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On June 16, James Joyce aficionados the world over celebrate Bloomsday. The day is named after advertising salesman Leopold Bloom, protagonist of Joyce's novel Ulysses. The entirety of this book recounts an ordinary day, June 16, 1904, as various characters go about their ways in Dublin, Ireland. If those 700+ pages are too much, here's an illustrated and irreverent summary of the book.

To mark Bloomsday this week we'll examine five words borrowed from the Irish language.

shebeen (shuh-BEEN) noun

An unlicensed drinking establishment.

[From Irish síbín, diminutive of séibe (mug/mugful). The word is popular in the south of Africa and in Scotland and Ireland.]

See more usage examples of shebeen in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

-Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)

"The controversial drinking den has been raided four times since it opened two months ago. But shebeen operator Francis Kelly, 33, says it's a 'private club' for his pals -- and insists he doesn't sell any booze."
Owen Conlon; Shebeen and Gone; The Sun (UK); May 9, 2008.


I have a great deal of company in my house; especially in the morning, when nobody calls. -Henry David Thoreau, naturalist and author (1817-1862)


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