Terry Dolan

13 results

English poet Edmund Spenser moved to Ireland on an ill-fated attempt to benefit from the plantation of Munster. Above,  Kilcolman Castle, Co Cork, where he lived.  Photograph:  Bryan O’Brien

In Irish, as you probably know, “brat” means “flag”. In English, it means “an unruly child”. The two concepts would not appear to have much in common,(...)

 The word “gobshite” made its long-awaited debut in the New York Times this week. Photograph: Getty Images

This week’s exciting news from the US – that the word “gobshite” had made its debut appearance in the New York Times – sent me delving into this newsp(...)

 “Haitches” are a particular source of anxiety in England. Even in these phonetically egalitarian days, the dropping of H-bombs on BBC can still trigger would-be champions of the Queen’s English. Photograph: Thoth Adan/IStock

As revealed on her Twitter account, the British Labour MP Jess Phillips received a ticking off this week for something she said in a BBC interview. (...)

Ryan Tubridy got more political than he meant to last week. Photograph: RTÉ

As he surveys the papers at the start of his show, Ryan Tubridy has some good news for those already suffering from election fatigue. “Obviously it’s (...)

 John Lennon: preferred “get” to “git”. Photograph: Central Press/Getty Images

Long-time reader Damien Maguire has emailed with a raised eyebrow about my suggestion that the Hiberno-English “get” – as used by a political opponent(...)

Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

A friend inquired recently if I was familiar with the Hiberno-English phrase “damn the hate” and, if so, where it originated. Yes and no were the answ(...)

Ian Paisley jnr: plenty of reading material in his Irish passport. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Watching BBC’s Newsnight programme on Thursday, I was intrigued to hear presenter Kirsty Wark use the word “thrawn” in a question to an interviewee. I(...)

 Donogh O’Malley with a portrait of Eamon de Valera. Photograph: Eddie Kelly

The recent national outbreak of people saying “bollocks”, in the Leinster House canteen and elsewhere, has prompted some readers to recall another fam(...)

After a recent column here about the dubious honour of being addressed as “sir” (or even “sore”) in Dublin, several readers reminded me of a passage i(...)

Until recently the majority of Irish people would have understood that cluain refers to a meadow or a plain between two woods, that bánóg (bawnogue) refers to a patch of level grass, often used for dancing

Do you understand the sentence: the banbh was hiding out in the clochán from the brothall? Or how about: I took the boreen over the bawn and down the (...)

  • 1
  • 2
  • Next
  • Last »