A public announcement for St. Patrick's Day: It's Paddy - not Patty
You might be slurring your words anyway but start like you mean to go on
Some would say that Saint Patrick’s day has already been slandered enough through various forms of leprechaun-costumed commercialism, but other brave souls are determined to draw a line in the sand and say ‘this far but no further’.
In this light we’d like to offer the following public announcement: it’s Paddy not Patty.
If you like to use the nickname for Patrick, the 5th century British missionary who bought Christianity to Ireland and (supposedly) booted out the snakes then it’s Paddy you need, a name itself that originates from the Irish Pádraig.
As Marcus Campbell, the one-man crusade behind the ‘Paddy not Patty’ website and the Twitter feed of the same name, says “There isn’t a sinner in Ireland that would refer to a Patrick as “Patty”. It’s as simple as that.”
It’s not quite clear when the ‘Patty’ mistake came about, but it’s probably some mixture of the fact that the ‘Patty’ and ‘Paddy’ sound nearly identical in an American accent; because Patrick, the anglicised version of Pádraig, can be shortened to ‘Pat’; and because ‘Paddy’ has been used as a slur for the Irish and people are trying to be polite.
The use of ‘Paddy’ as a slur most likely emerged during the 19th century when anti-Irish racism was rampant in both Britain and the US. The Irish were demonised as violent alcoholics, with Irish immigrants accused of stealing native’s jobs. For this reason it is definitely not okay to call a random Irish person ‘Paddy’ – unless, of course, it is their name, and they like you.
Other points of St Patrick’s day etiquette include avoiding cocktails named ‘Irish Car Bombs’. These are made from stout, whiskey and Baileys and although the name is popular in the US, don’t use it in the UK and don’t even joke about it in Ireland. If you’re at all confused as to why this is a bad idea, you should remind yourself of what happened on Bloody Friday.
Similarly (but not so obviously in bad taste) is a Black and Tan – a beer cocktail made from half pale beer and half dark beer. In Ireland this is called a Half and Half as the ‘Black and Tans’ was the name given to the brutal, torturing and straightforwardly murderous auxiliary police force created by Winston Churchill to maintain British rule in Ireland.
With these historical notes in mind, getting ‘Patty’ and ‘Paddy’ confused is probably not the worst mistake you could make (especially considering how prone to mispronunciation we Brits apparently are) but all the same, if you’re going to turn a day of national celebration into an excuse for drinking green-tinged beer, then at least get the name right.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...