Daily Archives: June 10, 2009

dulse

What sort of thing is dulse? Is it a pulse? No, that would have been a bean. If you’re not sure, look on the shore. The shape of this word may be short and spiky, but its referent is rather longer, clumpy and stringy, or flaky or chippy when dried. It’s a red seaweed, and an edible one at that. If that sounds to you like the dullest, you may just be mishearing an Irish pronunciation of dulse with a schwa after the [l]. The original Irish Gaelic word is duileasg, the sound of which is approximated by the western Irish English variant dillisk. And many an Irish person finds its object delish as a snack. The attraction perhaps eludes some people, but they may be mixed up; on the other hand, one would be equally mixed up to engage in duels over it. Just grab a bag, or hit the shore and gather some. And then… a Guinness, of course.