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  • Writer's pictureThe Mighty Ship

"A ST PATRICK'S DAY PSA"

Updated: Mar 1


Welcome to March! It's that time of year when, hopefully, Winter's grip is weakening and we can smell Spring in the air. It's also when they say, whoever "they" are, that on St Patrick's Day, everyone is a "little bit Irish". Over the years, however, I've noticed a trend that seems to be gaining momentum. When I first saw it, it irked me a bit, but I wasn't sure why. Then it hit me. To learn more on why it's called "St Paddy's Day" and why "St Patty's Day" is incorrect, please read below.

Photo Credit: imgur.com/t/stpattysday/ChzxBVA


This topic must also mean something to at least one other person on the planet because why else would Marcus Campbell create a website in 2010 to address this issue as a public "service announcement" to those of us in "the new world"? Here's the point in a nutshell. According to paddynotpatty.com, the name "Patrick" is the anglicization of the Irish name Pádraig. The nickname "Paddy" comes from this traditional Gaelic spelling. It further attests that "Patty" is not only the diminutive form of the female name Patricia, but it can also used to describe, as Google's dictionary box tells me, "a small, flat cake of minced or finely chopped food, especially meat". Despite its French origins, as an alteration of pâté, it's "just not something you call a fella" and "there isn't a sinner in Ireland who would refer to Patrick as Patty. It's as simple as that."


To further simplify, the site offers this handy infographic


IT’S PADDY, NOT PATTY. EVER.

SAINT PATRICK’S DAY? GRAND.

PADDY’S DAY? SURE, DEAD-ON.

ST. PAT’S? IF YE MUST.

ST. PATTY? NO, YE GOAT!


So there you have it. "St Patty's Day" is technically wrong and potentially offensive because it is the incorrect spelling of someone's (in this case a saint) name. Is this a huge deal? For some, maybe not. For others, it can be. Is it born out of malice? In most cases, I'd reckon likely not; it's just innocent ignorance. That being said, knowing the difference might prevent inadvertent offence and/or a potentially embarrassing faux pas that could ruin your St Paddy's Day celebration in our increasingly hyper-sensitive world. Have fun and stay safe!


What are your thoughts on this issue? Does it matter to you? Let me know in the comments below.


Slainte!


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