Wednesday, March 17, 2010


It's Paddy. The diminutive form of the name Patrick (or Pádraig in the original Irish form) is Paddy. Therefore it's Saint Paddy's day. Patty is a girl's name, the diminutive form of Patricia. Think Peppermint Patty. Kiss trust me, I'm (half) Irish.

I appreciate that the softening of the T sound in North American accents makes it difficult to distinguish from a D. I mean, even I ask for "warder" in restaurants now, as no-one ever understands me when I say "water" with a hard T. And one friend who thinks he's British but is actually Canadian says "bacon buddy" instead of "bacon butty", for the same reason - I have told him he's wrong, but old habits die hard.

But now you know, and you have no more excuses!

Anyway, I realise I'm fighting a losing battle here, so I guess you can call it whatever you like, as long as you call it a good reason to have a pint or ten! Have fun, and get home safe!

(Post scheduled for 12:01 am my time, to make sure I catch most of my readers before this happy day ends)


  1. St. PaDDy's day is not celebrated in these sticks of the wood but by sheer coincidence I am in fact wearing a green t-shirt today :)

  2. Slainte!

    Every so often I am roped in by our local library to take part in story-reading events for children. Sometimes I read stories but mostly I'm there to provide incidental music with my accordion. So I played some faux-Irish reels (more of a Morris-Dance-Music man mesself) and the storytellers told great tales of leprechauns, Finn McCool and so on. As for me? Mrs Crox had a grandfather born in Dublin, but I'm about as Irish as bagels and lox.

  3. Ahh... I still don't get why St Paddy's day is celebrated where I live currently. I mean, the few Irish could be housed in a smaller closet (much like the Scandinavians). Well, maybe there are more decendants of the Irish but still, not many O' or Mc.

    btw, isn't there a distinction between Mac and Mc names? I seem to recall something from my gaelic lessons back in college :)

    (beef pattys are correct though, right?! or maybe pattys made of Patty ^^)

  4. Happy St.Patrick's Day from Ireland! We've parades everywhere today.

    Chall, as far as I know (but I am not Irish), the Mc or Mac depends on which area you are from, as dialects of gailge have different pronounciations and spellings. For example, my colleague Sean who is from the northwest, is always annoyed that everyone here (near Dublin) pronounces his name with an "O" rather than an "A", as they do in his place.

  5. I'm really glad I happen to always refer to St. Patrick's Day as St. Patrick's Day and do not try and abbreviate. I really hadn't considered that Patty was a feminine name even though I was a rabid Peanuts fan growing up and am all too familiar with Peppermint Patty. of course, there aren't a lot of men referred to as Paddy where I live, which might have at least tipped me off. ;)
    Enjoy your day! I'll make up for my lack of beer-drinking next year.

  6. Lisbeth, nice work! I wasn't paying attention and wore my green sweater on Monday instead, so I'm wearing a grey one instead that has a couple of thin green stripes on it.

    Henry, Slainte to you too! I didn't know you played accordion (until you mentioned it on Facebook), when did you pick that up? And do you have any video?

    Chall, yes, it's a beef (or a peppermint) patty, with a T!

    I don't know about the differences between Mc and Mac (I'm sure Pika has the right answer), but I do know that people get really mad if you use the wrong one, or if you capitalise the first letter of the second part of the name when it should be lower case, or vice versa (e.g. Macdonald vs. MacDonald). And that my PhD institute in Glasgow put incoming mail in alphabetically ordered pigeon holes, and had separate categories for M, Mc, and Mac.

    Pika, and the same to you! I hope you're having a good one so far.

    Microbiologist, wise choice! Especially as Paddy can also be used as a derogatory generic term for an Irishman.

    I hope you enjoy your day despite the lack of beer. I'm not doing anything special, just the usual Wednesday night poker game, but I might switch to a good Irish Kilkenny or Caffrey's instead of my ususal Granville Island IPA. (Unfortunately I do not like Guinness. I know, I know).

  7. Happy St. Pat's day, or should I say St. Pad's? ;) I'm not wearing green today, as it turns out. My Dad, who is a bit more Irish than I am, wears orange, because he's Not Catholic. He's not Protestant anymore though, so probably skips the color wars altogether. I'm wearing a safe color: purple.

  8. Surely there must have been a St. Patricia...though I'm pretty sure her feast day doesn't fall on March 17th. Or if it does, it does not involve drinking. Me? Irish as most Americans come, but I'm not drinking til this damn fellowship proposal has been whipped into shape.


  9. Silver Fox, Pat is just fine :)

    Purple sounds good and neutral. My Dad's side of the family is from the green-clad part of Ireland, but none of us actually pay any attention to the religious significance of that any more.

    AA, I don't know... Patricia just sounds like a more modern name to my ears, although I'm very probably wrong. Good luck with the fellowship!

    Happy St. Patrick's to one and all... off to play poker and drink beer. Hoping for the luck of the Irish!

  10. Ah, thanks for the lesson, Cath! I had no idea.

    St. Paddy's day is surprisingly big in our kids' schools, not sure why (not a big Irish population hereabouts, far as I can tell). Any excuse for a party, I guess. My 5-year old informs me that a leprechaun visited her school--but that she missed it--and gave wishes to her teacher. And she heard stories about some monster named "Finn." Finn McCool, I'm guessing. And the younger kid got Shamrock Shakes at McDonald's. All about keeping it real, here in the American Midwest =)

  11. I found her!

    St. Patricia Day is August 25. Not aware of any drinking traditions surrounding this saint, so as far as celebrations But now you can tell people they got the wrong date when they wish yo a Happy St. Patty's Day.

  12. Bean-Mom, see, blog reading = learning :) (and I've had lots of Google search term hits for this issue too, so maybe I'm helping to spread the word!)

    That's the other funny (to me) thing about St Patrick's celebrations in North America! In Britain (I can't speak for Ireland), you'd never see kids celebrating it, and you wouldn't get "family friendly" parades and other events. It's strictly a drinking holiday for adults :) I hope your kids enjoyed it though!

    Ambivalent, THAT'S MY WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!!! Awesome work, I am so using that little gem. Thanks!

  13. Hi Cath - yes, I play accordion. I started as a teenager growing up in leafy Sussex. My Dad picked up an old but very small piano accordion at a music store because he liked the look of it and my Mum liked the sound of it. I took to it quite easily and was soon playing with a local Morris-dance side. My parents gave me a very large piano accordion for my 18th which stood me in good stead for years, but these days is too heavy, so a few years back I bought a middle-sized 'Goldilocks' solution, which is the one I now use. No video of me playing it, thank goodness, though now Crox Minor has a Flip video camera this could soon be rectified...


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