There is a certain wantonness to this word, a revelry that goes beyond the sense of bounty. It brings out echoes of a glorious gala with gallons to gulp and lots of lore to listen to, and of all those bumptious gal words: galumph, galoot, galoshes. It even sounds like a guffaw from a cartoon character. And, to top it off, James Bond fans will collocate it with Pussy. In Irish Gaelic, go leór may really mean “sufficient” or “enough,” but in the more than 300 years that English has had loan of it, it has acquired a tinge of glut and gluttony. And since it begins like Guinness and ends like beer (and more), gregarious garrulous goliards will, on St. Pat’s day, go rolling home having gorged and guzzled lashings of both.

2 responses to “galore

  1. Frank M Flanagan

    Do I detect some ethnic profiling of an egregious stripe in the last sentence?

    • You don’t, although I understand how it might have seemed so. Actually, in Canada, as in the US, people of all ethnicities seem to like to use St. Paddy’s as an excuse to go out and get plastered. I live on a street with several bars on it and I can tell you the sidewalks will be covered with vomit on the morning of the 18th and it won’t be exclusively or even in any notable part Irish vomit.

      Actually, as far as I know, St. Paddy’s isn’t a big piss-up in Ireland. Although various Irish singers and groups, from The Pogues to the Irish Rovers and on, seem to like to sing about drinking (and authors like Brendan Behan made a big thing of it – but then, so did Dylan Thomas, who was Welsh), in Canada if you want to get plastered there’s no advantage to seeking out Irish people or an Irish pub over any other group or drinking establishment. (Actually, Australians have a worse reputation around here.) Basically, on St. Pat’s, if you have an inclination to get drunk, you use the day as an excuse. And you’ll be hard pressed to find a single Irish accent in the whole sopping lot of them.

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