When Irish Words Are Smiling

by Jay Nordlinger

At the end of today’s Impromptus, I have a little language note, and it’s an “Irishism,” supplied by a reader: “There it was, gone!” For instance, your car has been stolen. “I went to get it, and there it was, gone!” Well, another reader has supplied a companion phrase, so to speak: “to wake up dead.” “My uncle went to bed that night feeling ill, and woke up dead.”

Irish speech — a continual source of delight. I would say the same about the Scottish, but, frankly, I really can’t understand what they say . . .

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