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[00:00:02] Hello and welcome to another edition of The English Waffle. Today, I'm joined by my brother in law, Dave. Hello Dave!
[00:00:11] Welcome to the Waffle. How do you feel? You feel excited?
Dave: Thrilled. (laughter)
Mike: I thought you might be… that’s suitable levels of enthusiasm.
Mike : [00:00:23] So, Dave, you're Irish. I am too
Dave : Technically.
Dave; We’re happy to have you.
Mike :[00:00:31] Thank you. That was actually going to be one of my questions was, in the wake of Brexit, 100,000 British people have claimed Irish nationality. And I'm one of them because of my paternal grandmother.
[00:00:46] And yeah, so I am nationally and officially Irish, but I don't have any emotional connection to Ireland. And yeah, I'd feel pretty bashful, actually. Pretty coy. Pretty.. I wouldn't bring up bring it up with Irish people that I was Irish. But I do to anyone else…
Dave : [00:01:06] But you will when you're in a queue in an airport and there's a longer queue for people without an EU passport. Then you're saying I'm Irish. And we have spies everywhere. So I think that means you have to give your passport back.
[00:01:24] So one of my questions is, will Ireland welcome its Brexit refugees? In your opinion?
[00:01:31] I think people are delighted. I would say that you've always been Irish. You've just been in denial.
[00:01:41] We are happy to have you and any of your children who end up being good at sport and eligible to play for our national teams.
Mike: Okay good.
[00:01:49] And my second question, having never set foot in Ireland myself. But I’m going to for the first time this year..
[00:02:02] So will Guinness taste particularly delicious for me?
[00:02:11] Do you like it anyway?
[00:02:12] I do like it. I do like Guinness. But I’ve heard It's different when you go to Ireland.
[00:02:17] I think it's changed. So I've been living here for about 16 years now. And it used to be hard work to find a good pint of Guinness. And very easy to find a terrible pint of Guinness
[00:02:29] Now it's unusual to find a terrible pint of Guinness, though. So usually they're fine. Perfectly good. In London anyway. But you would never get a bad one in Ireland.
[00:02:43] So there is there is a difference. Okay. More the bar staff know what they're doing and are more patient than over here
[00:02:50] Okay. Interesting. Yeah. Because it takes a while to pour a Guinness. One of the the things that is circulating on Twitter the other day was a thing about the questions that British people should be able to answer if they if they want to claim their Irish citizenship.
[00:03:11] I think it was anyoneshould be able to answer If they want to claim their Irish citizenship!
[00:03:17] And looking through them, I score very low marks on this because I just don't know, as I said earlier, I don't have any emotional or intrinsic connections being Irish. I just nominally am.
[00:03:31] So your sister went through a similar questionnaire and scored zero.
[00:03:39] So my first one is please explain why the national news is broadcast exactly one minute after 6:00 p.m?. The only reason I can think of for that is superstition, that if you broadcast on six o'clock it will bring bad news or something..
[00:04:00] Depends on if you class Catholicism as a superstition!
[00:04:05] So I think I was going for something maybe with the six and the devil.
[00:04:10] Again, it's to do with Catholicism. Yeah. So it's six o'clock every day.
[00:04:16] . On Irish TV. And I guess it should be probably in churches and homes across the country. There is the Angelus, which is a set of prayers which take one minute to say.
[00:04:31] And so on RT1 which has got the main news broadcast at 6 oclock there is the Angelus which is basically one minute of bongs.
Mike: Like the Big Ben bong?
Dave: Yeah, A minute long. And then the news starts at 6:01. So It's called the 6:00 news.
Mike: Good answer. I’ll accept that!
[00:04:45] I'd like to pick up why the Angelus has actually lapsed quite badly in my Catholicism. But that is definitely the reason
[00:04:54] I'm sure it's lapsed in quite a few Irish households.
Mike: Ok, five examples of where and when you can apply the word yoke
[00:05:06] I can think of one.
[Dave) Go for it . And spell this word?
[00:05:10] Yeah. So yolk is spelt y o k e.
[00:05:14] So not like the yolk of an egg which is Y. o. l k
[00:05:16] Oh. Oh okay. Oh shit. Oh right. Okay. That's it.. that's my one instance
Mike: I call myself an English teacher. Don’t know why. I thought yoke that was the yellow bit of an egg.
[00:05:31] I think you're right. Yolk is spelt. The yolk in the egg is y o l k isn't it.
[00:05:39] No, I think we're both wrong.
[00:05:42] Both have acceptable spellings. Dave’s doing a quick Google search to find out the spelling.
[00:05:48] Okay. There you go. Right. Right. Okay. So you have no examples? No.
[00:05:52] I have zero usage of the word other than maybe a slang term for a joke like …You know, it was a good joke.
[00:06:02] So. I guess when you look in a dictionary, you can give different usage of a word and it would often say the primary use is..
[00:06:14] So probably the primary use of the word yoke is a thing.
[00:06:21] So we're speaking into your microphone on a table. Yes. So we're speaking into that yoke on the table.
[00:06:27] Oh right. Okay. So just speak into that yoke Mike, and we’ll be fine.
[00:06:34] Not the egg yolk just into the yoke. Okay.
[00:06:37] Or you know, if you're trying to do a bit of DIY and you get your tool box out and someone else is helping you you could go pass me that yolk over there
[00:06:46] Right. Okay. And that’s used fairly widespread, is it? quite common usage?
[00:06:53] I’m trying to think if my mom would say yes, she would. Yeah, I think that's fairly well used.
[00:07:01] And so then, five examples of the word thing. That would get pretty boring. The other use case I can think of for the word yoke is ecstasy. So if someone was clubbing and taking pills you could say theyr’e on the yokes. So yeah, theyre my two examples.
Mike: Okay, so pills, ecstasy and things. Very good.
[00:07:35] It looks like we might be interrupted by my sister coming in, but that's okay. The other example I have was. A question or an interaction that might take place on the following lines… One guy might say to another. “Are you going to take the dog for a walk at all? And the reply would be, I'll do that now in a minute. The question being. When will person A take the dog for a walk : now, in a minute or other?! I'm confused.
[00:08:16] So yeah I’ll do that now in a minute is how its used.
[00:08:21] And so when I was, say, six, seven, eight years old, I fancied myself as a bit of a smart alec, we’d be visiting my grandmother's house and talking to my aunts lived there then or certainly were around every Saturday morning and they’d use that phrase a lot and I would say, but you can't do it now in a minute. You can either do it now or in a minute.
[00:08:46] And they’d tell me to get lost!! So yeah I’ll do it now in a minute is… like… accurate answer is other.
Mike So I've got three examples of English words that have come from Ireland originally, which may or may not surprise you. One is the word brogues.
[00:09:17] Okay. The shoe. Supposedly first made in….spelt B.R.O.G.U.E.S
[00:09:26] So the Irish for shoes is
bróg which is BRO and a fada or acute accent.
[…… the other one is from the Gaelic word mouth, we have the English word gob.
So gob is an informal way of saying your mouth. So you might hear… Shut your gob! from school kids.
[00:10:15] OK, so that one I can't explain.
[00:10:17] Because for me… so in Ireland every one who goes to primary school studies Irish, you’re in primary school for 8 years, then it's a mandatory subject through secondary school, so like the BAC in French, it’s a mandatory subject you take it all the way through for 14 years…
And then if you're like me, you'll never speak it again!
[00:10:40] So I don't remember the use of the word gob. For me bhéal is your mouth .
And if you're telling someone to shut your mouth it would be Dún do bhéal!
[00:11:06] The third one I have is the word galore. Galore made famous by the James bond character, Pussy Galore
[00:11:15] Yeah. . Famous Irish name galore!
[00:11:21] Galore. Meaning a lot of something, right?
[00:11:31] Yeah, okay . So I was having to think that. I think I just got it. So we've got a phrase ‘galer’ and I'm trying to think how you would use it.
[00:11:42] Yeah. bhí go leor liathróidí coise ann meaning there were loads of footballs ..
I could be wrong. Im kind of speculating
Mike: Ah speculation is good.
Dave; So another interesting one is have you ever heard the phrase to put the kibosh on someone.
it's like to kind of curse them.
Mike: To give them a jinx?.
Dave :Yeah. It's a bit like that. And that comes from Irish cop vos, which is like a death cap. So like, I think, whenever there was a funeral or a wake it would be a cap you’d put on the dead person
[00:12:40] That was interesting. I always thought that was Indian in origin for some reason.
[00:12:45 So it’s spelt very differently. So I guess phonetically.
[00:12:50]. Yeah. The other one I had written down, which was. I don’t know from some website Irish isms ro soemthing, was the expression a few scoops going to go for a few scoops tonight
Dave: That’s not just Irish, is it?
Mike: Ive not heard that one.
Dave: So a few scoops meaning to go for a few drinks.
I cant translate it, to anything else. Scoops are specifically pints.
[00:13:16] Which doesn't really make sense because you scoop something that's solid. You’d scoop an ice cream or you'd scoop some stuff… I don't know.
I always thought of it as a solid
Dave: You'd occasionally hear someone who's had a few scoops say scoops.
[00:13:36] I'm not sure of the origins of that, but yeah, it's pints..
[00:13:57] Is there anything you take with you… the language you use in Ireland, is it dramatically different or not really or is it just peppered with a few words or expressions you might use..
Dave : Not really. I’d say the main difference is pronunciation of TH. As in the word THE
[00:14:21] So something I used to get the mickey taken out of me . You become a bit self conscious of it…
[00:14:28] So, the word the I’d probably pronounce “D E R”
[00:14:32] So in Cork where I grew up there was this newspaper called The Examiner which I’d say DER Examiner. And you become self conscious of it … you’re aware of it… then I become so self conscious of it, you end up putting an H after a T where it doesn’t belong.
Mike: Because you feel people don’t understand you?
Dave: Yeah, or you just get a funny look or somebody just laughs..
Mike Oh mate. Sorry. Sorry on behalf of the whole of the English population that we laugh at you. Sure we’re laughing with you Dave!
Dave: The other thing that used to drive my old flatmate mad, well she’d laugh and find it funny was ending a sentence with the word so.
Mike ] Oh yeah.
Dave: I'll do that, so.
[00:15:34] Yeah but that's putting so at the end of a sentence or an utterance and say nothing after
[00:15:42] Yeah, so like I will see you later, so
[00:15:44] What the fuck does that mean? It's just an Irishism.
Dave: It’s a bit like…. I guess it's like using so instead of then.
[00:15:56] Yeah, I will see you later. So that gives me time to do something else before I see you. As opposed to I’ll see you later… so…
Mike: … And it’s only ever said I’ll see you later , so.. or other instances ?
Dave: Oh loads..
Mike Well it's been an entertaining little walk through the Irish language
Dave: Not sure how it helps people learning english!!!
Mike I am sure, I'm sure that it will be entertaining for someone to tune in. So as usual. You can visit the website for the transcript of this conversation. And we will be back next week with a guest who's goong to talk about the Siberian railway with Owen. So until then, please visit the website for full transcripts and language analysis.
lisaclarke - https://flic.kr/p/3oEw4v
Assorted pens in the Irish color scheme. 2004.
Here are some of the bits of Language that we at English Waffle think you may find interesting...
Not wanting to draw attention to yourself ; shy ; self-conscious.
E.g Everything you need to know but was too bashful to ask in a crowded room
Reluctant to give details about something, you find makes you self-conscious
E.g The woman was coy about saying her age.
To set foot (verb)
Means to go into a place
E.g. He refuses to set foot in art gallery
Get the mickey taken out of you (idiom)
Means to be teased or mocked (usually in friendly way)
E.g. Here Dave reveals that he gets taken the mikey out of for the way he pronounces the word ‘the” like ‘der’.