Posted by: chartroose | January 23, 2008

At Swim, Two Boys


Jamie O’Neill, 2001, 572 p.

I read the first chapter and quit.  The book is probably pretty good, but it’s too dialectic which means too much work for me.  I struggled through enough dreadful James Joycean interpretation in college.

Here are some words or phrases I found in Chapter 1 which I had to reread and think about: thoolmawn, choky, “me fond segotia,” peelers, skite, slavey, mochas.

Perhaps I can offer my services as an Irish to American English translator!



  1. Hmmm. I was curious about this book–mainly because of the title, which I think is great. But now I think I’ll skip it. I don’t like having to work too hard at reading. And those examples you provide: yeesh! Not that I know anything, but too much of the dialect-y stuff takes away from the story, for me, anyway. I’d have to google “me fond segotia” and then get mad when I couldn’t find anything. Thanks for giving this a shot so I don’t have to!

  2. Hi JD!

    I think “me fond segotia” means “my dear friend,” but don’t quote me on this.

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