idk what just made me think about this, but at my old job I worked with this woman who was like...constantly trying to assert her dominance over me in all things Irish???
Like she never said all this explicitly but the vibe was very much “I’m more Irish than you and know more than you ever possibly could about Ireland and being Irish/Irish-American bc I still have close cousins in Ireland while all your Irish relatives emigrated to the USA at least 100 years ago”
(which my response to was mostly “a’ight bud, good for you”)
but so ONE TIME we were at this local Irish pub - it was a sunday afternoon and my mom and her husband
(and me occasionally, but a lot less often the last like 6 or so years)
have been playing at the seisiun they host every week for at least 15 years now so we’re all pretty friendly with the owners (Mary and Patrick, who moved to the US from Ireland when their kids where still kids) and everyone who works there
Patrick, the head cook, goes pretty much exclusively by the nickname Patsy. i’m fairly certain I’ve never actually heard anyone call him Patrick. I only know for a fact that that is his name, because when I mentioned to the both of them that I had changed my name to Rowan Patrick, he commented on us now sharing a name.
But, back to Patsy
Which, if you don’t live in North America, on top of being a fairly common nickname for Patrick among other names, is also a word used to describe someone who is a scapegoat or a dupe.
SO. This woman I was talking about. We were at the pub, and Mary came by to say as she always does when she has a chance (with a hug and an exclamation of “How are ye, Chicken?!”), and after she bustled off again I was explaining to my coworker
“Yeah, she and her husband run this place, Mary works the front, Patsy runs the kitchen and-”
“Um” (snotty voice) “you know a patsy is like. A scapegoat, right? You shouldn’t call him that”
And i just like. had to stop and squint at her. Like.
Excuse???? Do you know these people? No. So I had to be like
“Uh you know it was a nickname for Patrick before it was an Americanism for someone who gets thrown under the bus right? And that this man is from Ireland, where it is, as far as I know, only a nickname. Right??”
She got kinda huffy at that and didn’t really respond, but she also, from then on, stopped trying to make herself seem superior because she was ‘’’more’’’’ Irish than me and had spent time in Ireland visiting cousins or whatever she was trying to do there, which was nice because it had been getting extremely annoying by that point