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spide

spide  n.— «In good old Northern Ireland (that’s Norn Iron in the local accent…beautiful, isn’t it?) we call “chavs’”spides,” and female versions are called “millies,” which makes it quite amusing when...

mickey relation

mickey relation  n.— «Pat and Elaine are what are known in Ireland as mickey-relations. No blood ties, but are vaguely related to someone who is (probably vaguely) married to someone vaguely related to me. You know they way it is...

banana skin

banana skin  n.— «Italy are a good side—they won two games in the Six Nations and pushed Ireland in the warm-ups and most of them have beaten Scotland before. This, therefore, is not a “banana skin”; it’s what the French call a...

snobocracy

snobocracy  n.— «If Carole Middleton does indeed use the term “toilet”—and despite my trawling of the snobocracy I cannot find anyone to swear either way, apart from James Whitaker—then it is a habit she shares with a swathe of the upper...

American wake

American wake  n.— «Connolly then recounted the first time he picked up a fiddle; he was about 9 or 10 years old and was at a party for his Uncle Patty who was immigrating to the United States. Such going-away-parties in Ireland were...

schmutzdecke

schmutzdecke  n.— «Periodically the top layer of sand (approximately 25 to 100m deep) needs to be removed from the slow sand filters together with the associated biological accumulation (“schmutzdecke”) for cleaning...