Irish, Scottish… Whatever it Takes!

Irish, Scottish… Whatever it Takes!

Under the heading of Random Question du Jour: Is the phrase “lads and lassies” (or “lads and lasses”) Scottish? Or Irish?

In case you want an insider’s view of how my mind works, this came up because I decided that, in keeping with the spirit of my main blog, Changing Your Clothes, I’m going to start changing the colors of the header to reflect holidays, seasons, or heck, maybe just my mood that day. And with St. Patrick’s Day looming, my color palette of choice seems obvious.

All well and good, but then I decided to get a little fancy (as I am wont to do— isn’t that a great word?), and add a holiday greeting, something really original like, “Happy St. Patrick’s Day!”

“No!” cried the horrified editor’s voice in my head. “Boring! Generic! If you’re going to write a greeting, can’t you personalize it a little?”

Okay, fine. Please don’t yell. How about “Happy St. Patrick’s Day, lads & lassies”? Here’s how the new header looks now:

St. Patrick's Day header
St. Patrick’s Day header for my main blog, Changing Your Clothes: is it etymologically correct?

Less than a minute after I uploaded the revamped header, I suddenly had an awful thought: Are “lads & lassies” Irish? Or Scottish? Aaack! Just by emphasizing the holiday with the color change, I’m already risking offending whoever doesn’t observe it, and now, I could be taken not only for uneducated, but politically (and etymologically, if that’s the word I want) incorrect!

Naturally, the first thing I did was consult my personal oracle (my daughter). Her suggestion: consult Wikipedia. No help there, either: apparently my beloved Wiki has never heard of either lads or lassies (let alone both). On to Google, which yielded this profoundly unsatisfactory “answer”: It’s neither Scottish nor Irish exclusively, but a slang term common to both. So for now, at least, it stays.

Anyone care to weigh in on this topic? If so, can you make it fast, please? There are only 4 researching days left ’til St. Patrick’s Day, don’t y’know!

About that inner editor’s voice (I picture mine belonging to someone called Edna): Does everyone have one of those, or is it just me?


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