Unparliamentary language


Sir, – Who could imagine Shane Ross calling Mattie McGrath a bollix or even a bollocks? I could have imagined Mr Ross saying, “Mattie, you are a bounder. I ought to give you a bunch of fives.” But using the B-word? Never.

It must be the company Mr Ross is keeping since he became a Minister. – Yours, etc,



Co Carlow.

Sir, – Your correspondent Tom Cooper (May 21st) is seeking suggestions for the plural of bollocks. The word is plural in form and singular in meaning, as is the version most commonly found in Dublin, bollix. Such words are rare in English. Fowler gives a few examples, such as gallows and lens. The Irish language has the concept of the dual number, singular in form but plural in meaning.

An interesting question would be the description of a group of such TDs who may earn the sobriquet.

Would they be known as a party or coalition or what? – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.