Philadelphia Here I Come

An Irish authority, Audrey Behan, speaks the unfamiliar terms and names from Brian Friel’s play set in Ballybeg. She also gives cultural insight into several obscure expressions and idioms. The list was compiled by Dr. Rick Jones.


Setting: Ballybeg, County Donegal

People (characters and those mentioned):
Gareth (Gar, Garry)
Mary O’Donnell
Maire
Sean Horgan
Conal Sweeney
Bagser
DoranGreenock
Crerand
St Martin de Porres
Curran
Brigid Colmcille

Place names:
Ballybeg (Baile Beag)
St. Harold’s Cross
Donegal
Bundoran
Bailtefree
Malahide
Mallorca
Lough Derg
Strabane
Belmullet
Bunmornan
Ardmore
Lough na Cloc Cor
Tenerife

Terms and Phrases:
“So I did an old Irish turas, or pilgrimage…”
“Less aul foolin'”
“laddybuck”
“and to hell with that bloody mushy fiddler”
“Rotten aul snobby bitch”
“McLaughlin’s Hotel”
“Amn’t I hoarse calling you?”
“whatever few half-pence she has”
“Hide his cascara sagrada?”
“aul fluke-feet Madge”
“Vaccination cert.?”
“Gortmore House”
“black Lutheran and all that he is”
“2s 6d . . . 2 s 11d . . . 3s 3d . . . 3s 5 1/2d.”
“And I have 6s 2d.”
“many’s a get I scutched with it”
“them shirts isn’t right aired”
“Kenny O’Byrne and the Ballybeg Buggers”
“every goddam bloody man jack of us”
“It’s too aul’-fashioned or something”
“leppin’, and eejitin’ about and actin’ the clown”
“they’d put you astray in the head”