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The UNluck of the Irish?

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Hey, all you Lucky Folks out there!

Everybody knows that you don’t HAVE TO be Irish in order to celebrate St. Patty’s Day. Whether people are Irish or not, they still dress up in green, throw parades, and eatNo matter what the phrase means, Happy St. Patrick's Day! corned beef and cabbage all around the world! After all, who doesn’t want to have the luck of the Irish?


Now that I think of it, where does the phrase ‘Luck of the Irish’ even come from? Everybody seems to think that this phrase refers to the wealth of good luck that’s forever blessed the rolling, green fields of Ireland. But when you stop and think about it, there’s nothing lucky about the Irish!

Who CARES what the phrase really means?! Happy St. Pat's Day!Their abundant rainfall and overcast skies, not to mention the endless turmoil  that their rainy country has seen for centuries, adds up to make for a decidedly UNlucky bunch of people. Could it be an ironic phrase (as it remains nonspecific as to what KIND of luck we’re talking about here)? Well, yes. But that isn’t the whole story.

The phrase didn’t actually originate in Ireland; it started over here in the United States during the Gold Rush of the 1800’s. As Irish folk were making their way over to America, they hopped on board the gold mining frenzy. Semi-successful at it, the phrase ‘Luck of the Irish’ was born.

Rather than any words of encouragement, however, this phrase was coined as a means of poking fun at the Irish. What was meant by it was that the Irish weren’t bright enAnd the Luck of the Irish to you as well.ough to strategically find gold—it had to be chocked up to luck. This is likely where the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow comes from as well.

In any case, whether the Irish are lucky or not, celebrate St. Patrick’s Day today with some green articles of clothing and some corned beef and cabbage for dinner. And, as always, thanks for reading.


- John

Posted in History Lessons


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