About

Politics and in depth analytical stuff? You’ve come to the wrong place. Musings, repartee and wry observations? Hopefully. The odd bit of serio when the mood takes me. Thanks for visiting.

5 Responses to About

  1. John O' Driscoll says:

    Nice blog. Keep up the good work

  2. Niall says:

    Hi Gina, i saw your comment on #beingirishmeans thread on twitter, about “the messages” being an Irish expression for doing errands. Do you know the origin of the expresssion “the messages”? My mother who is Australian-born, thinks she may have inherited the expression from her grandparents. I’d be interested if you could shed light on the subject.

  3. Niall says:

    Hi Gina, I contacted Australia’s Macquarie Dictionary via email with the same question, and this is what they replied….

    “We do have record of that expression — see definition 7. We give the etymology for the term message as being from Middle English from Old French from Latin. The phrase has evolved from there and seems to be used predominately in Scottish English, Irish English, New Zealand English and Caribbean English. So yes, it can be deemed Irish but not solely so. Interesting.

    message
    noun 1. a communication, as of information, advice, direction, or the like, transmitted through a messenger or other agency.
    2. an inspired communication of a prophet.
    3. the moral or meaning intended to be conveyed by a book, film, play, or the like.
    4. the persuasive meaning intended to be conveyed by a document, advertisement, etc.
    –verb (t) (messaged, messaging) 5. to communicate with (someone) by text messaging.
    –phrase 6. do (or go) a message, to run an errand for someone: I have to do a message for the teacher.
    7. do the messages, Colloquial to perform errands, especially to do the shopping.
    8. get the message, Colloquial to understand.
    9. off message, (of a person making a statement to the public or the media) not adhering to the central idea or point of information which the speaker wishes to impart.
    10. on message, (of a person making a statement to the public or the media) adhering to the central idea or point of information which the speaker wishes to impart. [Middle English, from Old French, mes envoy, from Latin missus, past participle, sent] ”

    http://www.macquariedictionary.com.au

    • bygina says:

      Hi there Niall,

      Well you’ve done more official research than me!
      My mother – and her age group (70s) would use this expession a lot. I grew up listening to it. I recall saying it once myself in company that included English and American people, they’d never heard the like… But that’s not exactly scientific.

      A friend of my mother’s calls the messages ‘the order’. I often wondered does it hark back to the days when the local grocer kept an account book of customers items, with a bill to settle up periodically. So then perhaps a child for example would be sent for a message? ie tell the grocer to put whatever on the tab…

      Its a good one ok.

      I also love the fact you picked this up from a #hashtag list. Gotta love Twitter!

      Wonder will #themessages make the final cut in the Irish Times list this weekend…

      Best regards,

      Gina.

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