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Put A Little Irish in Your English

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The editors of the Oxford English Dictionary recently added several Irish English terms. One of them is segotia, which means “friend.” There’s an entry for this word, also spelled segocia, in Grant’s own book, The Official Dictionary of Unofficial English (Amazon). James Joyce used another version of this word in Finnegans Wake(Bookshop|Amazon): skeowsha. The etymology of segotia is unclear, although some have suggested that it derives from Irish Seo Dhuitse, meaning “here you are.” Another Irish word, ciotóg, means “left-handed.” Originally it carried a far more negative connotation, as do several words in various languages alluding to the “left hand.” Our word sinister, for example, is from Latin for “left.” This is part of a complete episode.

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