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If you’re offended by casual swearing… Ireland ain’t for you. July 7, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

This entertained me a lot, a list of 13 things tourists should not do in Ireland, particularly the following:

Object to swearing
If you’re offended by casual swearing, Ireland might not be the best holiday spot for you. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that the Irish swear a lot in day-to-day conversations, even when they aren’t particularly angry. The occasionally controversial Irish comedian Tommy Tiernan describes this phenomenon as being a result of the Irish having been forced to adopt the English language against their will, saying ‘The English language doesn’t suit my soul…(It’s) like a brick wall between me and you and “fuck” is my chisel.’



1. oglach - July 7, 2018

Reblogged this on Na trioblóidí.


2. Phil - July 7, 2018

I feel for the tour guides having to handle the ‘history’ questions – particularly in the North. I was on a tour of Dublin once with a party of other Brits, and one of our number was positively astounded at the way that references to Britain kept coming up – she’d genuinely never realised that our two nations had History. (God knows where she thought the Provos came from.) You can imagine the kind of questions she asked – one that sticks in my mind was “So why were there two rebellions?” After a few like that you’d just want to give them a hard stare and start singing Down by the Glenside.

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WorldbyStorm - July 7, 2018



3. Alibaba - July 7, 2018

The mention of getting ‘a round in’ brought some memories back. My Dad stopped going to the pub as an OAP in case he couldn’t afford to pay a round should he happen to get into one a big one accidentally. He retreated to having a few cans of beer at home alone instead.

And then there is the moocher, who pays for his own pint only and clings to the group imbibing every drink in the rounds endlessly. He’s never called out on it though. Peculiar how it goes.


4. droq - July 8, 2018

Louis MacNeice said “ordinary people are peculiar too”, they “put up a barrage of common sense to baulk/ intimacy but by mistake interpolate/ swear-words like roses in their talk”

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5. Aonrud ⚘ - July 8, 2018

I really can’t understand opposition to swearing. You expect it from people concerned about propriety – the class-concerned, Hyacinth Bucket types, but I find it surprising when I come across it in others.

The US tendency to censor it is really odd. I once saw a US programme beep the word ‘ass’ – it’s incredible. (Isn’t ‘ass’ already basically censored, like ‘darn’ for ‘damn’ and so on?)

I wonder how much it correlates with the view that there is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ language in general? It’s still far too common a view that there’s some objectively correct English and not just a prestige dialect used to express power and class.


WorldbyStorm - July 8, 2018

Yep, that sounds very plausible. Class is at the root of it I suspect. But also a hypocrisy in that even class aside there were spaces where it was fine for upper middle and upper class people to use it freely.


Tomboktu - July 8, 2018

I really can’t understand opposition to swearing.

From our upper house, June 2018:

Senator David Norris: I remember the first gay pride march, which I think was in 1974. I had a picket that said homosexuals are revolting. The 46A bus nearly went into the railings of St. Stephen’s Green. We were picketing the Department of Justice. All of the secretaries had their eyes out on stalks. A lorry drove up and the Minister’s new carpet was thrown out on the pavement, followed by a helper who got out, took one look at us and said to the driver, “Jaysus Mick, fucking queers”. Mick got out, took one look and said “What about it? I don’t give a bollix, a picket is a fucking picket mate”. He took up my picket and walked around with us for five minutes. I thought that was a wonderful example of working-class solidarity.

Acting Chairman (Senator Gerry Horkan): I have heard that story before but the Senator is more than welcome to deliver it again.

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GW - July 9, 2018

I suspect all subaltern versions of English all relished a bit of obscenity.

The Puritan English of the WASPs is an exception.

I’ve been re-reading Vikram Chandra and the Mumbai demotic English he uses is littered with bhenchods, maderchods and chutiyas.


Phil - July 9, 2018

‘Bhenchod’ (=bastard?) is an interesting one, as it had an afterlife in BritEng as “bangshoot” – usually “the whole bangshoot”, meaning roughly “the whole bloody thing”. Don’t think we borrowed either of the other two, though.


GW - July 9, 2018

Er no – I’m not sure I should go into it any further on these austere pages but bhenchod brings together the signifiers ‘sister’ and ‘copulation’.

Incidentally English English slang ‘goolies’ also seems to have a Hindi root.


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