Finnegans Wake

Uncommon or non-standard English phrases and terms

  • brogue (accent)
  • hod (a tool to carry bricks in) (Slang term for a tankard or drinking vessel)
  • tippler's way (a tippler is a drunkard)
  • craythur (craythur is whiskey, "a drop of the craythur" is an expression to have some whiskey)
  • Whack fol the dah (non-lexical vocalsinging called "lilting"; see Scat singing and mouth music it is also punned upon repeatedly by James Joyce as Whack 'fol the Danaan')
  • trotters (feet)
  • full (drunk)
  • mavourneen (my darling)
  • hould your gob (shut-up)
  • belt in the gob (punch in the mouth)
  • Shillelagh law (a brawl)
  • ruction (a fight)
  • bedad (an expression of shock)
  • Thanam 'on dhoul (your soul to the devil)

Non-English phrases:

  • The last part of the song where Tim Finnegan says, "Thanum an dhul" ("D'ainm an diabhal"), means "In the name of the devil", and comes from the Irish.
  • However, in other versions of the song, Tim says "Thunderin' Jaysus."

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