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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Craic - An American slant on an Irish word

by Hikinfool (writer), New York, February 20, 2007

The Irish word for good times is craic, pronounced “crack”, which to some also signifies good times. Do not be alarmed or confused when an Irishman declares to you “there’s some good craic tonight”, just nod and agree that there is indeed some good craic to be had. Above all do not ask the price & quality of said craic, you will be the recipient of some strange looks, and perhaps arrested or beat silly.

I assume one of two things if a person uses “craic” and “exhibit on Van Schoffs masterpieces” in the same sentence, they are from Dublin or are quite daft, however never rule out both assumptions being true. In any case, a good smack to their noggin is the obligatory response. I can only assume that craic comes from an early Irish culture when none of the inhabitants of the countryside had a pot to piss in and the highlight of the day/month/week was the family or neighborhood gathering where food, music, and drink were enjoyed, all the while ensuring no English sneaked in. Of course I could be wrong and the origins were due to some poor sod from Columbia washing up on the shores of Eire with a bit of refined product from the coco plant. I suppose we will never know....well what do you know I just looked it up and found out it’s not even Irish. Well too late to change my article name, so feck it and feck off.

Now craic is generally associated with a pub, but can also be found in bars, taverns, alehouses, and taprooms. It should never be thought it can be found in a museum, art gallery, or similar endeavor….it can be stumbled upon; I suppose, if you visit a pub previous to the “Retrospective on 19th Century Architecture”, but it has not been proven scientifically that craic can be found in such places. If you are planning on visiting an establishment that requires you to wear slacks or shirt I would advise thus: begin drinking pints till you have figured out the answer to life, the universe, and everything; now you proceed to your destination.

Contrary to popular belief, pub denizens are not your typical run-o’the mill drinker, no they have taken enjoying pints to a level only attained by monks and seers. The first sign to look for in an experienced pubber’ is the keen interest they show in the pouring of the pint, too slow or too fast and their eyes narrow considerably with alarm. Once the glass is full and handed over, they will let the head settle and the more discerning amongst them will take a small sip before plunging headlong into a deep quaff. The sigh of appreciation or lack of one will tell you all you need to know about the cleanliness and purity of the lines. Soon enough the pubber’ will start to glance around, this is the time to engage in small talk, if done previous to this point you will more then likely be dubbed a fool or simply ignored. The craic really starts flowing with the arrival of the musicians; usually after 9pm, and then if it’s good night you may be lucky enough to be locked in, as the public houses close right around midnight. A “lock in” is when the doors are locked, the blinds are drawn, and the music plays louder. This is also usually when the bodhran player crawls out from his pint and joins in the sessun without fear of reprisal.

Once the night comes to end and you are stumbling back to your bed, you can mutter to yourself “The was some fierce craic” with all the authority of an Irishman.


About the Writer

Hikinfool is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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1 comments on The Craic - An American slant on an Irish word

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By Keely on January 11, 2008 at 12:38 am

Where are all the comments?? Was it just too Celto-centric? I got it, it was funny. Where are you now, HiknFool?

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