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How the Irish Invented Slang: The Secret Language of the Crossroads (Counterpunch)by Daniel Cassidy
Synopses & Reviews
In a series of lively essays, this pioneering book proves that US slang has its strongest wellsprings in nineteenth-century Irish America. "Jazz" and "poker," "sucker" and "scam" all derive from Irish. While demonstrating this, Daniel Cassidy simultaneously traces the hidden history of how Ireland fashioned America, not just linguistically, but through the Irish gambling underworld, urban street gangs, and the powerful political machines that grew out of them. Cassidy uncovers a secret national heritage, long discounted by our WASP-dominated culture.
Daniel Cassidy is the founder and co-director of the Irish Studies Program at New College in San Francisco.
Book News Annotation:
Cassidy reveals how the Gaelic of Irish immigrants to North America has infiltrated into slang and other informal and non-elite realms of English. Among the words he traces to Irish are slum, dude, and rookie. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
Daniel Cassidy is founder and co-director of An Léann Éireannach, the Irish Studies Program at New College of California in San Francisco. His research on the Irish language's influence on American vernacular and slang has been published in the New York Observer, Ireland's Hot Press magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Lá, the Irish-language newspaper.
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