Kiss My …
Author: Gary Bannister
Publisher: New Island
A Dictionary of English-Irish Slang
A book that met with stern opposition from both the publishing industry and the Gaelgeoiri they were afraid of offending when the manuscript was first circulated in 1999, this collection of Irish translations of English slang is sure to inform, amuse and occasionally shock its readers. As the author wrote in the preface, ‘There is no such things as bad language…Slang is raw speech and it comes from the essence of what makes us who we are…Shifting attitudes are reflected within the language itself and these changes, in turn, are often colourfully manifested in idiom,common parlance and slang.’ In his effort to desanitise the language, Bannister makes it more accessible and attractive for people to speak regularly.
There is a long history of Irish dictionaries trying to capture the essential features of our native language. People travelling on the road from Dublin to Cork, or the other way around, used to spy the Rock of Cashel standing majestically on its own overlooking the boring flat fields of Tipperary. It is, and was, a tourist attraction where buses stop on their way to the next restaurant. Mutters are made about the Kings of Munster and other romantic guff, but it is probably never explained that it was in this high rock that the first dictionary of Irish was compiled over a thousand years ago under the tutelage of Cormac О Cuileannain, certainly King of Munster.