Yesterday I had an invitation to afternoon tea.  My hostess was a tall elegant young lady that I have known since the day and hour she was born. Well not exactly the day and hour but near enough and I am not talking about Elly.  Jen was an early visitor to meet her new cousin Elly and the bond has grown with the years.

Jen introducted little Miss Elly to the wonders of Dublin without her parents.  They had regular visits to the cinema and to McDonalds long before Uncle Ronald discovered Belfast!  The adventure ended with the journey home on the upper level of a double decker bus back to Nana’s house.

There was one occasion when arrangements were being made over the telephone, the newspaper cinema listings checked and there seemed only one film that Jen wished to sit through again ( she was a saint in disguise returning to watch films just to suit her cousin!).  So on this occasion the one film had a question mark over it.  Mammy would have to give permission so Jen asked to speak to me.

The film was the Commitments Would I allow my under-age daughter go to see this film?  Jen had seen it before and had no objection to going again.  It contained strong language… very strong language, but nothing worse than you would hear on a Dublin bus!  I gave my consent.  We finished our conversation and I went to tell Elly.

Two minutes later the phone rang again.  It was Jen’s dad.  No, he was not objecting to my decision but he would enjoy seeing the film again and wondered if I would like to go along with them.  He was not sure whether Jack would like the film or understand the very strong Dublin accents, but I said I would ask him.

The cinema was quite close to Nana’s so my brother said he would collect us.  There were six in the party by the time we set off, my brother, his wife, the two young ladies and Jack and I.  I sat beside Jack in order to explain or translate for him the local lingo.  He was the first to laugh and the tears ran down his face for most of the film.  He had no trouble understanding any of it.

So after a couple of hours f-ducking and blinding I thought I had never left Dublin

We returned to the car and all piled in for the journey home to Nana’s house.  I had to do something, so I said:

F-ducking Elly, before your f-ducking uncle P puts the f-ducking key in the f-ducking ignition to f-ducking drive the f-ducking car out of the f-ducking car park to f-ducking drive us back to your f-ducking Nana’s, I just want to f-ducking say that I f-ducking never f-ducking want to f-ducking hear f-ducking you f-ducking using this f-ducking language ever f-ducking again!

19 thoughts on “Dublinese

  1. Geri Atric

    Lord love a f…duck Grannymar – I bet Elly fell off her seat!
    I heard my own strict and very proper mother trying to swear once. She struggled and struggled and in the end managed a red faced ‘Damn it!’ My brothers and I were shocked and delighted! Made her more ‘human’ somehow..

  2. steph


    I hope we won’t hear that language out of you at the tea party tomorrow 😯

    Sounds like it was one of those family outings that goes down in history.

    @ Geri

    You’ve reminded me of my mother’s dislike of cooking. Her only swear word was “Bloody” and sometimes you’d hear her in the kitchen roaring “Bloody saucepan” as she banged the lid on the pan 😀

  3. Nick

    Swearing has certainly changed a bit since I was young. In those days the rudest, most outrageous words you could use were things like bloody, ruddy, blimey, damn. Nowadays there seem no limits at all on what you can say, and the more sexual vocabulary you can employ the better.

    I love The Commitments. One of the great films!

  4. Grannymar Post author

    @Steph – I will be a ‘Lady’ tomorrow, only ladies are allowed in!

    @Elly – Don’t you ever do what your mother told you? 😉

    @Nick – Swear words were used instead of adjectives in Dublin years ago. Mind you it has got worse with time.

  5. wisewebwoman

    Maybe it’s a Cork thing, GM, but our bad word was feckin’. Used constantly.
    I loved the Commitments, wore out the sound track several times. A very satisifying film on so many levels.

  6. Magpie11

    I was 13 before I heard the “f” word…now I hear it all the time…well, very often….Why? I ask…. a teacher at school told us that the use of swear words showed a paucity of language on our parts, When asked what Paucity meant he replied, “My point exactly.” It was years before I understood his humour.

  7. Baino

    Probably better than doing what I used to do which was wash out mouths with dishwashing liquid . . .although I agree with Elly . . didn’t work! I still have that soundtrack and still love their version of Mustang Sally!

  8. Darlene

    I got my mouth washed out with soap just one time. I think I said the “terrible” word, damn. My how times have changed. Now the word that pops out of my mouth when things go wrong is s__t. That was my grandfathers only swear word, but he used it a lot.

  9. Jefferson Davis

    I was not allowed to use curse words while growing up. But, I found a way to curse my cousins and friends without the elders learning of it. Sign language is a blast, so is morse code. 🙂

    Good luck at the IBA’s. 🙂

  10. Grannymar Post author

    @WWW – The word feckin was very common and acceptable when I was young.

    @Magpie – Have to admit I wondered for a moment what paucity was!

    @Baino – I remember mammy’s threats to wash out mouths out with soap if we used bad language…. yet it was her mother who taught us for pure badness!!

    @Darlene – Mammy threatened the wash-out or to leave the imprint of her five fingers on our bottoms…!

    @JD – I love the morse code idea! Thanks for the good wishes.

  11. Barbara

    Do you remember the game of Lexicon? It was a pack of cards made up of letters and you had to make up words with the cards you had in your hand. Well I was 12 and had just had mumps in Boarding School where I had been in the Sick Room with a few older girls who had used the F word a few times. I had not a clue what it meant or stood for. I was playing Lexicon with my very correct Grandmother, Aunt, Mother and ever more correct Godmother. Well there were 4 cards in my hand F K C U. I said “Oh look what this spells”. There was complete silence for about a minute and then the game was continued. That silence spoke more than any words could. It was a bad word and not one to be used in correct company. I am afraid it did not deter me and I have used it faithfully ever since. I remember my Mother and myself rolling around the place with tears running down our cheeks when I taught her to say it for the 1st time. Love the film as well and so do my sons – who I am glad to say use the word very liberally too!!!!!!!!

  12. Rummuser

    This was before I started visiting your blog Grannymar. I would have otherwise left a grand response. I am now a gentleman thanks to the efforts of a widow who lives in a cul de sac.


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