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celtic words



our modem is down. it decided to stop working on sunday, hence the reason the bombastic bagman has been rather muted on your blogs as well as on my own. i’m having to write this post in between little breaks at work.

i’ve tried all sorts of things to fix it and my only choices left to me are to get a new one or to ring our isp. the thing is, i don’t even know if its broken, ‘cause the power light is still on and it passes many of the checks. and even if i do get a new one, it still might be something to do with the isp… so i guess i’ve got to contact them first.

however, i’m very reluctant to ring our isp, as they’re a prize bunch of idiots. each time we’ve rung them its been a saga and its taken up whole nights trying to work out the problem with them. what’s most infuriating is that the morons don’t make a record of each call i make and so each time i have to explain everything from the beginning. i try to tell them what’s been done before but they just ignore me. it doesn’t even bear thinking about …


good news is that my role has recently changed at oup. i’ve now started inserting quotations on the actual dictionary! i wouldn’t say that i’ve graduated up to a grunt, i’d say i’m halfway there. perhaps a punt or a greon…?

 at the moment i’m having quite some fun checking the celtic glossaries. i absolutely love the words that different dialects come up with! 😀  unfortunately, because i’m working on so many word ranges i’m working on new words every day and so forgetting those that i discovered the day before…

so, in order to stop these words from slipping me by and escaping my memory i’ll be posting them here. i hope you find them as interesting and fun as i do!

in case this isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry, i’ll be posting about other stuff too… until i get my modem sorted, though, it won’t be as frequent…



clint eastwood  

“a schoolkids’ name for anyone who has a squint, obviously having an element of rhyming slang about it (clint-squint): ‘miss, kin ah sit nearer the blackboard? ah’m clint eastwood.’”

“ah’m clint eastwood”! haha

i can imagine it’d work very well as an insult too “he’s clint eastwood!” or “yuir clint eastwood!” haha 🙂


“one contemptuous way of referring to a no-scoring draw in a football match is to say ‘nae brains each.’”

haha! 🙂

big lassie  

“a child’s term of address to an older girl or young woman. ‘hey, big lassie, you goat the right time?’”



bigger liar than tom pepper

“an outrageous teller of untruths.”


“a worthless fellow, a scamp, also a naughty child”

the definitions of these two just make me laugh! “an outrageous teller of untruths”!! haha! and a “scamp”! 😀 that’s just brilliant.



the oul’ boy; the oul’ man 

the devil

i love that kind of personification of the devil!

the boy with the peg in his hat  

death. “there’s one boy that none of us can juke an that’s the boy wi’ the peg in his hat!”

hahaha! that’s brilliant! the boy with the peg in his hat! love it.

and whats he doing with a peg in his hat? is this a normal kind of peg? where is it in his hat…? (any idea, fence?) whatever the explanation, its still funny.

Categories: words
  1. August 14, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    We have a lot of trouble when our internet goes down, too. It is a big hassle to get it fixed, and no one ever knows what they are doing.

  2. August 14, 2007 at 5:51 pm

    I hate dealing with the internet people…they really are a bunch of morons. Ours do the same. They never document what you tell them, so you have to go through the whole story again every time!

    This post was great! I love learning slang terms from other countries. These were really good.

  3. jean pierre
    August 15, 2007 at 8:11 am

    kailana and chris, it mystifies me… these people get paid to help you… you’d think they’d at least be remotely qualified or trained for their job!

    chris, i’m glad you liked the post 🙂

  4. August 15, 2007 at 3:48 pm

    I’ve never heard of the “boy with the peg in his hat”. I like it though 🙂

    Has “on the pig’s back” made it into the dictionary yet? It means living an easy life, having everything you want. It is one of my favourite Irish saying (ar muin na muice)

  5. August 15, 2007 at 4:28 pm

    That sucks….having problems with your computer. Been there, done that!

    I LOVE the Clint Eastwood! That is just too funny!

    I’m just getting back from vacation, so I’m trying to catch up on all my favorite blogs! I’ve missed you guys!

  6. August 15, 2007 at 6:43 pm

    Sorry to hear about your Internet problems. The people at the help line for my ISP are exactly the same… a bunch of unhelpful morons who will ask things like, “are you sure modem is on”?

    Great post! I love celtic words! I’d really, really love to learn more about celtic languages.

    The other day I was reading a short story by William Trevor, an Irish author, and they use such strange expressions! I mentioned this to my boyfriend, and he said that in his Irish literature course he learned that, for example, when an Irish person says “I’m after doing this” it doesn’t mean they intend to do it, but that they have just done it. And there are a bunch of other unusual things like that.

  7. jean pierre
    August 16, 2007 at 3:38 pm

    i’m glad you like “the boy with the peg in his hat” too!

    i love that “on the pig’s back!” thats brilliant! very evocative. and it is in – under pig n. 14. quoting from the oed:

    [Prob. after Irish “ar muin na muice, ar mhuin na muice well off”, in luck, lit. ‘on the pig’s back’ (second half of the 17th cent.).]

    Chiefly Irish English, N.Z., and Austral. on the pig’s back (also ear): in a fortunate or prosperous state.

    1894 J. W. Whitbread Lord Edward in C. Herr Land they Loved (1991) 145 Begorra he’s on the pig’s back this time.

    1922 J. Joyce Ulysses ii. 172 That’ll be two pounds ten‥. Three Hynes owes me.‥ Five guineas about. On the pig’s back.

    1946 C. Mann in Coast to Coast 1945 27 We always were lucky. He’s home on the pig’s ear.[inc]

    1995 E. Toman Dancing in Limbo vi. 148 His tone suddenly tetchy at the image of the Kerry nuns living on the pig’s back.

    glad you’re back and look forward to reading your posts.

    i’m pleased you like the “clint eastwood” one too – that one has really stayed with me. somehow i just find it so funny…! 😀

    i simply can’t understand why they have to ask that moronic question…!? and then, once you’ve answered theres always that embarrassed pause where they don’t know what to say next ’cause they really thought that would solve the problem…!

    i’m glad you liked the post!

    “i’m after doing this” 🙂 thats so weird. very quaint. you should let us read some more of them… 🙂

  8. August 16, 2007 at 8:16 pm

    “as they’re a prize bunch of idiots”…you’ve just described all ISPs, not just your own! In fact I think you should add that quote into the defintion of ISP in the OED!

    Great stuff here. It is always entertaining to see what kind of language other people use, what kind of phrases, etc they put together. Seeing what others use as insults makes it even more fun!

  9. jean pierre
    August 17, 2007 at 11:08 am

    well, i’m glad i’m not the only one…! that’d make a very good definition indeed 😉

    glad you liked the post!

  10. Anonymous
    November 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    errm no info abawt the language…XD 😛

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