Mudcat Café message #3697191 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62257   Message #3697191
Posted By: MartinRyan
26-Mar-15 - 01:00 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: The Twang Man
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Twang Man
No, Peter - that's an old one! Apart from anything else, "buachaill maith" is "good boy" - so why would it become female only?

The main slang dictionaries (Grose, Partridge etc.) trace it to "mort" as from an Old Dutch word meaning "woman" and, eventually, "harlot". Earliest printed references late 17th C. Once common, then isolated in Ireland - particularly Dublin, of course. None of the Irish experts (Share, Dolan, Muirithe) go along with a Gaeilge origin.

Regards

p.s. There is one suggestion of a possible Romany-Shelta root - but I know nothing of it.