April 4, 2011

"A hole is more honorable than a patch."

From a list of Irish proverbs.

52 comments:

Phil 3:14 said...

from the proverb list:

What butter or whiskey does not cure cannot be cured

Reminds me of this medical truism:

All bleeding stops eventually

traditionalguy said...

Ask Trooper about the hard ones. I understood the old slipper and the old stocking saying from a PBS show: it means old men and old women still find one another valuable.

Dose of Sanity said...

Wow, do people not understand this seriously? They are straightforward to me!!

(Full disclosure, my mother is irish (born, raised, etc). I may have an advantage)

My favorite "proverb" is a reason to have more than 1 drink at a pub. "Sure, A bird never flew on one wing, did it?"

My favorite word to use is "craic" it means conversation or gossip. (Source of "What's cracking?"??) Most people here think you are talking about the drug when you ask "Hows the craic?".

ricpic said...

"A hole is more honorable than a patch."

Paying a premium for distressed jeans would have been unimaginable to the author of this proverb (or his society).

Christy said...

DOS said "They are straightforward to me!!

Then explain the eponymous proverb to those of us less enlightened, please. "It does not compute."

And Ricpic's clue still doesn't help.

Pogo said...

Patched clothes indicate the shame of poverty.

The hole could have just happened, and is not shameful.

Dose of Sanity said...

@ Christy

Two things:

Patching is a sign of poverty (can't afford to buy new).

Why is a hole more honorable? I guess the best way to describe it is vanity. Like making yourself better that those with holes - or feeling like you have to. The working guy doesn't.

Dose of Sanity said...

@ Pogo

Damn - same time. Good call though :-p

Trooper York said...

My favorite:

I come from a long line of dead men.

Trooper York said...

Second favorite that I used to tell all the irish waitresses that came over in the 1980's to NYC to work in the local pubs:

What's the differance between an Irish Girl and a Helicopter.


Ya seldom meet someone who had a ride on a helicopter.

Original Mike said...

Yeah, I ain't buying the hole thing. A patch is a method to stop the hole from growing, and thus prolong the usefulness of the item. It's those poor mouthing the venerable patch that have a vanity problem.

Trooper York said...

Never failed to cut right to the chase. So to speak.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dose of Sanity said...

The point isn't to argue whether it's right, Mike. Just telling you what it means.

Trooper, I like your first quote. The second one, I have to take some offense to. :-p

Original Mike said...

Fair enough, but I am unpersuaded by the patch = poverty explanation.

Trooper York said...

What I was trying to say was that I met quite a few honorable holes.

And one or two memorable ones.

Just sayn'

Sixty Grit said...

I hand sew patches over the holes of my old blue jeans. A patch is a badge of frugality. I wear it with honor. I also wear shirts and socks with holes in them. I can, and occasionally do, buy new clothing, but not until the old is truly worn out.

WV: wammey - what must have been put on me.

Trooper York said...

This thread brings back memories of when I lived the drinkin' life.
Everyday after work I would head down to the pub. Lunchtimes too. And then a big Friday night pub crawl starting at the south street seaport.

But best of all was the trouble we used to get into at the Quiet Man Pub on 45th Street.

Man those were the days when I was young and stupid.

Old and stupid is not as much fun.

Christopher said...

As one who is far too shy my favorite has to be:

"Women do not drink liquor but it disappears when they are present."

edutcher said...

From my old Irish muddy (granted, her paternal grandmum came over in the first wave, but her mother was an immigrant and the family retained a lot of the old culture),

The Devil Hates a Coward.

God Loves Fools and Children.

PS Some of the "proverbs" sound awfully modern.

Trooper York said...

Of course now New York is differnt too. The douchenozzles and the health nazi'a and the nanny state had destroyed the fun we used to have at places like the North Star Pub at the South Street Seaport.

A lot of the fun has gone out of New York.

Ann Althouse said...

I thought maybe a hole is a flaw that you allow to show, and a patch is a coverup.

That would sort of make it the equivalent of the American adage: It's always the coverup that gets you.

Fred4Pres said...

Your bar stories Trooper make continued hard drinking almost worth it.

Dose of Sanity said...

Very Clever, but I don't think it's so high-minded. I wish it was though!

Dose of Sanity said...

@ Trooper

On account of this is an irish thread, and I've gathered tangentially that you work in fashion...have you heard of a designer called Louise Kennedy?

Pogo said...

Given the Irish, I'd bet on shame.

Bob_R said...

"A hole is more honorable than a patch" was not coined by someone from a really cold climate.

Trooper York said...

Hanging out in bars has it's own sets of rules and regulations.

Trooper York said...

Thanks Fred4Pres. One of my first comments here on this blog was a joke that I planned to write my authobiography in blog posts and call it "Remberance of Things Pabst."

And I have followed up on in the last three years.

Sometimes they are very much of the the time which of course was the 1980's.

Sometimes they are about what is happening now.

Sometime it is all about nostalgia.

And sometimes it is just like horror movie!

Original Mike said...

It's not a very good list. I don't see "A wink is as good as a nod, to a blind man".

Trooper York said...

I am pimping my blog so much I feel like the Crack Emcee. But I love the stories. The new ones that just happenedand the old oneswhen I was a crazy person.

Phil 3:14 said...

Only slightly tangential but,
when did "douchenozzle" replace "douchebag"

Was there a memo or something?

bagoh20 said...

The author found this one confusing: "Put a beggar on a horse and he'll ride it to hell."

Must be a liberal. For the rest of us, this is central wisdom.

Michael said...

Trooper York: Thank you for the link to the story on Atlantic City/Claridge. being once crazy myself it brought back great memories. Excellent writing by the way

bagoh20 said...

""Only slightly tangential but,
when did "douchenozzle" replace "douchebag""


The bag has the good sense to keep his distance, so the nozzles are looked down upon by the bags.

The Crack Emcee said...

A hole indicates you're comfortable with yourself. A patch says you're embarrassed.

You ever seen a punk rocker with a fucking patch?

Sixty Grit said...

Whatever, Crack, but for me, I patch my jeans when my foot starts to go through the hole rather than down the leg. It's a matter of practicality. I also patch the crotch of my jeans when it fails - that's a matter of not being booked into the local jail.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

The bag has the good sense to keep his distance, so the nozzles are looked down upon by the bags.

Ah haaa!

Beep said...

You can't fix a hole.

William said...

My Irish forebears were as ignorant as their descendents. The only bit of Irish wisdom I heard growing up was "Kiss my royal Irish ass". A lot of these proverbs were translated into the Gaelic by James McPherson from a Yiddish source.

mockmook said...

I believe Althouse has it right--a comment on the article uses her interpretation.

A hole (the real deal) is more honorable than a patch (a false veneer).

It has nothing to do with real holes that will make you cold in the winter, make you look poor, etc.

peter hoh said...

I guess if I need to hurl derogatory terms, I'll choose A-patch from now on.

Bryan said...

"I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in
And stops my mind from wandering
Where will it go
I'm filling the cracks that ran through the door
And kept my mind from wandering
Where will it go"

rhhardin said...

It's probably a line from a late verse of El Condor Pasa.

Christy said...

Okay. Thanks for the response guys. I'd just come in from digging holes in the garden patch and just could not wrap my mind around that saying.

Uncle Pinky said...

Top Irish pick-up line: "Would ye like ta be buried wi' ma people?"

Top insult: "Fella, put ye in a rubber room wi' two steel balls and ye'll lose the one an' break t'other."

I lapse into the brogue after downing a few to this very day, but those were some of the best bars I've ever tended.

Lincolntf said...

None of you people have ever worked a day of manual labor in your lifetime? Ever?
A patch keeps the wet out and the body heat in.
Only quiffs and queers would worry about how the most utilitarian of all things "looks".

Almost Ali said...

I wouldn't wish growing up Irish on anyone.

lemondog said...

re: hole vs patch, doubt if Bill Gates would agree.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Trooper York,

What's the differance between an Irish Girl and a Helicopter.

Ya seldom meet someone who had a ride on a helicopter.


I know this as a conductor joke:

"What's the difference between a soprano soloist and a Porsche?"

"Well, most conductors have never been inside a Porsche."

EDH said...

A hole is more honorable than a patch.

Wasn't there a comediane who did a joke about confusing her nicotine patch with her mini-pad?

Darrell said...

A patch requires work and effort.

Two things an Irishman never wants to associate himself with.