This week we cast our eye over the letter ‘e’ !
An obvious one to begin with. This word is so common in Ireland that if you haven’t heard it, you must be one. Eejit is the Hiberno-English for idiot and in all likelihood comes from a mispronunciation of that word.
That man is an eejit.
It’s often used with the adjective awful in front of it to give it more potency.
That man is an awful eejit
The next time you come into class, tell your teacher that you did your eccer last night and see what they say. Eccer is a Dublin phrase and is short for exercise(s) or homework. We don’t use it for physical exercises in the gym.
I promise, I’ll do my eccer tonight Ms. Reddy. (*note that the pronunciation is hard and more like a k or c in cat)
-een (as a suffix)
This is probably not as common as it once was but you can still hear it in expressions like boreen (little road) or sleveen (little crook/sneaky person). -een is the anglcised version of Irish -ín which was added to the end of words to make a noun smaller. You might hear little boys being called maneen for instance meaning little man. It is probably more common outside of Dublin.
I drove down a little boreen to the beach
A boreen in Ireland
These adjectives are used in Hiberno-English to mean ‘I don’t mind’.
I’m easy. I will do whatever anyone else wants.
You can expect to hear this a lot in Ireland as we try to outdo each other in politeness.
We will have more from our series next week. Sincere thanks for stopping by and as always we would like to acknowledge the invaluable help of Terence Patrick Dolan’s A Dictionary of Hiberno-English