Just as the process that transforms shamrocks into McFlurries is murky..
March 17, 2015 9:48 AM   Subscribe

It's St. Paddy's Day, Not 'St. Patty's Day' (Gawker). Also, everything you know about St. Patrick's Day is wrong (HuffPo).
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (82 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Paddy not Patty
posted by jazon at 9:55 AM on March 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


So I'm not sure if this happen elsewhere in the United States, but in Chicago, there's a horrible thing where bars try to celebrate "6 months to St. Patrick's Day", and though I do not approve, I could get a little bit more on board if September 17th was St. Patricia's Day.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:01 AM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, right, it's Unpleasant Drunk Day!

No offense to the Irish meant, but here in New England (and heck, in Maryland when I lived there) this is the day when chuckleheads pee in all the places they've always wanted to pee.
posted by selfnoise at 10:01 AM on March 17, 2015 [10 favorites]


What a coincidence, I used to go to school with a kid named Murky McFlurry!
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:01 AM on March 17, 2015


I just came in to say that the Shamrock shake is not what I remembered it tasted like as a kid. It sucks now.

Also, here in the NY suburbs, my child, a HS senior, complained that I made him go to school today. He texted me that only 5 out of 20 seniors in his class were there and the rest were getting drunk in the city. Bad father I am I guess.

Happy St. Paddy's Day y'all.
posted by 724A at 10:02 AM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I kind of hate St. Patrick's Day, but I think the only thing I hate more than St. Patrick's Day is St. Patrick's Day pedants. It is ok that people in the US call it St. Patty's Day. The world is not going to explode.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:03 AM on March 17, 2015 [8 favorites]


I live across the street from an Irish pub. I call this "my cats hide in the closet day."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:05 AM on March 17, 2015 [8 favorites]


Also the idea that snakes = pagans and St. Patrick was a genocidal maniac? It's bullshit too.
posted by Foosnark at 10:07 AM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I grew up not too far from the South Side St. Patrick's day parade route in Chicago. One of my friends grew up half a block off the parade route, and we'd spend the day of the parade screaming at drunks to try and keep them vomiting on her bushes. One year her mom gave us the garden hose.

So that's what Saint Patrick's Day means to me.
posted by dinty_moore at 10:07 AM on March 17, 2015 [8 favorites]


Every year I cook corned beef and cabbage and invite my mother over and every year she tells us that she'd never heard of corned beef and cabbage until she came to America.

It's mostly a silly excuse for people to get shitfaced, as if they need an excuse. I notice the same thing has been happening with Cinco De Mayo the past few years. There's a huge marketing blitz for it every year, because you need your Corona and tequila to celebrate this holiday that meant nothing to you until some beer commercial told you about it.

In a few years Americans will be getting up in the morning, looking at the current Google Doodle, and going out drinking to celebrate whatever the hell day they've just learned about.
posted by bondcliff at 10:08 AM on March 17, 2015 [13 favorites]


St. Paddy's Day pedants annoy me the same way I was annoyed those who relentlessly insisted that the change of the millennium be celebrated on Dec. 31 2000, because there was no "year zero".
posted by Elly Vortex at 10:08 AM on March 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


this is the day when chuckleheads pee in all the places they've always wanted to pee.

Well, that's kind of traditional anyway.

We got kicked out of the pub we normally play traditional Irish music in so they can pay a group to play something more suitable to the occasion.
posted by sneebler at 10:08 AM on March 17, 2015 [7 favorites]


Also, the first time I got drunk was at the Chicago South Side St. Patrick's day Parade. I was 12, and some guy bought me some beer because I looked 14.

The older I get, the more and more fucked up that seems.
posted by dinty_moore at 10:09 AM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ban St. Patrick’s Day: "It’s become clear to me that the holiday I saw as a celebration of history is in fact nothing but a national competition to see who can go quickest from the bar to the overnight holding cell. A culture’s proudest day shouldn’t be marked by anticipatory police ramp-ups."
posted by MonkeyToes at 10:09 AM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Misanthropy pro-tip: Avoid crowds by going to a Mexican restaurant on St. Patrick's Day and an Irish pub on Cinco de Mayo.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:11 AM on March 17, 2015 [39 favorites]


It's both a great American holiday, and, like most great American holidays, a sort-of amateur night and free-for-all for dingbats and crappy businesses looking to boost their bottom line through a few poorly considered gimmicks.

But, I mean, really, what could be more American than that. I love St. Paddy's Day, even if I am staying in tonight and celebrating it by watching the great Irish lawyer "Slippin'" Jimmy McGill on television.
posted by maxsparber at 10:11 AM on March 17, 2015 [6 favorites]


St. Patrick's Day as we know it is for the descendants of the Irish mass emigration to celebrate their heritage, currently through alcohol, dubious food, and kitsch. If there were to be an American mass emigration someday, the descendants of those emigrants would doubtless create an American holiday of the same sort, to commemorate the land their forefathers had left behind. A holiday that would center on a person who symbolized their heritage.

Centuries from now, in far off lands, black mugs with yellow ovals will be raised in toast:

"To Saint Batman's Day!"
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 10:12 AM on March 17, 2015 [19 favorites]


Hear tell St. Patrick's Day is also the best time of the year to buy patio furniture.
posted by fuse theorem at 10:13 AM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


everything you know about St. Patrick's Day is wrong

I know to stay away from Chicago
posted by thelonius at 10:13 AM on March 17, 2015


there's a horrible thing where bars try to celebrate "6 months to St. Patrick's Day"

Some baseball teams do it, too (example) which I've always thought to be totally unnecessary and weird.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 10:15 AM on March 17, 2015


I grew in New England. Big Irish-American population. St Patrick's Day meant watching the NY or Boston parade on TV and maybe being lucky enough to get a McDonalds Shamrock Shake ...

I tried to recreate that feeling by hunting down one of the very small number of McDonalds in the SF East Bay that participates in this shake tradition.

I ordered a shake, they warned me that the machine wasn't working right, but served me ...

As god is my witness, that shake tasted like institutional floor polisher smells.

I'm not sure if they changed the recipe, and the flavor went to hell, or the machine dosed my shake with 3x the LD50 of "shamrock" flavor, but the call of ancestral tradition is so strong, I'll probably order another one this year.
posted by zippy at 10:15 AM on March 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


As god is my witness, that shake tasted like institutional floor polisher smells.

You should complain to Mayor McCheese - his office is pretty helpful to citizen issues
posted by thelonius at 10:17 AM on March 17, 2015 [17 favorites]


It is ok that people in the US call it St. Patty's Day.

Well, sure, in the general sense that it's okay to be embarrassingly wrong about something every now and then, but it's even better to get it right.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:17 AM on March 17, 2015 [8 favorites]


It is ok that people in the US call it St. Patty's Day.

It certainly has nothing to do with St. Patrick or anything Irish, so, yeah, I'm good with that as well.
posted by eriko at 10:21 AM on March 17, 2015


I know to stay away from Chicago

Our neighborhood has a fancy-shmancy grocery store that just opened last summer. They boast not one, but two full-service bars.

Both of which were packed, this weekend, with green-clad 22-year-old idiots getting St. Patrick's Day shitfaced at the grocery store.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:23 AM on March 17, 2015 [8 favorites]


I don't think that calling it St. Patty's Day is embarrassingly wrong. It's a usage that originated among Irish-Americans, but just about everything about St. Patrick's Day as celebrated in the US originated among Irish-Americans, as Tim Meagher, a first-rate scholar of Irish-American history, points out in one of the links. People like to dismiss American St. Patrick's Day as inauthentic, but it's not. It's just authentically Irish-American, rather than authentically Irish.

It's also fairly awful, as an actual experience, but that's a different issue.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:24 AM on March 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


Both of which were packed, this weekend, with green-clad 22-year-old idiots getting shitfaced at the grocery store.

This is just a coping strategy for the agony of grocery stores.
posted by zippy at 10:24 AM on March 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


This is just a coping strategy for the agony of grocery stores.

I'm not above tipsy shopping but green barf in the cereal aisle is a little bit beyond.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:26 AM on March 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


In a few years Americans will be getting up in the morning, looking at the current Google Doodle, and going out drinking to celebrate whatever the hell day they've just learned about.

Once again I'm ahead of the curve.

the Feast Of St. Batman is a very important holiday.
posted by The Whelk at 10:27 AM on March 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


It's also fairly awful, as an actual experience, but that's a different issue.

So is Mardi Gras if you spend it on Bourbon Street. I keep out of the bars on St. Paddy's, but I like to do all sorts of other things, and have had a marvelous time doing all kinds of things that don't involve alcoholics painting themselves green in the streets before pissing on the side of a building.

I prefer to call it St. Paddy's, because Paddy is such a significant term in Irish-American history, while Patty isn't.
posted by maxsparber at 10:28 AM on March 17, 2015


Are shamrock shakes really not as good as they used to be? I haven't had one in ages, but I guess I'll try to find out on my way back from work tonight.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 10:35 AM on March 17, 2015


I love celebrating but I hate crowds. My family goes to our favorite Mexican restaurant to celebrate St. Padraig's day, and to the local Irish joint on Cinco de Mayo.
posted by BigLankyBastard at 10:42 AM on March 17, 2015


Shamrocks for my St. Paddy's friends, padlocks for my sham friends
posted by oulipian at 10:44 AM on March 17, 2015 [14 favorites]


One more word on the Paddy/Patty Pedantry with a comic...
Two all beef St. Paddys, special sauce... uh, no.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:51 AM on March 17, 2015


I used to work at a Mexican restaurant with an Irish-sounding name. There was no winning.
posted by ckape at 10:54 AM on March 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


O'Pancho's?
posted by Chrysostom at 10:59 AM on March 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


@ckape Carlos Murphy's?
posted by princessmonster at 10:59 AM on March 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Erin Hispanola's?
posted by maxsparber at 11:00 AM on March 17, 2015 [2 favorites]




Some of my favorite traitors were Irish people who sided with Mexico. Kind of perfect for today, now that I think about it.

There's a separate and super-fascinating relationship between Mexico and Ireland, dating back to Ireland's longstanding relationship with Spain, which has a lot to do with shared Catholicism and mutual antipathy for England.

It continues to this day. Maureen O'Hara recently said she loves Mexico, and they love Irish people.
posted by maxsparber at 11:05 AM on March 17, 2015 [6 favorites]


I have just been handed a green milkshake and now my opinion of this holiday has shifted 180 degrees. Party on, pee-ers!
posted by selfnoise at 11:07 AM on March 17, 2015


Faint of Butt: Misanthropy pro-tip: Avoid crowds by going to a Mexican restaurant on St. Patrick's Day and an Irish pub on Cinco de Mayo.

Poser. True Misanthropy pro-tip: order all your food online, and leave a tip under the door mat if you're feeling kind to other humans. This way, you don't need to talk to or see other people, ever.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:09 AM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have just been handed a green milkshake and now my opinion of this holiday has shifted 180 degrees.

The milkshake brings all the b'hoys to the yard.
posted by maxsparber at 11:09 AM on March 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


I guess I picked the wrong day to wear an orange shirt to work.
posted by GuyZero at 11:12 AM on March 17, 2015 [6 favorites]


Patty -- while, yes, a girl's name basically everywhere -- is perfectly fine, particularly in places where the alveolar flap rules over all, which covers most of the English-speaking world outside of Britain and Ireland. It sounds exactly the same as Paddy, it's apparently short for Patrick, so who really gives a crap?

Also? His name may be Padraig in Modern Irish, but he wasn't modern (Old Irish: Patraic), and he wasn't Irish (Latin: Patricius, which is how he himself supposedly spelled it).

And, you know, take note of that last bit. He wasn't Irish! He was British. Erin go huh???
posted by Sys Rq at 11:12 AM on March 17, 2015


I prefer to call it St. Paddy's, because Paddy is such a significant term in Irish-American history

Yeah: As a slur for the Irish.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:15 AM on March 17, 2015


I had the fun of telling my wee one about St. Patrick's Day in the most cursory of terms. He's only 3 years old, so I skipped the whole history of who Patrick might have been, and go right to wearing green, getting pinched, and green rivers. He then informed me that rivers are blue, and I said he was correct (again, skipping over sedimentation and pollution, we'll get to those later), but I told him that people make rivers green for this day. He then asked what lived in green rivers, and I said we'd have to investigate. Now I can tell him aligators, otters, beavers and rusty crayfish.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:15 AM on March 17, 2015


Yeah: As a slur for the Irish.

Also as a word Irish-American used to refer to themselves, and as the name of a number of Irish-Americans. It was Poor Paddy Works on the Railway, not Poor Patty Works on the Railway.
posted by maxsparber at 11:18 AM on March 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yeah: As a slur for the Irish.

And also not as a slur for the Irish.
posted by zippy at 11:28 AM on March 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


His name may be Padraig in Modern Irish, but he wasn't modern (Old Irish: Patraic)

Are these different spellings but the same pronunciation? Or was Old Irish Patraic said with a hard t and c?
posted by zippy at 11:30 AM on March 17, 2015


Marshal Biggs: If they can dye the river green today, why can't they dye it blue the other 364 days of the year?
posted by ckape at 11:31 AM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


And also not as a slur for the Irish.

That's true of pretty much all slurs for the Irish: Paddy, Mick, Taig, etc. They're all just people's names.

But regarding a festival that has mostly come to be associated with drunken hooliganism (hey, look, there's another one!), I think calling it by a (sometimes-)slur for those taking part starts to become a relevant thing deserving of a good long thinking-over.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:34 AM on March 17, 2015


So my Irish friend and I got acquainted through being pen pals when we were twelve. when we first started writing, I sent her a St. Patrick's Day card - and her next letter to me began with a breathless question -- "Do they really celebrate St. Patrick's Day in America??"

Ohhhh, bless her heart.

I actually promised her in response that "someday when I live in New York I'll go to the parade and take pictures for you," but both times I've been at New York's parade I get bored after an hour and a half. It's just....cops, walking. Interspersed with an occasional high school marching band. That's it. After 20 years of living here the parade has become something I warn my boss about if he has to make a plane that day ("don't forget to allow an extra 20 minutes trying to catch a cab, because it has to navigate around the parade..." "Oh, Christ, I forgot. Dammit - cancel that last meeting so I can get out of here.")

Fortunately (and I've also waxed rhapsodic about this in the Irish-American food thread elsewhere) I live near a fantastic Irish "gastro-pub" that does things right; I'm on a first-name basis with the owners (a fantastic couple named Gerry and Audrey) who've booked live trad Irish music bands every Monday this month, and yesterday they also had an unlimited free raw oyster bar. The band's also there tonight, and they'll have an Irish-influenced pub menu of lamb stew and colcannon and such tonight, and so I'm probably going to go there for a while and just Be In My Happy Place.

(Last night a French band from Brittany was also there on a lark; Breton music is similar to Irish folk, so a couple of their band members sat in with the Irish band and the rest of them busted out this folk dance that was kind of like a combination hora and conga line, all while Audrey was jigging in a corner. BEST. BAR. EVER.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:34 AM on March 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


Shamrock Shake Pro Tip: ask for a shake that's half shamrock, half chocolate. The result will taste like a thin mint. YOU'RE WELCOME.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:39 AM on March 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


Or just go to Arby's where that is the recipe of their St. Patrick's day shake.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:52 AM on March 17, 2015


Hello from Ireland! Enjoying my national holiday day off! As for the Patty's Day thing, for me y'all can call it what you like, it's very kind of you to want to join in with us on our national day.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 12:07 PM on March 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


Faint of Butt: “Misanthropy pro-tip: Avoid crowds by going to a Mexican restaurant on St. Patrick's Day and an Irish pub on Cinco de Mayo.”
BigLankyBastard: “I love celebrating but I hate crowds. My family goes to our favorite Mexican restaurant to celebrate St. Padraig's day, and to the local Irish joint on Cinco de Mayo.”
maxsparber: “Some of my favorite traitors were Irish people who sided with Mexico. Kind of perfect for today, now that I think about it.”
In honor of St. Patrick's Brigade, who fought for the Mexican side in the Mexican-American war, it's Taco Tuesday here at the house. I may have to turn in my Society for the Preservation of the Green Line membership card. Although, we will also have beer.


P.S. “Local Idiot Looking For St. Patrick’s Day Bar That Isn’t ‘Full of Idiots,’” The Atlanta Banana, 12 March 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 12:10 PM on March 17, 2015


. . . or as I like to call it, "Santacon in Green."
posted by whuppy at 12:15 PM on March 17, 2015


You could always go to Carlos O'Kelly's.
posted by galvanized unicorn at 12:34 PM on March 17, 2015


St. Patrick's Day as we know it is for the descendants of the Irish mass emigration to celebrate their heritage, currently through alcohol, dubious food, and kitsch.

no, actually, it's everyone else's day to be irish - WE get the other 364

pedant note - st patrick was indeed a briton - which, at that time, meant celt, not anglo-saxon, so he can pass as an irishman if he wants to

also jerry garcia was mexican and irish

and guyzero - your heresy has been noted - i can only hope that someone adulterates your beer with orange juice instead of green food coloring, which is bad enough
posted by pyramid termite at 12:37 PM on March 17, 2015


and guyzero - your heresy has been noted - i can only hope that someone adulterates your beer with orange juice instead of green food coloring, which is bad enough

You've reminded me of a time when I was whining about the green-beer thing to a Jewish friend, who came back with, "so what - I saw green bagels in my local deli. That's BOTH our heritages maligned in one fell swoop."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:39 PM on March 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


i can only hope that someone adulterates your beer with orange juice instead of green food coloring, which is bad enough

I'll stick to tomato juice like God intended.
posted by GuyZero at 12:56 PM on March 17, 2015


Live stream from the centre of the celebrations in Temple Bar, Dublin for those who want to see how we do it on the emerald isle.
posted by roolya_boolya at 1:06 PM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


You could always go to Carlos O'Kelly's.

In Boston we have Jose McIntyre's. Back in college another Mexican-Irish restaurant opened named Jose Malone's. Fairly decent place if I remember correctly. Last time I was there, I was returning to campus for a career fair and our HR manager was trying to see how big a bar tab he could get reimbursed, so my memory could be a little off.
posted by backseatpilot at 1:15 PM on March 17, 2015


Live stream from the centre of the celebrations in Temple Bar, Dublin

It took me a minute to figure out that that's an outdoor scene.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:16 PM on March 17, 2015


As god is my witness, that shake tasted like institutional floor polisher smells.

A few years ago we were traveling somewhere and stopped in a random McDonald's in the middle of nowhere to use the bathroom and maybe get a beverage. Despite the fact it was sometime in late April or early May, there was still a big sign promoting Shamrock Shakes, Limited Time Only. I thought about how I hadn't had one since I was a kid and wondered aloud, what had they been, mint-flavored? They must have been mint-flavored -- but for the life of me I couldn't remember the taste. My partner dared me to ask the hapless gangly teen at the counter if they were still available and if so, what actual flavor Shamrock Shakes are. So I asked. The cashier looked at me with a blank expression for several beats then said, hesitantly, "They're... well, they're... shamrock?" I did order one for the road despite the surreal notion they might taste like grass clippings. And of course they are -- in this case very slightly -- mint.
posted by aught at 1:43 PM on March 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


An odd situation is when they move the parade to the nearest weekend so people can go, and then parade day is actually a bigger holiday than the 17th.
posted by smackfu at 1:44 PM on March 17, 2015


I'm at a half empty bar called Fionn MacCools at Pearson International Airport listening to U2 and watching some unfortunate souls drinking green beer. I will land in Dublin at 5:20am tomorrow, and I'm hoping I might see some of the aftermath but I'm thinking I'll just have trouble getting anyone to feed me... This might be an ideal St Patrick's Day. As for paddy, patty, etc... I don't think it's much more work to say "Patrick" so that's what I go with...
posted by DrLickies at 1:45 PM on March 17, 2015


I don't go to pubs on St. Patrick's Day in the same way that I don't go to fancy restaurants on Valentine's Day, or to big-deal events on New Year's Eve. It's amateur hour and it's not any fun.

Corned beef, cabbage, and soda bread all fantastic, though, even if they are technically Irish-American rather than Irish.
posted by breakin' the law at 2:35 PM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I invite you all to share in the traditional St. Patrick's Day celebration of my family by staying home and watching John Ford's "The Quiet Man" for the umpteenth time on video.. You get a version of Ireland that is, if anything, even more mythologized than the traditional St. Patrick's Day malarkey but you also get a tempestuous, smokin' hot Maureen O'Hara.

And after many years of this observation, when you will be able to quote the whole script from memory, you also get the opportunity to grow maudlin every year while thinking of all the times you watched it with family members who are now long gone, trading favorite lines back and forth in a private ritual that's meaningless to everyone else.. ("She'll be running you down on that juggernaut!")
posted by Nerd of the North at 3:19 PM on March 17, 2015


I know my local will be quiet til later, so I stopped in for a quick drink and to out on some contemporary Irish pop music, no fiddles or ajedward but you throw the cranberries in there
posted by The Whelk at 3:33 PM on March 17, 2015


you have a quiet local in midtown? how
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:38 PM on March 17, 2015


Magicks
posted by The Whelk at 3:43 PM on March 17, 2015


I shall find this local and I shall "hidden gems" yelp attack it and henceforce it shall be ruined for I am a jealous hater sing nonny nonny no nonny no no no
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:48 PM on March 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's called Brigadoon's and it only appears at certain times and places and only when needed
posted by The Whelk at 3:50 PM on March 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


I need it now there's nowhere in this borough to drink a Powers in peace.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:54 PM on March 17, 2015


of course i could just stay at work drinking free guinness instead but thats extra depressing
god knows my irish ancestors would be pissed if I celebrated my heritage by working
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:56 PM on March 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm starting to suspect Putnam's is part TARDIS. There's no way we had 30 Breton dancers in there last night, and yet that's exactly what I saw.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:43 PM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ordered shamrock shakes for myself and co-workers. The shake did not taste terrible, and the choco-shamrock is delicious but looks like one took brown and green house paint and marbled a book with them.

Also, all my body's insulin for the month is consumed halp.
posted by zippy at 5:10 PM on March 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's a completely made up holiday that's only there to make people feel better for no particularly good reason.


...but then, that's every holiday.
posted by lumpenprole at 2:03 AM on March 18, 2015


In Colorado we has Jose O'Shea's
posted by aydeejones at 8:56 PM on March 18, 2015


Now that my daughter has taken up Irish step dancing, we "celebrate" the holiday by driving her to an ungodly number of performances and rehearsals. She is having fun, but I've started to dread this whole week.
posted by Area Man at 9:17 AM on March 19, 2015


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