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 04:16 PM

In London, lounge bars are also called saloon bars. Doesn't quite sound like the place Ladies were sent to drink does it? Maybe it was a corruption of Salon?

I always get confused with imperial liquid measures other than pints or half pints. Though I remember you got a sixth of a gill for a spirit measure, that's where you lose me. A couple of years after I started drinking in pubs they turned it all metric any how.

I'm a product of the change over period between imperial and metric. I measure height and length in feet and inches and volumes in litres!

TTFN M'Lady P.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 08:51 PM

Saloon has bothered me too. Why are automobiles with two rows of seating called sedans in America and saloons in Britain? There are saloon cars on trains and halls called saloons. Saloon for drinking bar is supposed to be American, so maybe the term has crossed the water, dear Lady Penelope. How long have they had saloon bars in London?. In the States, a lounge may be a bar with soft seating (girls beware, frequented by the lounge lizard), or it may be a bar car on a train or a waiting-sitting room in an hotel. I have heard it applied to a settee or sofa or chesterfield or couch (take your pick).


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 09:22 PM

And the American pint isn't the same as the imperial pint anyway. It's a bit smaller.

That's a good story about the P's and the Q's, but I suspect that the term goes back further than that. Though in the 1969 edition of Brewers Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, a version of that is one of the possibities given "More fancifully it is suggested that in public houses accounts were scored up for beer P for pints and Q for quarts, and a customer needed to mind his P's and Q's when the reckoning came."

Another suggestion in Brewer is that it comes from courtiers in Louis XIV time, who had to be carefull when bowing in case their wigs fell off - which meant minding their pieds (feet) and their queues (wigs).

But "most probably it derives from an admonition to children learning the alphabet to be careful to distinquish between the forms of p and q, or to printers' apprentices in handling and storing type."


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: GUEST,imbibulator
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 11:41 PM

When first I came to Melbourne town 40+ years ago the 'hotels' closed at 6pm and the six o clock swill was all the go. Beer was the universal drink, and real strong, but you could hardly taste the first few swallows because it was served so cold!!It was served in glasses (7 fluid ounces) and 'pots'(10 fl. ounces). You usually drank in 'schools' and each member was expected to 'shout', even if the school had a dozen members which it often did. Whosever shout it was had to carry multiple pots from the bar to where the school was congregated through a milling, sweating, thirsty mob of workers all trying to catch the barman's eye and get as much beer into themselves as possible before tackling the commuter trains and trams home, was a skill that denoted the seasoned drinker.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 06:18 AM

Besides the public and saloon bars, pubs would often have a Bottle And Jug Department giving a takeaway service, jugs being brought in to be filled. This is now called the Off Licence because it is only licenced for consumption off the premises.
Mines a large one. Cheers.
Keith


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Shields Folk
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 09:42 AM

Dichio, where is the evidence to support your theory that saloon bars were an American invention?


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Fibula Mattock
Date: 29 Aug 01 - 07:48 AM

Lounge for the ladies, bar for the men - that's the way it used to go. Or - bar for the men, living room of the landlords house for the women. My parents' house used to be a spirit grocers and had the hatch to serve the women in a separate room.
As for glasses and pints, I can still remember my aunt having to buy two glasses of Guinness rather than a pint, because it wasn't the done thing for women to drink pints and the barman wouldn't sell it to her.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 29 Aug 01 - 08:52 AM

"meejum" is phonetic rendering of"medium". It was a (semi-official?) measure of beer between a "glass" (half pint) and a pint. I believe it was common in Dublin at one stage, but is now almost extinct. Reminds me that at one point in the price/volume ratio for beer, there was a fashion for selling it in half-litres because it kept the price below a pound! Not for long, though!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: SlowAlan
Date: 29 Aug 01 - 10:20 AM

What about the "nipperkin" and the round bowl..?Give me a Darwin stubbie any day


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Aug 01 - 02:08 PM

While we're on the subject, has anyone heard an expalnation of "Jack and Jill went up a hill.." that's relevant to this thread?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 29 Aug 01 - 04:26 PM

In central Scotland around Glasgow where I was born, it used to be common to ask for "a hauf and a hauf pint" a hauf being a half, what you got was a half pint of beer, usually "heavy"[strong beer], and 1/5th of a gill of whisky. This I believe is known in some parts of the USA as a boilermaker. I don't know if it would go down well in Ireland but a friend of mine [Irish] used to call Guinness "lunatic soup" The other lovely habit in Ireland is to serve hot whiskey in the cold weather, this is really a hot toddy.

I just remembered about the weird rule in Scotland years ago that you had to be a "bona fide traveller" i.e. more than a given distance from your home address in order to get a drink in an hotel on Sundays.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Aug 01 - 05:59 PM

Shields Folk: Saloon American? The Oxford English Dictionary says USA and is my only authority for the word being American when applied to a drinking bar. I deliberately said supposed because their first reference to it appearing in print is 1884, New York Herald, which seems late to me. You may have evidence of its earlier occurrence. Martin Ryan, thanks for "Meejum." It is one of those usages that, once explained, makes one wonder why one hadn't guessed the meaning. Fibula M, your posting about lounge makes me wonder where its meaning in Canada and some of the States for a drinking room for both sexes comes from. Both OED and Webster's have the definition of a public sitting room but drink is not mentioned. Some of these usages may have come over with the emigrations in the 19th and early 20 century and not be originally American.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Aug 01 - 06:23 PM

I went to my western books after I posted, and it took only 5 minutes to find an older use of the word saloon for a drinking bar than is cited in the OED. This is in "The Vigilantes of Montana" by Dimsdale, published in 1866. It is entirely possible that the word came over with the Irish emigrants and the OED is wrong.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: reynardyne
Date: 29 Aug 01 - 07:03 PM

Guest,

The rhyme 'Jack and Jill' refers to King Charles' (I) messing about with measurements of capacity (of which a 'jack' and a 'jill' were but two) for taxation reasons. I think Brendan McWilliams wrote on the subject in his Irish Times column a while ago. Anyone keep back issues? I think mine was used to mop up a mistake made by the dog.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Aug 01 - 07:30 PM

Jack and Gill were Norse. The rhyme is about the moon god Mani capturing two children, Hjuki and Bil, when they were drawing water from a well. The later Jack and Jill came from that after Gill had a sex change.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Rich(bodhránai gan ciall)
Date: 29 Aug 01 - 07:36 PM

A cat is chasing a mouse around a pub for the better part of the day. Finally, the cat gets the upper hand, and corners the mouse. He puts a pint jar over top of the mouse and, knowing how crafty mouse is, puts a quart jar over top of that. Says the mouse, "You can't eat me this way. At least give me a sporting chance."
"Oh no! If I do that, you'll run into that hole in the wall."
"Sure, but I wouldn't do such a thing. That would hardly be fair!"
"You mean, if I take off thes jars, you promise not to run into that hole."
"Certainly"
The cat removes the jars, and the mouse runs into the hole.
"You told me, that if I let you out, You wouldn't run into that hole!!!"
Says the mouse," Sure, but you'd say anything with a couple of jars on!"



I heard thisfrom Brendan Begley.


Rich


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Aug 01 - 05:36 AM

The anonymous "Jack and Jill" query was from me! I'd read the Brendan McWIlliams article and was trying to check on it independently! I have great admiration for McWIlliams's erudition - but am sceptical of this one.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Shields Folk
Date: 30 Aug 01 - 06:45 AM

One reference for the use of saloon I have found is for the Royal Music Saloon at the Weatsheaf Inn at the Cloth Market Newcastle. The Weatsheaf was managed by John Balmbra after 1858 and the advertisment the information comes from dates after that. Balmbras was made famous in the song the Blaydon races (in the DT).


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: forty two
Date: 30 Aug 01 - 12:19 PM

In Scotland there would still be a number of pubs around which have a jug bar. It is usually a small area screened off from the rest of the bar with its own door to the street. There is a small hatch in the panelling to the bar staff on the other side.

Jug bar? Where you send the child with the jug to be filled up with "heavy" for drinking at home. And while in the jug bar the child cannot see all the sinning that is going on in the main bar!!!

In Scotland too there are other terms for their beers: 60 shilling, 70 shilling, 80 shilling and very very occasionally 90 shilling. This refers to the ammount of tax levied (long long time ago) on a barrel of beer depending on its strength.

60 shilling or "light" is actually very dark in colour - almost like Guinness but light in alcohol content about 3.2% 70 shilling or "heavy" is the equivalent of an English bitter but not so bitter usually; about 3.9% alcolhol. 80 shilling is like an export or India Pale Ale - IPA is the only beer that was able to last the trip out to India to water the troops in days gone by! It would be about 4.5% alcohol And then 90 shilling. Very rare, a bit like a winter warmer. Strong and quite sweet at about 7% alcohol.

Wow! all this info on Scottish beer from and Irishman!


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Paddy Plastique
Date: 30 Aug 01 - 02:07 PM

Here in France, they have a crime against inebriated humanity called a 'galopin'. This is a beer served in a pastis glass - which is half the size of their 'demi' - itself actually a quarter of a litre. Irish logic has been used in the dishing out of their nicknames, I suspect. The 'galopin' is therefore less than a quarter of an Irish or British pint !!! A nation with a longstanding beer drinking tradition then, obviously (reminding me of another of their crimes - Kronenbourg). While last home in Ireland, there was a Guinness strike threatening and while at a certain singing club that will remain unnamed, consuming dozens of galopins, I heard an anecdote about the previous Guinness strike in the 70s - still scarring the psyches. One Guinness drinker, forced onto Murphys by the scarcity of G, insisted in referring to the Cork stuff as 'The Black Death'


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Paddy Plastique
Date: 30 Aug 01 - 02:12 PM

...and, er, jug bars.. In Dublin (and probably elsewhere in Ireland & the other island), 'jugs' are breasts.. Doesn't sound like the kind of bar the Ma'd let you spend too long in, if it was this sense :-)


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 30 Aug 01 - 02:42 PM

Jeez, I dunno! Whenever I post as GUEST my name seems to disappear from the "From" field. Or is ALzheimers....

Regards (Martin Ryan's giveaway)


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Fiolar
Date: 31 Aug 01 - 06:23 AM

Giok: Guinness was never called "lunatic soup" in Ireland. The term "lunatic soup" refers to "meths" or methylated spirits and was the last milepost on the road to the grave. A dye was added by the manafacturers but that was usually got rid of by straining it through a loaf of bread. Also the well know beverage "red biddy" was a mixture of red wine and meths. On another tack, I heard of one fellow who could only afford lemonade but in order to get high, managed to siphon some gas from the cooker into the bottle and drink that. And before you ask how was it that there a gas cooker, his poor wife was the main support of the home.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 10:55 AM

As to rushing the growler, Michael Quinion's Worldwide Words weekly language e-letter had this to say today:

Q. There's an old drinking song that goes like this: "There was a
little man who had a little can, and he used to rush the growler.
He stuck his head in the barroom door, and he heard somebody
holler, 'No beer today! No beer today! You can't get beer on
Sunday. No beer today! No beer today! Just bring around the can on
Monday.'" I have long wondered what "rush the growler" means. I
suspect it may be a Prohibition reference, but I don't know what it
means. Can you help? [Mia Shinbrot]

A. I can help to some extent. To "rush the growler" (sometimes to
"roll the growler" and other forms) was to take a container to the
local bar to buy beer. The growler was the container, usually a tin
can. Brander Matthews wrote about it in Harper's Magazine in July
1893: "In New York a can brought in filled with beer at a bar-room
is called a "growler", and the act of sending this can from the
private house to the public-house and back is called "working the
growler"". The job of rushing the growler was often given to
children.

It's certainly older than the Prohibition era: the first reference
to it appeared in print around 1885. By 1900 it had started to be
used in newspapers and had clearly moved away from being slang.
However, James Greenough and George Kittredge wrote in Words and
Their Ways in English Speech in 1901 that, "A score of such
references might make the reader forget that this most
objectionable expression ever was slang, or had any offensive
associations". What offensive associations? A clue is in the
Atlantic Monthly for February 1899: "It sometimes seems unfortunate
to break down the second standard, which holds that people who
'rush the growler' are not worthy of charity, and that there is a
certain justice attained when they go to the poorhouse". The very
first recorded example, from the magazine Puck in May 1885,
reinforces this, "The old, old story. The happy home, loving
parents, the growler, the fall and ruin". So people who indulged in
"growler-rushing" were thought to be on the slippery slope towards
destitution and self-destruction.

You're waiting, of course, for me to tell you where "growler" came
from. The noise you hear is me shuffling my feet in embarrassment.
Nobody knows.


Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 11:18 AM

Growler- a vessel in which beer is fetched- U. S. slang. OED.
Another quote, from the NY Herald, 29 Jul. 1888- "The employment by hands in a number of factories, of boys and girls, under ten and thirteen years, to fetch beer for them, or in other words, to rush the growler."
No real help on origin.
H. L. Mencken, in "The American Language," regards the term as American.

Why do American seamen call a small iceberg a growler?


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 02:37 PM

In Gerrald Durrell's book Rosie Is My Relative (a true story) he mentions that workmen at the London Zoo brought small steel buckets to work and sent a few boys to the nearest pub to get them filled when lunch approached.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 07:59 PM

Nice to see this one back again.

One expression that might confuse a visitor is when you ask for a pint, and the barman asks you "Do you want a jug?" Meaning not, do you want what you'd normally call a jug, but do yiou want your beer in a kind of shorter fatter glass with a handle, also known as a mug, as opposed to a straight glass, which doesn't have a handle.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 12:46 AM

Thanks for reviving this thread Dave. I 'lost' Quinion's "Worldwide Words" yesterday, and couldn't remember the name or title. Now I'm safely bookmarked again!

New Zealand is as far as you can get from Ireland, but I guess a few comments about our drinking terminology won't go amiss. Like Melbourne, mentioned above, we had the "six o'clock swill" up to 1967 when 10 o'clock closing was introduced. I'll quote from CAV Smith's wonderful book From N to Z..

(With apologies to old Omar K.)

Come fill the cup before the call of "Time"
(Yes, fill it quick before the "shout" is mine);
The minute hand has but a little way
To go - and so - Time, Gentlemen Please - O Time!

EVERY visitor must be impressed by our Licensing laws which are as up to date, as effective, as illogical and are strictly adhered to as are the Gambling Laws. When 10 per cent. of the male population was fighting overseas for Liberty in 1914-18, the Prohibition Party carried Prohibition, the situation only being saved when the soldiers' votes were counted. After all, why fight for liberty in Europe and lose it in New Zealand? However, a most enlightened piece of legislation was passed, namely, the 6 o'clock closing of bars. This means that the pubs are open when everybody is at work and closed when they have time to drink. If a farmer really worked from dawn till dark he would be a teetotaller. However, the Law has its good points. A visitor, watching the gigantic scrum which takes place in pubs any night between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., can easily understand why New Zealand produces such fine forwards. ....


NZ rugby went steadily down hill after '67 - mind you the All Blacks beat the Wallabies the other day (Ducks from trans-Tasman ICBMs).

By the late 60s a few major breweries had the market and the hotels cornered. The number of liquor licences in the country was limited, and huge "booze barns" became the norm in new suburbs. The system of bulk beer supply left visitors from the US and UK mind-boggled.

Gone were the days of unloading a few kegs at the Pub. A truck with a huge stainless steel tank would sledge up outside, hook up a hose, and fill the vats in the Pub's cellar. Like Melbourne the beer was over-chilled (It still is - I get my pint zapped in the microwave, much to the bemusement of visitors).

Let's go into the Public Bar. Often this was 'waterproof' to shoulder height, with drains, so it could be hosed out after the "swill". There were standing height tables, and maybe a few tall stools - most folk drank standing up. Behind the long bar were a number of hose-pipes with a pistol-like 'tap' at the end. Barmen would race up and down the bar, squirting beer, much of which overflowed, and grabbing money. No need to ask what breed of brew you wanted - there was only one on tap. You could ask for a bottle or spirits, but that was frowned on during the "swill".

There was a choice of glass sizes, typically 5, 7, 10 and 12oz, with maybe pint handles or handless 'schooners'. You got your glass, but ordered the beer in a ....

Jug (or two) - this held a bit more than a quart (a gill?). That way you didn't have to fight your way to the bar too often. Jugs are still common in Public bars. Takeaway draught beer came in a ..

Jar (= Half-G, Flagon or Peter) - a reuseable, half-gallon, screw-top glass bottle. Now we have smaller disposable plastic 'Riggers'.

Like many places mentioned above, ladies were not allowed in Public Bars, in fact, for years the only females allowed behind the bar were members of the Publican's family. The lasses drank in the Lounge Bar (= Hosse Bar, Cat's Bar or Snug), which often just had the hatch servery mentioned above. Poncy pubs had waiter service. In many cases "unattached" males were only allowed in if part of a 'mixed' group.

Legal Sunday trading is a recent innovation - mainly in tourist areas. Mind you, 'after hours' and 'Sunday School' were par for the course in most Country Pubs...

Ahh... those were the days, when a bloke got half-sozzled in an hour. Parties started at 8pm, and everyone was legless by midnight.

Drinking became more civilised post 10pm closing. Most folk now sit down and you seldom see the punters a dozen deep at the bar. Beer arrives in stainless steel kegs, and most Pubs have four or more breeds 'on-tap' (now stationary UK-style 'pumps').

Aww... shucks - n'uff said - I'm thirsty

Slainte - Sam


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: GUEST,farcalled
Date: 05 Sep 09 - 11:49 AM

Most English pubs in urban areas had a "Jug and Bottle" This was a serving outlet, usually a hatch, reached from the street by a special door marked "Jug and Bottle" .

This is where you bought your ale and beer to drink at home. You could not drink in the Jug and Bottle. Beer, of course, was sold in the bottle but ale from the barrel had to be carried home in a jug you brought with you. Jugs were usually quart sized.

The advantage of the Jug and Bottle was that you didn't have to go into the pub.

Thus it could be used by underage children (although such sales were illegal from the beginning of the 20th century) and "ladies" who wouldn't have been seen dead in the tap room.


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Subject: RE: Whiskey Jars, Guinness Pails - Irish Idioms?
From: Thompson
Date: 05 Sep 09 - 05:19 PM

A snug in Ireland is a small partitioned-off section of a bar with a window into the bar, where men can go to have a private drink and conversation; it was also often the place where women went for a drink together.

Pails of porter: it was the norm for someone (often a child) to be sent to fetch a pail - a billy-can containing a pint or a couple of pints - of porter (kind of like Guinness but a little weaker) for the women of the house in working-class city households.

A jar, as various people have said, is a drink. When people are in a phase of being enslaved to drink they're said to be 'on the jar'.


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