You Say Po-tah-to; I Say Po-tay-to


I imagine life as my roommate is difficult for Sean; I eat potato chips, french fries, and cookies and when I’ve finished off the bags, I put them in the trash. Sean doesn’t do any of these things: he eats packets of crisps, chips, and biscuits and puts them in the rubbish. He talks low and in a melody his students can’t penetrate. He comes home from work in a rage because he has been asked by yet another principal to speak slower, or at least more like an American.

There have been times when Sean and I have come to odds over a fried potato product. If I ask him for a potato chip, he will refuse to help until I call it by its “proper name.” Sometimes we compromise and use the Japanese terms for potato products or snacks: fureido poteto or okashi. All is calm until I offer him one of the Oreos I got at the foreign goods store.

In honor of Sean and his lovely musical Cork dialect, I would like to offer a list of things my funny Irish friend actually says:

  • Rubbish: “Don’t forget – it’s rubbish day!” “That movie was absolute rubbish!”
  • Wanker: “Oh, God, I don’t want to teach dose li’l wankers today.”
  • Bollocks: “Oh, bollocks, do I really have to wear a suit today? It’s roasting outside!”
  • Your Man: “I saw your man at the cafe today.” Note: this does not mean “I saw the man who is yours”: it means “I saw that guy.”
  • Your One: the female version of “Your man,” equating to “That woman.”
  • Langers: a multi purpose term. Usage 1: “I had 10 pints of beer and I was completely langers.” Usage 2: “Excuse me now! Do you really think I’m going to whip out my langer right here in the middle of the park?” (this said to Meir who suggested Sean relieve himself near a tree)
  • Cuppa and a Biccie: “biccie” being the children’s version of the word “biscuit.” “Would you like to pop up for a cuppa and a biccie?”
  • Shocking: Bad. “Your attempt at an Irish accent is shocking, like!” This, of course, is a bald-faced lie because my Irish accent is BRILLIANT.
  • Brilliant!
  • Grand!
  • So. At the end of his sentences, much the way Americans use “then.” “Are you going to have that last crisp, so?”
  • Sweet Jaysus, Mary and Joseph, heav’n aboov (please note: Sean is an Atheist.)

My friend is a walking James Joyce novel. Have a great trip home, ya wanker.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Stan says:

    That was fun to read so it sent me in search of more and I found this: http://irishslang.net/
    Very funny. No wonder seem to be known for re-inventing the language.

  2. ieatmypigeon says:

    I love it, Stan. Sean always comes back to Japan even more insufferable after visiting home – his English kind of gets neutralized due to the demands of his students. I can’t wait to see what he comes back saying.

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