It’s a while since we’ve done this.
Every day Irish KC receives a lot of questions. These are mostly in the general realm of Irishness. Or just plain weird.
The questions arrive by email, by the contact form, or by direct questioning of a search engine.
Here’s a sampling of such questions received over the last 2 weeks, together with my answers. What would your answers be?
Q 1. What is thank you (plural) in Gaeilge?
Go raibh maith agaibh. The agaibh is the plural part.
Q 2. How many footballs is there in Ireland?
There’d be a few. You’d have to include footballs used for Gaelic Football and for Soccer, as well as play versions of both. I’m still counting, and tennis balls are more my area of expertise.
Q 3. What language is the word “nahk”?
I believe it’s the Estonian word for “skin”.
Q 4. How hard is it to learn Irish?
It’s very easy. If you’re a fluent Scottish Gàidhlig speaker, I imagine. Why don’t you try and learn it and then you’ll know how hard it is for you?
Q 5. What song did David Gray write about the great famine?
No idea. Some people say “Dead on the Water” is about such things as famine, but I don’t see it myself, and Mr Gray says he doesn’t even know what the song is about anymore.
Q 6. What sports will the Irish compete in?
Any you care to invent. If you mean in the 2008 Olympics you could have a good root around the Olympic Council of Ireland website.
Q 7. How do you pronounce pogues?
We’ve been here before. You pronounce pogues so it rhymes with rogues
Q 8. How do you pronounce SIOCHAIN?
Síocháin, meaning “peace” is pronounced in 3 syllables:
ii) Somewhere between Uh and Oh.
iii) And somewhere between Cawn and Coin only the C is a Ch sound, like in “Bach”
Q 9. How do you pronounce teaghlach?
I pronounce it something like somewhere between “che” (as in Cheddar”) and the English word “chow” followed by the Scottish word “Loch”
Q 10. How do you pronounce mamó
Q 11. How do you pronounce feis in English?
You don’t; you pronounce it in Irish. Either way feis should sound pretty much like the English word “fesh”, if the English word fesh existed.
Q 12. How do you say ‘you smell like poo’ in Irish gaelic?
Delicately. You could try Tá boladh cac ort.
Q 13. Who invented the chicken sandwich?
We’ve been here before too. My mother invented the chicken sandwich. Chik-fil-A didn’t.
Q 14. What’s the difference between English and Irish breakfast?
You get one in England and the other in Ireland. These things aren’t very formal you know. It’s not like there’s a breakfast police going around saying those fried tomatoes are cut too small for your part of the world. In my experience both black and white pudding are typical in Irish breakfasts but only the black makes an appearance in English breakfasts, if even. And a fry can vary north to south in both countries. In Ulster potato bread and soda farls might show up, but they’re rarer down south. Beans can be controversial.
Q 15. What song did Anuna sing at the eurovision?
Anúna did the introductory choral piece to Riverdance the first time it made an appearance - during the Eurovision halfway break back in 1994. I believe the piece is called “Cloudsong”.
Q 16. How do Irish people see Romanians in Ireland?
In plain view, with glasses or contact lenses. The more stalkerish Irish use binoculars. From what I can tell now the more racist Irish people have replaced their opinions of Romanians in Ireland with their opinions of other immigrant groups.
Q 17. Does it snow in Ireland?
Yes it does. In fact it really snows in Ireland
Q 18. Irish racecourses what happened to Phoenix Park races?
This is actually quite a personal question, which I’ll maybe answer in full some other day. I worked on the Phoenix Park Racecource. My grandparents lived on it. It didn’t make enough money so it closed in the early 1990s. After much public debate permission for thousands of houses and apartments was granted. My grandparents house was bulldozed.
Q 19. Is phelps an Irish name?
I don’t know, and despite Michael I’d like to think not. Yes because of Fred.
Q 20. What is a banger?
In Ireland it is either a small firework that goes bang, or an old battered car with a tendency to go, yes, bang. I’m also happy to repeat that a banger is not what a sausage is called in Ireland. A sausage in Ireland is called a sausage.
Q 21. Aye in Irish means?
If by Irish you mean Gaeilge, which is what Irish people call Gaelic when they aren’t calling it Irish, then “Aye” doesn’t mean anything. Because it doesn’t exist in Gaeilge. But if by Irish you mean Hiberno-English, that breed of the English language that we speak in Ireland with its borrowings from Gaeilge, Scots, and around, well then it means “Yes”.
Q 22. Where to watch soccer in kansas city?
O’Dowd’s in the Northland in Zona Rosa, Eddie Delahunt’s Cafe & on 45th Street, The Gaf in Waldo on Wornall, and I hear there are other places in KC to watch soccer.
Q 23. What’s happening in Westport Kansas City August 29?
Some people are going for drinks. Hey it’s Labor Day weekend, go join them, let your hair down. It’s not a school night. Keep an eye on my about the 1916 Rising, and then imagine it all not happening.
Q 26. And what’s it to any man whether or no’, Whether I’m easy or whether I’m true?
It’s not for me to say. But as a matter of interest, tell me, did you lift her petticoat easy and slow, and tie up your sleeve for to buckle her shoe?