Home » Dictionary » 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)

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • “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”


    (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)

Further reading

Walkie Talkie (episode #1541)

One of the most powerful words you’ll ever hear — and one of the most poignant — isn’t in dictionaries yet. But it probably will be one day. The word is endling, and it means “the last surviving member of a species.” The...

One-Armed Paper Hanger (episode #1518)

The emotional appeal of handwriting and the emotional reveal of animal phrases. Should children be taught cursive writing in school, or is their time better spent studying other things? A handwritten note and a typed one may use the very same words...

Recent posts