Oogling Eggits

Since it’s Friday and I’m feeling a bit wild, I thought I’d post a bit of a rant about common words that people misspell in the scripts I read. Apart from confusion over ‘there’, ‘their’ and ‘they’re’, which doesn’t even register anymore because I come across it so often, there are a few that really drive me mad. For example (and these are made up lines by the way):

‘Ah Pat, sure that eggit/ ejit/ eegit over there wouldn’t know his arse from his elbow.’

The word is eejit. It’s a debasement of idiot and it’s a wonderful, brilliant, unique Irishism. Part of our eejitin’ national heritage. Google it if you’re not sure! Or actually, don’t Google it. Because Google is indirectly responsible for my next pet hate:

Sarah: ‘Annie, you wouldn’t believe the way he looked at me, it made me sick.’

Annie: ‘God, there’s nothing worse that being oogled/ oggled by some lech.’

What has the man in question done? Has he consulted a lesser-known internet search engine in an attempt to find saucy pictures of Sarah? I have a suspicion that this man was actually ogling Sarah. The hint is in the spelling. Ogle. Like Ogre. Not oggle, like goggled or oogle, like…well, Google. It’s nice to see that people are making an effort to ascribe an etymology to Google, even if it’s wrong: ‘Oh, when I Google something, I search for it. So when I oogle, it must mean something similar. But pervy.’

Google actually comes from the mathematical term googol,which means 1 followed by 100 zeros.  So it’s a very big number and as such, only has sexual connotations for a very few people. We can all rest easy.

5 thoughts on “Oogling Eggits

  1. I like it! And am always similarly peeved when I come across howlers like the ones you’ve described. But here’s something you might not have heard: in Meath, where my grandparents hail from, they often refer to the various ‘eegits’ who have thwarted them in times past, ie they pronounce it with a hard g. So maybe that explains that particular spelling of the word, who knows?!

    • Aha, I never knew that some people pronounced it that way – must try to check my Dublin-centric tendencies! Playwrights of the world, I am now happy to accept regional variations on the word ‘eejit/ eegit’, as long as they are referenced in full:)

  2. I got used to dealing with some pretty poor writing at work (hello, local GAA match reports), but only one mistake really kept the power to annoy me: rein and reign. You never ‘reign something in’, or give it ‘free reign’, or have a ‘rein of terror’. These phrases make it into print all over the place surprisingly frequently, and they always, always get me spluttering like an outraged retired Colonel.

    • Now that you spend your time reading 19thc newspaper articles, your standards will have become even more unrealistic Brian. You’ll start OD-ing on adverbs and speaking in sentences so long you’ll pass out on a regular basis. I’m sure London has some sort of institution for sufferers, ‘The St Aethelweard Asylum for the Scattered of Wit and those of a Nervous Syntactical Disposition.’

      • My brain has been rewired a bit, definitely. After a few solid hours of going through the formal, stilted prose of Victorian newspapers, I go to read the Guardian or the BBC and their informality seems damned impertinent.

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