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Response to bobbieinok (Original post)

Wed Aug 14, 2019, 12:23 PM

5. I don't think that it was "loose women"

"Irish Pennant" is an old naval term for a rope/line/thread/etc. that was out of place. In the British Navy of the time, the Irish were almost always pressed men with little to no nautical skills (and thus often presented themselves and their work in a sloppy/disheveled manner). The perception that it was their Irish-ness that made them sloppy (rather than their lack of experience) stuck.

Knowing how many of our phrases come from nautical terms of the era ("devil to pay" "three sheets to the wind" "cut of his jib" "above board" "cut and run" "Dutch courage"... and even "Filibuster" ), that would be my guess for anything out of place that gets called "Irish".

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