Old sayings and colloquialisms

 

Sir, – Further to Paul Clements’s An Irishman’s Diary (September 24th), my late mother-in-law would note: “They have high notions of themselves, like the goats in Kerry.” – Yours, etc,

JOHN A BURKE,

Deansgrange,

Blackrock,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – Instead of saying a person had a cast in their eye, the normal response in the north Connaught area was that the person had a “bit of a delay in their eye”, or in the case of a limp, the person had “a bit of a delay in their leg”! – Yours, etc,

DES MOONEY,

Castlerea,

Co Roscommon.

Sir, – When my grandmother, who lived in Tralee, strongly disapproved of someone, she would say: “That one has a neck that would stretch from here to the Ashe Memorial Hall.” – Yours, etc,

MIKE LAWLOR,

London.

Sir, – In my late father-in-law’s time in Stranorlar, Co Donegal, if a man had left it a bit late to be getting married, it was said, “He was waiting for his bones to knit”, and when the local matchmaker was introducing a man to a woman for the first time, he would tell him, “Now be sure to wear your bicycle clips, they give you a monied look.” – Yours, etc,

URSULA

HOUGH-GORMLEY,

Donnybrook,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – In our home growing up, when things went wrong for any member of our family, who would no doubt complain, my mother would always say: “God never closes one door but he opens a row of cottages.”

I love it, and I now say it to my adult children and grandchildren. I am not sure if they love it! – Yours, etc,

ANNE MAHER,

Dundrum,

Dublin 14.

Sir, – In Wexford my father had a phrase he used when the tractor or car battery was flat on a cold winter morning: “There’s not a geeg out of it”. I think this is based on the Yola language once used in the Wexford area. – Yours, etc,

PATRICK HOWLIN,

Dublin 14.

Sir, – I fondly recall a moment in a rugby dressing room from a long time ago. Our generously bellied 20-stone prop was panting as he eventually managed to squeeze on his jersey (tailored for a man half his size). “Every stitch is doing its duty”, he quipped, while smiling down at the straining expanse of fabric. – Yours, etc,

KEVIN McCARTHY,

Bridgestown,

Inniscarra,

Co Cork.