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#44143 - 10/10/01 10:31 AM Irishspeak
Bobyoungbalt Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/22/00
Posts: 1289
First some background, then the question regarding text in bold:

This morning's newspaper had a short article about a Baltimore oriole being spotted in Baltimore (County Cork) Ireland. This is a unique event, apparently due to the bird's being blown off course by high winds in its migration. Herewith quote:

"This is the first-ever sighting of a Baltimore oriole in Ireland. It's made an astonishing journey," said Birdwatch Ireland's Dick Coombes, who drove for six hours Sunday after getting frantic calls from friends who'd seen the bird. ...
"I ran like the clappers when I heard someone shout up the hill they'd seen the wee fella," said Coombes, who stayed overnight in Baltimore.


Any Irish or other UK speakers care to comment on this interesting expression?




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#44144 - 10/10/01 12:03 PM Re: Irishspeak
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
BobY, I tried to LIU, with no success, but I did find this delightful page. I was just going to copy something from it, but each thing I read was better than the last!
http://islandireland.com/Pages/folk/sets/sayings.html


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#44145 - 10/10/01 12:29 PM Re: Irishspeak
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear BYB: I found a couple sites that just said it meant to run fast. But I remember one of our Australian members describing sheep in spring having muck caked on their legs so hard that when they ran it made a clapping noise. I searched, but couldn't find the post.


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#44146 - 10/10/01 12:39 PM Re: Irishspeak
consuelo Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/11/01
Posts: 2636
Loc: Caribbean
Thanks for the link, Jackie. I'd heard several of those sayings before, but some I hadn't. Two that I thought were especially relevant to the board were "People live in one another's shelter." and "If your messenger is slow, go to meet him."


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#44147 - 10/10/01 09:10 PM Re: Irishspeak
Bobyoungbalt Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/22/00
Posts: 1289
Thanks for the effort, Dr. Bill. I was wondering if it had anything to do with the social disease with the similar nickname.


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#44148 - 10/10/01 09:51 PM Re: Irishspeak
teresag Offline
journeyman

Registered: 03/12/01
Posts: 60
Loc: Oregon, USA
Wonderful link, Jackie! But this one reminded me of another thread on meaningless maxims:
"A combed head sells the feet."
Interpretations, anyone?


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#44149 - 10/10/01 10:20 PM Re: Irishspeak
plutarch Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 1385
Clappers, indeed. The clappers are the clangers in a bell. They bang back and forth so fast you can hardly see them. Hence, running like clappers.


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#44150 - 10/10/01 10:28 PM Re: Irishspeak
plutarch Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 1385
"A combed head sells the feet." When the shoe salesman stoops to put on the shoes the customer has selected, the customer can't help but notice the top of the salesman's head. The first impression the customer gets is not of feet, therefore, but of head. Hence "A combed head sells the feet."


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#44151 - 10/10/01 10:38 PM Re: Irishspeak
plutarch Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 1385
The head and feet puzzle reminds me of a kid's jeer which is interesting more for its form that it is for its wit. "You're built up-side down. Your nose runs and your feet smell." What do we call this kind of reverse bi-polar word play?


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#44152 - 10/10/01 10:39 PM Re: Irishspeak
consuelo Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/11/01
Posts: 2636
Loc: Caribbean
Funny how great minds think alike. That one had me scratching my head, too. The only thing I can offer is that my brother-in-law is 3rd generation lace curtain Irish and some of the things that come out of his mouth are just as incomprehensible to me(Kelli, sister, if you're reading this, you really need to log on and be one of us).


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