Wild Irish Prose

Galvanized by the raw vernacular of the Dublin streets, the language of The Commitments is dense and extremely local, kind of like a radically ethnic take on Bill and Ted's most resplendent San Dimas-speak. Given the limits of the provincial tongue, director Alan Parker has found it in his culturally responsible heart to include a glossary with the press kits for The Commitments.

Of course there's not much value in having a bunch of critics walking around conversing in gutter Dublinese, especially if the balance of the film's audience is passed over by the patois. So here are ten of Dublin's finest words and phrases. Use them to better understand your cinematic experience, or save them for your next Irish holiday.

Crease v. To hit. The etymology of "crease" probably came from observing the results of vicious blows to the head, and especially how they dented, or creased, the skull.

Gobshite n. A fool, an idiot. Often derogatory (cf. "tosser").

Gooter: n. The male sex organ.

Knob: v. To make love to.

Poxy: adj. Lousy, useless, without merit.

Scarlet: adj. Embarrassed.

Scoop: n. A glass of beer.

Tosser: n. A jerk-off artist, both literally and figuratively. An idiot. Used as a generally derogatory term (cf. "gobshite").

Wanker: n. One who masturbates. Also an idiot. (cf. "gobshite," "tosser.")

Yo Yo Knickers: n. A young woman of easy virtue and possible promiscuity.


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