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Racist Fun With The

English versus An Ghaeilge
English versus An Ghaeilge

YAY! The Daily Edge, part of the “Irish” news and current affairs website, has a “humorous” article today on those funny native Irish names used by those funny Bogwogs Irish people who identify with or express themselves through Ireland’s indigenous language and culture. Oh, it is hilarious:

“Can you pronounce these baffling Irish names? No offence intended, but if your parents gave you one of these names you have every right to hate them.

AS THE WORLD waits with bated breath to see what name the Royal Baby ™ is given (or doesn’t, y’know that’s cool too), we thought it was the perfect time to reflect on the names we are all given by our parents.

In Ireland, our names can cause us great difficulty when travelling abroad.  It’s annoying.

Sometimes though, an Irish name goes beyond that.  Sometimes an Irish name is so awkward, even Irish people can’t manage it.

Do you have one of these names?  We feel for you. Share your torment in the comments.”

See? Side-achingly funny stuff. And remember: “No offence intended!

Welcome to Angloland!

Update: Judging by my website’s data it seems that some readers have attempted to post links to An Sionnach Fionn in the Comments section underneath the offending article on but their comments have been quickly deleted by the site’s moderator(s). Interesting. For another view on The Journal’s belief that Irish people with Irish names should “hate” their parents (nice) read this post by Siún Ní Dhuinn.

Update: The author of the article has attempted to defend her “tongue in cheek” work with this tortured example of sophistry:

“This is a lighthearted piece referencing fact that living with a complex Irish name can be challenging. It wasn’t meant to offend, and as you can see from the comments above many people with complex Irish names agree in the comments that it can be tough.”

Yes, indeed it is tough living with an Irish language name in Ireland, of any “complexity”, especially when influential media websites casually belittle and ridicule men, women and children who possess such names. Or are we supposed to believe that this article was purposefully written in order to highlight an ongoing anglophone culture of intolerance directed towards any manifestation of this island-nation’s indigenous language and culture?

9 comments on “Racist Fun With The

  1. Growing up on West Coast (Oregon) U$A, I was embarrassed of my name, being butchered anytime it was read aloud in public. As a writer, it took me til my 30’s to use my real name and not some stupid pen name. And it’s not a difficult one, anglicized as “Corcoran”, but all I heard was “COCK-RUN” or “KOR-KOR-AN” (insert Texas accent with that one). While the Irish spelling “Corcrán” is pronounced just fine by any English speaker? Conversely, my first name “Cathasaigh” is like a brick wall, so it’s nice to have the “Casey” option.

    But the point is, I was embarrassed of my name. Why? Because it’s not English. That’s it. And then I found the story of how Irish is viewed with such disdain even in its indigenous homeland, which made a parallel with how the Indigenous languages of the NW coast of Turtle Island (we call Cascadia) have been a mark of shame on their native speakers. Yet the young Natives out here are learning their languages and reviving them with a fierce pride as an act of decolonization. All the sudden, I’m not feeling embarrassed of my name any more [If you think Irish is hard try Lingít (Tlingit)!]

    So, the point again, this is COLONIALISM 101, alive and well in 2013. Out here, we know damn well we’re still living in a colony (Republic my ass, and British Columbia, WTF!). And we get earthquakes here, which make me think Pádraig Pearse must be rolling in his grave and we can still feel it on the other side of the world.


    • That is actually not uncommon here too. I know several contemporary Irish writers/journalists who have quietly added the Irish language versions of their names to their online social profiles (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Its like a strange act of silent defiance or self-declaration. Oddly muted yet present.


    • James Todd

      Hey, got a fellow Cascadian here! And an Irish-American no less! Dia duit ó Washington State a chara!


  2. Like buses! Another posting with a Welsh echo. There’s a by-election in Ynys Môn (Anglesey) on 1 August for the Assembly. The Plaid Cymru candidate, an expected winner, is Rhun ap Iorwerth.

    A Labour party in Wales ‘spokesman’ did some ‘dog whistling’ to get the anti-Welshie vote out by making fun of Rhun’s name. Of course, the self-appointed ‘enlightened’ people would never dare make fun of a candidate with an Asian or Polish name. It seems that Welsh though is fair game. Maybe it just upsets some people to see self-confident Welsh people using Welsh names which challenge their ‘international’ (read Anglocentric) world view.

    Rhun’s answer:

    Funny, if we consider Americans who wouldn’t vote for Obama partly because of his name as being ‘Red Necks’ shouldn’t we also we call people who wouldn’t vote Rhun ap Iowerth because they ‘can’t pronounce his name’ Red Necks too? But surely, if most Americans can vote for Barak Hussein Obama, the people of Môn can vote for Rhun ap Iorwerth!


  3. Pretty much anytime anyone begins with “No offence intended …” you can expect that something offensive is coming.


    • Fact, it’s reminiscent of Travolta in Pulp Fiction asking Thurman not to get angry, right? I think this piece only continues to highlight the MASSIVE disconnect between whomever O’Brien/O’Reilly/Irish Times/RTE hire to ‘tell us’ what’s happening in Ireland and what is actually happening in Ireland.

      Irish names are incredibly popular among my friends, the teaching of the Irish language is becoming more popular and all things traditional are, IMHO, moving from being something akin to a family heirloom we wheel out on occasion to something we use and cherish more often, and I am so very glad to see it!

      Apologies Seamas, however, shameful plug time. Cleanish has a new post up if your readers would care to view and it will be the first of a series with all opinions (so long as no trolling) welcome.



      • Spot on about the closed circle of the Irish media. Same people, same voices all pushing an agreed agenda. Those who operate outside that are all the more notable for doing so.

        That post is well worth plugging. Any time! 😉


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