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Folklore: Pogue Mahone

Lyrical Lady 08 Feb 04 - 11:13 PM
Bob Bolton 08 Feb 04 - 11:26 PM
Cluin 09 Feb 04 - 12:32 AM
GUEST,An Púca 09 Feb 04 - 02:59 AM
breezy 09 Feb 04 - 07:17 AM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 09 Feb 04 - 09:07 AM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 09 Feb 04 - 09:08 AM
Lyrical Lady 09 Feb 04 - 12:32 PM
GUEST,Pedant 09 Feb 04 - 02:55 PM
Lyrical Lady 09 Feb 04 - 03:36 PM
Big Tim 09 Feb 04 - 04:15 PM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 09 Feb 04 - 04:22 PM
michaelr 09 Feb 04 - 07:26 PM
Lighter 09 Feb 04 - 11:12 PM
Big Tim 10 Feb 04 - 06:14 AM
GUEST,Pedant 10 Feb 04 - 06:22 AM
GUEST 10 Feb 04 - 06:32 AM
Seamus Kennedy 10 Feb 04 - 06:39 AM
MartinRyan 10 Feb 04 - 07:28 AM
Big Mick 10 Feb 04 - 09:25 AM
Lyrical Lady 10 Feb 04 - 01:09 PM
LadyJean 11 Feb 04 - 12:47 AM
GUEST,An Púca 11 Feb 04 - 05:51 AM
Jim McLean 11 Feb 04 - 06:21 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 11 Feb 04 - 06:40 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 11 Feb 04 - 06:42 AM
Big Tim 11 Feb 04 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 11 Feb 04 - 11:05 AM
GUEST,Pedant 11 Feb 04 - 02:32 PM
GUEST,Maurice 11 Feb 04 - 04:15 PM
GUEST,Pedant 11 Feb 04 - 05:20 PM
Lyrical Lady 11 Feb 04 - 05:35 PM
Big Mick 11 Feb 04 - 10:22 PM
Daithi 12 Feb 04 - 05:26 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 12 Feb 04 - 05:39 AM
GUEST,Philippa 12 Feb 04 - 07:44 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 12 Feb 04 - 08:08 AM
GUEST,Pedant 12 Feb 04 - 09:23 AM
GUEST,Philippa 12 Feb 04 - 12:15 PM
Cluin 12 Feb 04 - 01:39 PM
jeffp 12 Feb 04 - 01:57 PM
LadyJean 13 Feb 04 - 12:24 AM
GUEST,Philippa 13 Feb 04 - 04:40 AM
Jim McLean 13 Feb 04 - 04:44 AM
GUEST,Philippa 13 Feb 04 - 11:49 AM
Lighter 13 Feb 04 - 12:47 PM
GUEST,An Púca 14 Feb 04 - 06:21 AM
MartinRyan 14 Feb 04 - 03:06 PM
Big Mick 14 Feb 04 - 03:10 PM
MartinRyan 14 Feb 04 - 03:18 PM
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Subject: Pogue Mahone
From: Lyrical Lady
Date: 08 Feb 04 - 11:13 PM

I know this is gealic for "Kiss my Ass" but can anyone come up with an origin to this saying. IE: who was Mahone ...is it a Sir name of significance? I also know that this is the name of many Irish Pubs and a band as well. Thanks...

LL


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Subject: RE: Pogue Mahone
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 08 Feb 04 - 11:26 PM

G'day LL,

I do remember a radio program about Carolan dealing with some recorded instances of feuding between harpers. A harper named McMahon accused Carolan of not speaking English ... and Carolan retorted that he knew the English for "McMahon": 'son of an arse'! (I will mention that persons I know called MacMahon swear that it actually means 'son of the bear' ...!).

Anyway, this suggests that there is a longstanding Gaelic word that can be so construed ... but you need a Gaelic speaker!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Pogue Mahone
From: Cluin
Date: 09 Feb 04 - 12:32 AM

Pog = kiss
mo = my
hone = hind end


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Subject: RE: Pogue Mahone
From: GUEST,An Púca
Date: 09 Feb 04 - 02:59 AM

Póg - kiss
mo - my (causing lenition of following consonant)
tóin - arse.

Mac Mahon or Mahoney from Ó/Mac Mathghamhna (Mod. Mathúna). Mathghamhain was an old word for bear (another was milchobur 'honey-lover'). Gamhain is still used for a one-year old calf.

Connacht Irish stresses the first syllable of words; Munster Irish stresses the second syllable; therefore, when Munster speakers say "Mac Mathúna" it is phonetically equivalent to "mac mo thóna" in Connacht Irish (ó becomes ú when close to a nasal 'n').

Therein the joke of the butt.


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Subject: RE: Pogue Mahone
From: breezy
Date: 09 Feb 04 - 07:17 AM

so its not Port then


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Subject: RE: Pogue Mahone
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 09 Feb 04 - 09:07 AM

to follow up 'AN Puca''s post, lenition is a softening of the consonant. in this case the possessive pronoun 'my' - 'mo' requires lenition , so 'tóin' becomes 'thóin'; the initial 't' is 'softened', it becomes silent, so pronounced 'hone'


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Subject: RE: Pogue Mahone
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 09 Feb 04 - 09:08 AM

sorry, so in a phrase it would be written 'póg mo thóin'

long 'o' as in 'home'


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Subject: RE: Pogue Mahone
From: Lyrical Lady
Date: 09 Feb 04 - 12:32 PM

Now I get it! So Pogue Mahone is nothing more than the english phonetic spelling of pog mo thoin! I was wondering if the sir name Mahone also entered into the joke? Seems "Kiss my Ass" is a funny name for a pub?
Thank you all for your help.
LL


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Subject: RE: Pogue Mahone
From: GUEST,Pedant
Date: 09 Feb 04 - 02:55 PM

Lyrical Lady

apart from your inability to fathom that Mahone was an arse not a person I think you should also be told that it is a surname not a sir name.

blessings


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Subject: RE: Pogue Mahone
From: Lyrical Lady
Date: 09 Feb 04 - 03:36 PM

Pogue Mahone to you then....sweet guest Pedant. Oh... one more thing....fuck off ....ya nasty eegit.


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Subject: RE: Pogue Mahone
From: Big Tim
Date: 09 Feb 04 - 04:15 PM

The phrase crops up in the Dubliners' version of "Monto".


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Subject: RE: Pogue Mahone
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 09 Feb 04 - 04:22 PM

it's a verse of the song, should be in everybody's version:

Now the Queen she came to call on us, she wanted to see all of us
I'm glad she didn't fall on us, she's eighteen stone.
"Mister Melord the Mayor," says she, "Is this all you've got to
show me?"
"Why, no ma'am there's some more to see, Pog mo thoin!"
And he took her up etc.


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Subject: RE: Pogue Mahone
From: michaelr
Date: 09 Feb 04 - 07:26 PM

Yeah, Bill! That verse makes the song!

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Pogue Mahone
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Feb 04 - 11:12 PM

As a footnote, I recently saw a World War II photo of a USAAC B-17 bomber with the nickname "Pog Mahone" painted on its nose. Fortunately, there was no accompanying illustration.


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Subject: RE: Pogue Mahone
From: Big Tim
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 06:14 AM

And of course it also gave the Pogues their name!


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Subject: RE: Pogue Mahone
From: GUEST,Pedant
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 06:22 AM

"Fuck off you nasty eegit" not terribly lyrical nor ladylike. Besides eejit is spelt with a j not a g. Who knows I might rather like to pogue your mahone.


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Subject: RE: Pogue Mahone
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 06:32 AM

Will you to get married and have done with it.


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Subject: RE: Pogue Mahone
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 06:39 AM

And in the old Bowery Boys movies, Leo Gorcey occasionally played a character called Pug Mahoney.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Pogue Mahone
From: MartinRyan
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 07:28 AM

"pogue YOUR mahone" - some pedant!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Pogue Mahone
From: Big Mick
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 09:25 AM

Actually, I thought she was being ladylike. I would have said much worse to such a smug reply.

Insecure people never miss a chance to lord over others whatever small amount of knowledge they have.

Good on ya, LL, for seeking the answer. Don't worry about the opinion of Pedant. I am sure this person's "Irish" would have a hard time filling a thimble.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Pogue Mahone
From: Lyrical Lady
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 01:09 PM

Thanks Mick. I appreciate the support.

I've been checking over Pedant's past posts and as far as I can see the only thing she/he has to offer is spelling corrections....how bloody boring!
Pedant must be a frustrated teacher who's without a classroom to practice in or a lawyer whose practise is washed up.

The reason for seeking information on Pogue Mahone is because the mother of a young friend of mine recently got a job working at a pub called Pogue Mahone and he wanted to know if it truly meant "Kiss my Ass"...so I told him I would check in with my friends at Mudcat and get a answer for him. Somewhere in my memory bank I recall that " Mahone" was a British badguy, not well thought of in Ireland. Therefore, I was wondering if Pogue Mahone was a play on words to slander the SURNAME "Mahone".   My research tells me that the word "pogue" in English translates to a derogatory term describing military headquarters or a person of lesser rank.   I just can't help thinking that there is a double meaning to this saying. I've been in many Irish pubs where there have been several banners on the wall either in Irish or Gaelic but I've not come across a saying that has been changed into phonetic english spelling before...therefore I think there could be more to the story!

LL


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Subject: RE: Pogue Mahone
From: LadyJean
Date: 11 Feb 04 - 12:47 AM

A friend taught me pogue mo breachan, kiss my lawyer.

In that my great grandfather, both my grandfathers, my father, and my sister are/were all attorneys, I find the phrase amusing.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
From: GUEST,An Púca
Date: 11 Feb 04 - 05:51 AM

I would think the reason for the phonetic spelling could be that the phrase is a translation of the English "kiss my ass" which translation took place in an English-speaking milieu. We always thought growing up that the phrase was American and would have heard it from American cousins rather than from neighbours.

In that context, it would be interesting to know if the verse from Monto given above can be dated.

For those who are interested, the phrase which filled the semantic position of pogue mahone in the Irish of my neighbours would have been rendered "kurdevaire mahone" phonetically in English.

And a hidden instance of phonetic spelling of a Gaelic phrase in English would be "Smashing" with the meaning '(very) good'. This is derived from "Is maith sin/Is math sin" meaning 'That is good' and probably entered the English language from Scottish Gaelic. The final 'g' is a hypercorrection where it was felt that the pronounciation smashin was recte smashin'.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
From: Jim McLean
Date: 11 Feb 04 - 06:21 AM

There was a parody on Westering Home which started 'Festerin hone and a pong in the air ....


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 11 Feb 04 - 06:40 AM

A Phúca,

"Monto" was written by G D Hodnett for a theatre revue sometime in the late '40's or so. Whether the phrase was in the original, I'm not sure.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 11 Feb 04 - 06:42 AM

BTW - I think that "smashing" story, though smashing, is folk etymology.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
From: Big Tim
Date: 11 Feb 04 - 10:46 AM

Martin: "Monto" - 1940s? Surely it's older than that? That stuff about the Invincibles, Skin the Goat, etc relates to the Phoenix Park murders in 1882. Any info on Hodnett?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 11 Feb 04 - 11:05 AM

He was jazz critic of the Irish Times for years! I'll check on the details of the show for which it was written - but the basic story is correct.

Monto itself, of course, is older than the song.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
From: GUEST,Pedant
Date: 11 Feb 04 - 02:32 PM

Lyrical Lady,
Not a lot of research needed I've only ever posted under this name to this thread.I'm not a frustrated teacher - just frustrated. There may be other pedants posting to other threads.
Big Mick,
And a bloody small thimble at that - have I claimed to be Irish? This is about the only phrase "of that ungodly language" I know - in quotes because it is a quote not my opinion. Don't eat yourself up with your pomposity. Lyrical does a good job of defending herself. I didn't mean to be smug it was intended as a rather arch joke occasionally less of the falling down water is a good idea before I mess with this thing.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
From: GUEST,Maurice
Date: 11 Feb 04 - 04:15 PM

While we're being pedantic, "eegit" is a common pronounciation for "idiot" in the Irish midlands, elswhere (in Ireland) it's "eejit".


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
From: GUEST,Pedant
Date: 11 Feb 04 - 05:20 PM

Shakey finger there - are you the Maurice who is sometimes called the gangster of love - or is that a different Maurice or then again you mibht be the space cowboy. How do we know from pronunciation whether it has a g or a j? does anyone other than James Joyce write it down?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
From: Lyrical Lady
Date: 11 Feb 04 - 05:35 PM

Excuse me Pedant...Did you mean to spell "mibht" with a
"g" instead of "b" ....?
I'm sure it was just a slip up.....easily done isn't it?
LL


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
From: Big Mick
Date: 11 Feb 04 - 10:22 PM

Isn't it interesting, LL, how they always make a smart ass comment and then try to turn it around. Does the question, "Moi?" come to mind.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
From: Daithi
Date: 12 Feb 04 - 05:26 AM

An Púca 7 Martin Ryan - I often wonder how much of this stuff really is folklore as M. R. suggests. How do you feel about "galore" = "go leor" or "shanty" = "sean tigh" (should be "teach sean", an ea?)

On the other hand it's well established that words have entered English from the languages of countries at one time occupied by the British (e.g. Hindi words - khaki, dekho, snooker ? etc) - so why not from Irish?

le gach dea ghui - Dáithí


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 12 Feb 04 - 05:39 AM

Dáithí

There's no doubt at all but that lots of words have moved from English to Irish - and vice versa, so to speak! I'm no expert but I know it can be very difficult to establish whether a given case is genuine or represents a "back-creation" where the sound or, sometimes, spelling of a word suggests an origin from another language when, in fact, its either coincidence or something that developed in both languages from a third, common root.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 12 Feb 04 - 07:44 AM

Since "Mahone" is a surname, pogue Mahone means "kiss Mahone". It is clearly a PUN on pó mo thóin. Tóin is not a naughtly word per se, but I suppose kissing someone's bottom is naughty. There is area of Rann na Feirste (in County Donegal, Ireland) called "Tóin an Bhaile" and I hardly think the residents would translate that as "the arse of the town"!

It seems to me that some of you would also be interested in looking up the "Pedantic Crack" thread.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 12 Feb 04 - 08:08 AM

Never heard Mahone as a surname! Ma-hone-ee as an American version of Mahoney (stress on first syllable), certainly.



Regards


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
From: GUEST,Pedant
Date: 12 Feb 04 - 09:23 AM

Sure is Lyrical - these keys are just too close together.;-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 12 Feb 04 - 12:15 PM

admittedly, I haven't come across any Mahones either! Malones, Mahons and Mahoneys, yes. In Ireland the latter the "hon" of the latter two names is pronounced as in "honey", while in the US Mahoney has a long "o", as given by Martin Ryan. I think there are a few Irish surnames that are pronounced differently on either side of the Atlantic


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
From: Cluin
Date: 12 Feb 04 - 01:39 PM

There is a pub rock band called The Mahones. They sound a lot like the Pogues.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
From: jeffp
Date: 12 Feb 04 - 01:57 PM

In the American Civil War, the Confederate Army had a Brigadier General Mahone. The name might have been changed upon the family's entry into the US. It's been known to happen.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
From: LadyJean
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 12:24 AM

Good Lord! Somebody literally made an ass of him!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 04:40 AM

Although the American way of pronouncing "Mahoney" sounds strange to us in Ireland, I'm thinking it may well have come directly from the Gaelic. There was a huge wave of emigration from Ireland in the mid 19th century (famine time) and many/most of the emigrants would have been native Irish speakers. I'm not sure what Gaelic surname is associated with Mahoney or O' Mahoney, but MacMahon is equated with Mac Mathúna. In Munster Irish, the stress is on the middle syllable of "Mathúna", and it sounds closer to the way the Americans say Mahoney than the way the way the Irish do.

Next we should demonstrate that "Baloney" is an Irish word ... and did you hear the one about the politician Dukakis being not of Greek origin, but Irish; his immigrant forebearer a Dubh-Chathasaigh from Gréig na Manach?

and - seriously - another spin-off from the Pogues was a band called the Popes


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
From: Jim McLean
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 04:44 AM

Philippa, how about moccasin ... mo cas sin!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 11:49 AM

is bocht do chas!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
From: Lighter
Date: 13 Feb 04 - 12:47 PM

Back when I was a Civil War buff - long before this discussion - I read that Confederate General Mahone did indeed pronounce his name to rhyme with "my own." (And Gen. Taliaferro pronounced his as "tolliver.")


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
From: GUEST,An Púca
Date: 14 Feb 04 - 06:21 AM

Orality and Literacy!

The American pronounciation of Mahoney (Ó Mathúna) is a matter of litearacy and the orthography adopted when the name (derived from Mathún < mathghamhain as indicated earlier in the thread) was anglicised.   The rendering of (Ó) Mathúna as Mahoney obviously took place in a prototonic milieu (a lovely word for stressing the first syllable) and would have caused no trouble in a context where the oral pronounciation was known independently of the spelling.

In a context where this "oral" knowledge didn't exist (e.g. in America), the pronounciation was attempted from the written word and became Mahoney to rhyme with Baloney, which is deuterotonic (just as lovely a word for stressing the second syllable).

A parallel to this process would be the pronounciation in England of the Irish surname Moran. In Ireland, this is prototonic (< Móráin) with a long o sound and clipped final syllable. When the Dublin Gaelic Footballer went off to Manchester to play soccer with United, the Irish suddenly heard English commentators say the name with an unstressed initial syllable and a long flat a sound in the final. This was new to a lot of us. Again, just a question of context and whether precedence is given to a pre-existing oral knowledge or to presumed parallels in orthography.

The American long o pronounciation of Mahoney would not have been derived from an Irish pronounciation carried across the Atlantic. The -ún- < -amhn- would not have given a long o sound in any situation (historical phonology is what separates "etymology" from "folk etymology"???).

It is interesting however that the long u sound, stressed in Munster Irish doesn't seem to have survived in any anglicised version of the Ó/Mac Mahon/Mahoney names. Any known instances of surnames containing an element such as Mahoon in the various parts of the mudcat world would be of great interest.

The use of Mahone and reported pronounciation with long o, while interesting, is likely based on the American Mahoney pronounciation rather than derived from Mahon. Sound phoney to anybody?

And in an attempt to save the bearers (pun there?) of Mahon and Mahoney surnames from constant reference to the posterior, let us leave the delicate area for the delicatessen and submit another etymology to the mudcat examiners: Mayonnaise named from a Mac Mahon of the Wild Geese in France. This language contact is outside my area but at least it should give any Mahons or Mahoneys some material to distract people from the pogue mahone stuff.

Unrelated: The Irish surname Flaherty became something like Flarity (under metathesis) in America. I am wondering if another surname, Cloherty, ever underwent the same process giving names such as Clority or Clarity (hardly that, in the area of etymology!). Any instances would be greatly appreciated.

And one final question, does "folk etymology" mean "wrong/incorrect etymology"?

Martin - Is maith sinn agus is maith sin!

Dáithí - galore < go leor, deifinitely. Shanty < seantigh - a new one on me and I don't know: sean would come before tigh (that adjective always precedes the noun it qualifies) so your "teach sean" objection can be dismissed; however, the areas where the old dative tigh is retained as an independent nominative or accusative form also retain a final g sound in the phonetics which would give shantig in English if the derivation were true. That would have to be overcome if the etymology were to be proven.

BTW, anyone read Godel's Theorem of Incompleteness. A "little bit" mathematical, but I'd put it on the required reading list for anyone dealing with etymology.

Oh, while my hand is in it, and as surnames are part of it -

Hooligan - this is from Ó hUallacháin (Houlihan) and represents a stage when the -ch- sound retained more phonetic value than it does in the Houlihan anglicisation.   The word nicely racist to those Irish who are not suffering a mother-in-law née Houlihan.

Larrikin - an Australian coinage, looked on with a little more affection than a hooligan but probably derived in the same way from the Irish surname Larkin (Ó Lorcáin). Used as an adjective as well as a noun in Oz I think (we await confirmation).

Much too much...apologies.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
From: MartinRyan
Date: 14 Feb 04 - 03:06 PM

A Phúca,

To me, anyway, "folk etymology" means at least lacking in evidence and at worst, contrary to evidence.

Incidentally, I was talking to Frank Harte last night and asked him about "Monto". He reckoned it was even later than my '40's estimate - he thinks it was written for a John Molloy show as late as late '50's or early '60's - around the time Luke Kelly came back from Engalns.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
From: Big Mick
Date: 14 Feb 04 - 03:10 PM

I thought the same, Martin, but deferred to others. Seems like I read that somewhere. I am digging about now trying to track that down.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Pogue Mahone
From: MartinRyan
Date: 14 Feb 04 - 03:18 PM

... and that was England .......

Regards


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