Week forty: MORYAH (probability 15401), by David Sutton

MORYAH is an Irish interjection used to express annoyance or disbelief: it derives from the Irish Gaelic mar dhea, forsooth. I suspect that as a low probability six with no hooks it is one of the least-known of the shorter words in the Scrabble lexicon, except, of course, among Irish Scrabble players, who doubtless mutter it to themselves all the time as yet another disastrous pickup makes its appearance on the rack.

There are several other Irish interjections well worth knowing, both from the Scrabble point of view and to equip you with a full range of expression should you ever visit Ireland. It is perhaps significant that most are expressive of surprise or consternation. Thus we have:

ARRAH wonder or mild expostulation
BEGORAH a mild oath, by God (variants BEGORRA, BEGORRAH)
BEJABERS a mild oath, by Jesus
MUSHA surprise
OHONE lamentation (variant OCHONE)
WISHA surprise

Surprisingly there is no BEGOB*, though in the mind of an Englishman this is inseparable from BEGORAH in characterising Irish idiom.

Of course, as a tourist you should use these interjections sparingly. You don't want your hosts to think you are an ANGASHORE (a miserable whinger) given to OLOGOANING (loudly complaining) or to RAWMAISH (foolish or dissolute talk).


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