Colin Murphy
& Donal O'Dea,
The Book of Feckin' Irish Slang
That's Great Craic
for Cute Hoors & Bowsies

(O'Brien, 2004)

It certainly serves a purpose, that much cannot be disputed.

And for anyone who has ever scratched his head and wondered exactly what that wild roving Irishman just said, it's the perfect book to carry in your pocket.

It's the The Book of Feckin' Irish Slang That's Great Craic for Cute Hoors & Bowsies, and for all its wee size, it's packed with words (and, for that matter, definitions) that would make your dear ma blush. Unless of course she's Irish, in which case she probably already knows and uses everything here.

The slim volume supplies the questionable words and phrases, provides a definition and then uses it in a sentence or provides an example that makes everything clear. For instance:

Ask me arse (v)(rhetorical)
What do you take me for, a silly billy?
(usage) 'Lend YOU a fiver? Go and ask me arse!'

That's easy, right?

There's plenty of Irish cultural vocabulary for the scholar to absorb, from nip (naked) to reddner (blush), from geebag (woman of unpleasant character) to fluthered (drunk) and from hooley (a raucous celebration) to manky (disgustingly filthy).

If you're going to Ireland, be sure to get this book first and learn it from cover to cover. I'm sure it will help you make friends. At least, you'll be able to order enough of the black stuff to get thoroughly knackered and end up in a deadly mill!

by Tom Knapp
21 October 2006

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