Manners Matter: All Things Irish

Dear Readers,

Since St. Patrick’s Day is a week away, here are a few tips to help elevate amateurs to experts of all things Irish…or at least some things Irish:

  • Don’t confuse the shamrock (very Irish symbol and one used by St. Patrick to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish) with four-leaf clovers (commonly misused this time of year and not Irish at all, but rather a symbol of good luck).
  • If you’re going to shorten St. Patrick’s Day, be sure to use Paddy instead of Patty. Patty is a shortened form of Patricia. Since St. Patrick was male, he would not appreciate being called Patty. Come to think of it, he wouldn’t appreciate most of the shenanigans that people get up to on the 17th of March, but these things take on a life of their own.
  • A pint should contain 16 ounces of Guinness Stout or an Irish lager. A pint shouldn’t contain green beer. They would faint at the sight of green beer in Ireland.
  • If someone says “Sláinte” to you, they are wishing you “good health” or cheers in the native Irish language.
  • Don’t ask anyone what day St. Patrick’s Day falls on. It’s a dead giveaway that you’re not in the know. St. Patrick’s Day is always March 17 every year.
  • Enjoy actual Irish entertainment on St. Patrick’s Day. Try to find live Irish bands and Irish step dancing wherever possible. It’s not all “Toora Loora Loora” and “When Irish Eyes are Smiling.” Lots of Ireland’s history is told through traditional music and there are some great Irish tunes to please the ears and get your feet stomping.
  • If you’re going to go out for a couple of drinks, keep it limited to a couple of drinks. Celebrate the Irish heritage by not stumbling home. There are always a few who binge and get too carried away and look ridiculous in the process. St. Patrick, if he was still around, would also recommend a designated driver.
  • Resist the urge to use a fake Irish accent. It’s never as good as you think it is. Trust me.

Good luck,

Mary Pat