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segotia

segotia n. good friend, mate, buddy, pal. Also segocia, segosha. Editorial Note: The 1966 citation refers to the name of a race horse. Etymological Note: The historical information in the 2004 cite is plausible but unconfirmed. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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  • “Our mutilated friend seems a decent sort of segotia, Hackett remarked from his armchair.” (Lack of quotation marks for speech sic.) 1964 Flann O’Brien “The Dalkey Archive” (Chapter 2, opening sentence.)

  • Check out what Hiberno-English.com has to say:

    segocia, skeowsha, segotia: n. colloq. old friend; term of endearment (origin obscure; it has been suggested that it derives from a corruption of Ir. ‘seo dhuitse!’ (= here it is you are!);

    James Joyce, Finnegans Wake (Part:1 Episode:7 Page:215). 12-13; “Ah, but she was the queer old skeowsha anyhow, Anna Livia, trinkettoes”

    http://mv.lycaeum.org/Finnegan/viewpage.cgi?page=215&like=dea

    (Please note that Finnegans Wake was published in 1939).

    “Irishman’s Diary”, The Irish Times, 23 June 1965, p. 7: ‘‘Segocias and Segotias. Where did John Molloy get the title for his new show, opening at the Gate on Monday next? Well, it’s a logical progression. Molloy’s last show was called ‘There Y’are’, and whenever a Dublinman says ‘There y’are,’ he inevitably follows it up with ‘Me oul’ Segotia.’ So ‘Me oul’ Segotia’ the show becomes.”

    As for the derivation: “One story has it that members of a club called ‘The Oul’ Segotias’ never tipped less than half a sovereign and that when less well-heeled passengers tipped tuppence, the jarvey (q.v.) would say with that deleicate irony that typified the breed: ‘T’ank you, me oul’ segotia.’”; the same column on 1 October, 1965, p. 9, cites Donn S. Piatt as suggesting that “Segotia has been Gaelicised as ‘sagoiste’ and may be connected with French ‘sacoche’—wallet, money-bag, saddle-bag.’”, Roche, Tumbling Down, 28: “‘Hickey, me auld segotia,’ my father piped. ‘How are you keepin’ Paddy said as he slided through the crowd”.

  • “Segosha” also appears in Frank McCourt’s “Angela’s Ashes” (1996) as a term of endearment for a horse pulling a coal float: “Mr. Hannon talks to him all the time and calls him Me oul’ segosha, and the horse snuffles and pushes his nose against Mr. Hannon’s chest.” (p.260)

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