How to be Irish: for cigar
Newspaper columnist Adrienne Cook observed that "St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time -- a day to begin transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic." Well, itâ€™s also a day when regular folks all around the world transform themselves into Irishmen for a 24-hour period.
Luckily for you, I created a comprehensive guide on how to seem more Irish than you really are, thereby, making the metamorphosis easier than ever. Our suggestions eschew the typical blather and blarney in favor of brilliant tips that you can really use. Grab a pint of your favorite stout and start learning how to seem more Irish than you really are!
Adopt an Irish brogue
The surest way of passing yourself off as a genuine Son of Erin is to adopt an Irish brogue, or accent. Brogue originally referred to a type of coarse leather shoe, and since to most observers, the Irish sound as though theyâ€™re struggling to talk with cheap footwear lodged in their mouths, it makes sense that the word would come to mean an Irish accent. If you want to seem more Irish than you really are, your own brogue should be thick, rich and more difficult to understand than quantum mechanics.
If youâ€™re not immediately familiar with the accentâ€™s lovely -- and frequently incomprehensible -- lilts, then rent a movie like Waking Ned Devine, Angelaâ€™s Ashes or The Wind That Shakes the Barley, starring Cork native Cillian Murphy. If that sounds like too much work, simply down some Guinness and start chatting away, making sure to pepper your conversation with plenty of â€śdis,â€ť â€śdat,â€ť â€śdese,â€ť and â€śdose.â€ť Youâ€™ll soon discover that an Irish brogue and the wonderful language of â€śdrunkeneseâ€ť are remarkably close bedfellows.
Wear a little green or orangeâ€¦ but never together
Although most Irishmen arenâ€™t particularly fashion conscious, they do have very strong feelings when it comes to the colors green and orange. Thatâ€™s because orange has come to represent the Protestant Church while green has come to represent the Catholic Church. In the interest of not offending either party, itâ€™s best not to mix the two colors in a single outfit. If you insist on wearing either shade, go with green since it has become the official color of St. Paddyâ€™s Day.
Learn to tell a tall tale
Oscar Wilde once told fellow countryman William Butler Yeats, â€śWe Irishâ€¦ are a brilliant nation of failures, but we are the greatest talkers since the Greeks.â€ť He certainly had a point. Just as Canadians are born with the ability to build an igloo, the Irish are born with an innate ability to regale audiences with a tall tale. Although this God-given gift oâ€™ gab runs the gamut from amusing anecdotes to far-flung fairy tales, the stories themselves are always told with humor, conviction and just a wee bit of exaggeration. Bear in mind that the object of telling tales is to keep your audience entertained, so feel free to inject as much hyperbole and good old-fashioned debauchery as you feel the situation merits.
Swear like a motherfucker
Anyone who has seen Colin Farrell interviewed will suspect that the entire nation of Ireland is suffering from a collective case of oral dysentery. Many words that are deemed deeply offensive in America are thrown about freely in Ireland to spice up conversations, enliven stories or to simply greet oneâ€™s mother. So, start cussing like a sailor on shore leave and youâ€™ll be guaranteed to fit right in.
Make fun of the Scottish
It has been said that proximity breeds contempt, which is probably why the Irish delight in making jokes at the expensive of their Scottish neighbors. You too can join in on the fun by memorizing these playful zingers about the country where men are men and sheep are nervous:
Q. What do you call a Scot with a sheep under each arm?
A. A pimp.
Q. What do you call six weeks of rain in Scotland?
Q. How do you disperse an angry Scottish mob?
A. Nae bother -- just take up a collection.
Learn a blessing or two
Whether Catholic or Protestant, the Irish are a deeply religious people who spew blessings at the same rate that some folks exhale. Do your best to blend in by memorizing these three evocative blessings:
1- â€śMay the good Lord take a liking to youâ€¦ but none too soon!â€ť;
2- â€śMay your glass be ever full, may the roof over your head be always strong, and may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you're dead.â€ť;
3- â€śMay love and laughter light your days, and warm your heart and home. May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam. May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures. May all life's passing seasons bring the best to you and yours!â€ť
Get a severe sunburn
Perhaps itâ€™s the nature of living on one of the planetâ€™s largest bogs, but Irishmen rarely seem to get a decent tan. In fact, many of Erinâ€™s sons have been known to get a third-degree burn simply from sitting next to a fluorescent light bulb. You too can appear to be Irish by adding some of your girlfriendâ€™s rouge to your cheeks neck and forehead. While youâ€™re at it, borrow her eyebrow pencil to generously apply freckles all over your crimson red mug.
Give yourself an Irish name
Convince others of your infallible Celtic heritage and give yourself a proper Irish name. Common Irish surnames include Murphy, McDonnell, McDonald, Oâ€™Connor, Callaghan, and Fitzgerald, while common first names include Ryan, Angus, Devin, Finnegan, and Seamus. When in doubt, simply tack on an â€śOâ€™â€ť or a â€śMcâ€ť to your name and youâ€™ll be off to the races faster than you can say â€śPaddy Oâ€™Lantern.â€ť
irish eyes are smiling
Having an Irish name and a pint in your hand is just part of the equation. If you truly want to seem more Irish than you are, itâ€™s important to adopt other Celtic traits like being easygoing, good-humored, lighthearted and quick to jest. Wherever you go and whatever you do, may the luck of the Irish be there with you.