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10 surprising Irish words you didn't know you were using almost every day.

2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, giving us even more reason to celebrate Irish culture.

10 surprising Irish words you didn't know you were using almost every day.

March 17 is a wonderful day. No, not because of Evacuation Day — I'm talking about St. Patrick's Day!

As an Irish-American, the feast day of Ireland's patron saint is particularly important to me. Though it has its origins in solemn Christian reverence, it's come to be more accepted as a celebration of all things Irish — a chance for the rich culture of the island and its diaspora to truly shine.

There's just one small problem:


"Éire go Brách," which basically translates to "Ireland Forever." Photo by Ben Stansall/Stringer/Getty Images.

People keep calling it "St. Patty's Day." Which is totally, utterly wrong.

A "patty" is a hamburger. Or a veggie burger, if that's your thing. A "Patty" is Patricia, who might well be a wonderful woman. And "St. Patty" was an Italian woman whose feast day is in August.

"Paddy" is the proper way to shorten the Irish name of Pádraig, which has since been Anglicized (literally, "made into English") as "Patrick." The name means "noble born" and comes from the Latin roots for "patriarch" — you know, like Father, 'cause St. Pádraig was a priest 'n' stuff.

Hamburger jokes aside, the Irish people suffered centuries upon centuries of colonial oppression from Britain, which included the erasure of their language.

So basically, saying "St. Patty" is like pouring salt in a gaping cultural wound.

In fact, there's been way more Anglicizing of the Irish language than most people realize. Here are a few words (or a "cúpla focal") that we owe to the Land of a Hundred Thousand Welcomes.

"Céad Míle Fáilte" means "a hundred thousand welcomes" and is commonly found in pubs. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

1. Slogan

From "slua," meaning "crowd" (or "sluag," for "army"), and "gairm," meaning "call." "Slua" is pronounced "slew," which may be why we say "a whole slew of things" too.

2. Galore

From "go leor," which basically means "until many." Makes sense, right?

3. Hooligan

This one is less of a translation and more of a pejorative origin derived from stereotypical depictions of the Irish as rowdy drunken brawlers. See also: "paddy wagon," which is so named either because the Irish were stereotypically cops or because they were stereotypically getting arrested for being drunk and violent.

Sigh.

Clearly the two most important Irish-to-English translations that anyone would ever need. Photo by Patrick Nielsen Hayden/Flickr.

4. Smithereens

This literally means "little pieces," a combination of "smiodar" for "debris" and "ín," a common Irish suffix for "small" that has been Anglicized to "een." See also: "Colleen," which means "little cailín," or simply "a girl."

5. Clan

From, uhh, well, "clann," which means "family."

Easy enough!

6. Swanky

This comes from "sócmhainní," which means "assets," or "somhaoineach" for "profitable." (And yes, the spelling looks strange, but it actually makes a lot of sense once you figure out all the different combinations of open vowel sounds.)

7. Whiskey

A personal favorite of mine, both in drinking and translation. This comes from "uisce beatha," which means "water of life." Yup.

Carál Ní Chuilín, the Minister of Arts and Culture for Northern Ireland, advertising for a campaign in better Irish language fluency. Photo by Líofa Fluent/Flickr.

8. Kibosh

Even I was under the impression that this was a Yiddish word. But it turns out it was likely derived from "caipin," or "cap," and "bháis," or death — literally "death cap," and the Irish name for a candle-snuffer. Judges also wore an chaip bháis when announcing their sentences.

So basically, when you "put the kibosh" on something, you're actually killing it. Yay?

9. Phony

This one's kind of complicated, but also really cool. It probably comes from "fáinne," an Irish word for a ring, and refers to a confidence scheme called a "Fawney Rig," which involves "accidentally" dropping a fake ring of value in front of a victim and then selling it to them for way more than it's actually worth.

10. Keening

"Keening" is to cry or wail, usually for the dead, and it's just a differently spelled (but similarly pronounced) version of the Irish word "caoineadh," which means the same.


Advertising Britain's Irish language network, Coláiste na nGael. Photo by Christy Evans/Wikimedia Commons.

Like the Irish hero-poet-politician Pádraig Pearse once said: "Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam — a country without a language is a country without a soul."

The Irish language might be struggling to survive, but it's not dead yet. In fact, it's one of the oldest living languages in the world, as well as the first national language of the Republic of Ireland, which means that all government documents are written in Irish and English and that children study the language in school.

That being said, less than 2% of the population actually speaks the native tongue on a daily basis, and only 41% claim to speak it at all, even after years of schooling.

Thanks, colonialism!

But this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising and the beginning of Ireland's struggle for independence, making it an extra-special year for celebration.

So go forth with your newfound Irish knowledge and have the craic (that means "fun")!

Which means a lot more than just drinking alcohol, by the way. But if you are gonna drink, please be safe — and for the last time, stop ordering Irish car bombs.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

4-year-old New Zealand boy and police share toys.

Sometimes the adorableness of small children is almost too much to take.

According to the New Zealand Police, a 4-year-old called the country's emergency number to report that he had some toys for them—and that's only the first cute thing to happen in this story.

After calling 111 (the New Zealand equivalent to 911), the preschooler told the "police lady" who answered the call that he had some toys for her. "Come over and see them!" he said to her.

The dispatcher asked where he was, and then the boy's father picked up. He explained that the kids' mother was sick and the boy had made the call while he was attending to the other child. After confirming that there was no emergency—all in a remarkably calm exchange—the call was ended. The whole conversation was so sweet and innocent.

But then it went to another level of wholesome. The dispatcher put out a call to the police units asking if anyone was available to go look at the 4-year-old's toys. And an officer responded in the affirmative as if this were a totally normal occurrence.

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