Growing up Irish Part 2
Whenever we were up to no good and unable to think of a white lie on the spot to account for our whereabouts the following phrase was often uttered
‘Don’t be gallivanting and chancing your arm or I’ll be giving out yards’.
‘Gallivanting’ means ‘off feckin around’ which basically means ‘up to no good’.
‘Chancing your arm’ means being ‘feckless’ or trying to pull the wool over somebodies’ eyes’ and’ giving out yards’ means telling someone off.
I was often told in the morning in winter to ‘Wear a vest or you will get your end of cold’. Swiftly followed by ‘turn off those feckin Blackpool illuminations (lights)’, and possibly another ‘Do ya think I ‘m made of money’.
As for ‘the immersion’. Every child of the 70’s and 80’s was haunted by screams of ‘Who left the feckin immersion on? I’ll brain ya’. ‘Brain ya’ meaning ‘I’ll burst ya’, meaning ‘You are in serious trouble now’. In fairness our vernacular does take a bit of getting used to.
I wasn’t the tidiest child. Then again, I wonder how many children are? ‘Tidy your room. It’s a kip’ was a thrice weekly command where the word ‘kip’ means ‘a dive’, which means ‘a very untidy room indeed’.
Living in Dublin some of my favorite dinners were ‘Colcannon’ which was potatoes, butter and curly kale. If it was a fancy ‘Colcannon’ there would have been some bacon in it. ‘Coddle’ which was another potato-based meal had boiled onions, celery, parsley, sausages and rashers. It was divine. Even though it sounds woeful. Trust me on this one.
‘Come here to me are you only after havin your dinner? This would be said, possibly by a neighbor enquiring as to whether I had eaten my dinner. And if I could cut their grass as they would have put extra into my Trocaire box. Oh, and do their feckin ironing as well.
That’s all for now