Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Trooper York!

My gift to Trooper York

From Old World Wisconsin, a book published in 1944 which chronicles the ethnic influences within Wisconsin:
The Irish are good story tellers (shanachies), and few other nationalities can approach them for quick repartee. This may account for the success achieved by Irish attorneys as jury advocates. Simple incidents in life and apposite figures of speech embellish conversations. But the deferential manner of statement accounts for much of the enthralling attention the Irish command. 
An imaginativeness in thought inclines the Irish to satirize people with characteristic names:
'A nickname fitting better than the name their mother gave'
One fellow suspected of stealing fowls was facetiously called 'Turkey Jim'; the engineer on a threshing rig who seldom washed for meals was 'blackie'; three Irishmen with the same surname were distinguished as 'Big Mike', 'Little Mike', and 'Black Mike', Jerry O'Leary, who lived on the stony ridge, became 'Hog-back Jerry'; Peter Goggins, the saloon keeper, was called 'Whiskey Goggins'; two Norwegians because of their distinctive occupations and physical characteristics were 'Skunk Foot Ole' and 'Big Foot Ole'; the diminutive man who officiously served mass when the altar boys were absent was 'Priestine' Murphy; the paunchy bartender was 'Bullfrog Joe'; the cross old codger laborer was 'Sealion Burke,' and every lad with red hair acquired 'Red' as an added surname. 

1 comment:

  1. Had to look up shanachie before arriving here to find a description which nails those TY traits I most enjoy, the ones that invite surprise, amazement and laughter.

    A neat shot of the good stuff El Pollo!