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Oh, this thread is too good! My husband's parents were both from Germany and mine are from the North and South of Ireland.

So - here she goes: my husband has called a hefty meat sandwich by the names "wedge", "hoagie" "grinder" "sub" and "hero"

His favorite cake is Bee Sting Cake - a vanilla cake split in two, custard in the middle and baked with caramelized butter, sugar, and slivered almonds on top (it resembles stingers sticking out of the top)

My grandmother (born in Scotland) would say "ye" a lot "Get ye here to me now" and she made fresh water eels - ummmmmm...the pork sausages are the best as is the brown bread and the BEST GUINNESS you'll ever have - with black currant liquor if you're my gramma.

A GREAT expression from her (never heard it anywhere else - for good reason!) "It's a live old hourse and you'll get grass." "live" is pronounced as in "i live in NY"

translation: some days you'll get work and some days you won't.

In Ireland, a "jumper" is a sweater; a "press" is a closet. The expression "That's great craic" (pronounced "crack") means a lot of fun (much like our upcoming weekend will be!) or "brilliant" meaning the same thing.

The "creche" (cresh) is a day care center. "Nappy" is a diaper.

My favorite: I'll write it like it's said:

"a jewel carriageway"

( a 2 lane highway - jewel is dual."

as in "take the jewel carriageway, ye feckin' eejit." (my uncle david to my dad who just missed the entrance)

this is so much fun.....


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Oooooooh, ladies....we'll sit down in Cleveland and "have a jar" and I'll tell you some stories about the family....most of them true!

My grandmother was from Barrs Brae, Port Glasgow in Scotland. She was a great woman, unusual for her time in that she was very outspoken - "if you don't want to hear the answer, don't ask me the question" type - just honest and to the point. She also loved to travel, which was good since she lived in the North of Ireland until she died and I never would have seen her much otherwise!

She loved sitting next to young businessmen on her trips over because they would chat her up and buy her drinks!!!!

The Guinness and black currant (or chambord even) combo was supposed to be great for a sour stomach. My grandmother was having stomach pains and she went to "a woman who had a cure". The woman took my gramma's hanky (didn't they all carry hankies??) filled a tall glass with dry oatmeal and water, covered the glass with the hanky and had my grandmother hold her hand over it against her stomach. The oatmeal proceeded to churn and rise in the glass and the pain in my grandmother's stomach subsided!

(for a while - it turned out she had stomach cancer)

I'd love to go to Scotland - I've been to Ireland several times but I want to take my mom and my daughter (Marykate, named partially after gramma Mary, mostly after Maureen O'Hara's character in the movie "The Quiet Man") to Scotland.

I'm bringing Marykate (13) and my son Kyle (16) with us to Cleveland - I'll introduce you!


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My grandmother (Sarah Marie O'Neill) was born in Northern Ireland and she used to tell me stories of the country. I had the good luck to go there about 15 years ago and to meet the whole famned damily. What a Hoot that was - hundreds of them supposedly speaking English. I couldn't understand half of what they were saying. It was a great place, a great time and they are wonderful, warm-hearted people. I am looking forward to Cleveland, now, for more than the reunion. We'll have a good craic and share some stories.


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My Gran was from Glasgow, and she said a lot of the same things. We moved to England when I was 11, so we travelled alot when I was there, and I got to meet most of her family. The funniest part was that understood everything that they were saying - as I went to school all day long and got used to the accent quite quickly. I spent time visiting the relatives 'translating' Scottish into Canadian for mom! Dual carriageway was something granny Carr said quite often (along with calling me her "wee michelle" = even at 180 pounds I was 'wee'). Twee was another term they used all the time - meaning precious.

My huaband - the Aussie - also says jumper (meaning a bulky sweater, not the little pinafore dress thing), cupboard for closet, boot for trunk of the car, windscreen for windshield, torch for flashlight, etc.

The funniest story was when I was going to school in England. I had to take a Chemistry class, which I had never taken before. They started talking about elements, and one of them was al-u-min-ee-um (as opposed to aluminum). I thought they were two distinct things for the longest time.

Also, in 'cookery' class (they also have maths instead of math), we had to purchase our own ingrediants. One was 'treakle' - we call it corn syrup. The other thing my mom had a great time buying in grocery stores was hot dogs. She went around asking people for 'weiners', which they looked at her SHOCKED about. Turns out you shouldn't use that word in the grocery store - the proper term was frankfurters. No wonder my mom was ready to pack it in and come back to Canada so quickly!

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aggiesjc....glad someone understands what I am talking about......as I mentioned, most city-codes have some sort of rhyme or reason. The only Canadian codes that make sense to me are YVR/YKA

---Vancouver and Kamloops.....and YYC--Calgary

sort of makes sense......

Michelle....I have friend we call "wee", but that is because of his dad clowning around when picking up the phone and saying "Oui" with an

Americano accent, when I asked if he was home...and it stuck from then on...

I see we have a Tartan/Celtic connection here....

some of my ancestors came from Durham England, but spent some time in Sydney on the way over here. But before coming to Durham, they were Scots with the name of MacTavish.....I don't know specificially where in Scotland, but apparently between Argyll and the Kintyre Peninsula.

Yes, people from Scotland do have higher rates of cancer in the stomach and other digestive areas, than most.....a number of my relatives had died that way.....

My Irish relatives were from Cork.

Besides being names of meat items, "Wieners" and "Frankfurters" are also what they call the people that live in those cities......well, in German, "Wien" is the name for "Vienna"...the "w"

is pronounced like a "v" so say "Vien".

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It wasn't until we moved to England and I discovered to my horror that they don't have Halloween
This seems strange to me as I live in Scotland, have lived in the UK all my life and, like everyone else I know, I celebrate Halloween! I've never heard of anywhere in the UK that doesn't - where were you? The main difference is that we also celebrate November 5th (fireworks, bonfires, burning an effigy of a disembowelled catholic from the 17th century - all nice family type stuff! A friend of mine from Ireland came over here to go to university & couldn't understand the laughter whenever he said he just liked going to the pub 'for the crack'. There's nothing funnier than an unintentional hard drugs reference!
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Oh my, Mannoman - my aunt Theresa is married to an O'Neill in Northern Ireland. Coalisland - Stewartstown, Co Tyrone to be exact and it's not out of the ball park that it's the same clan!

I had a girl on my soccer team five years ago - didn't know it then but her grandfather married my great-aunt in the North - they lived across the lane from each other! So her mother and I were related by marriage!!!!!

My grandmother left Scotland and came to Canada via Montreal on the Britannia - i found her name on the ship's manifest at the Immigration Museum in Cobh, Co. Cork (used to be called Queenstown - last Irish stop of the Titanic - which my grandfather Paddy Wylie worked on at the age of 11 at the Belfast shipyard - THAT'S a story - talk about Irish superstitions!!!)Grandma went to teach in a convent in Winnipeg and then came to NY where she met my grandpa, a trolley conductor!

Went back to the North during the depression.

Hey - all kilts are welcome...but you must be traditional about what's worn underneath.......

perfect for the mosh pit!!!!

Hey Will - Guy Fawlke's Day is still popular, eh??? Well, at least he had the decency to hop around for a while with his innards hanging out and not die straight away! wink


This must explain my great love for Canada......

I have the freakest story to tell you about going to the Notre Dame church in Old Montreal......

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For those who asked, when we lived in England, we lived just outside of Durham in a tiny (152 people) town called Oakenshaw. My dad was doing his Master's degree in Durham at the time. The next closest town was Willington, and after that, a bigger place - with shopping - called Crook. As Durham is near the Scottish border, the English spoken isn't like it is in London or other places South. It has a lot of Scottish in it. We travelled to London & Glasgow to visit relatives, so I saw a lot of the country, and learned to do all the different accents.

They had no idea what Halloween was, and for school I had to write an article about what Halloween was and what we do. We had a big Guy Fawkes celebration on Nov 5th, and a few days before that the kids in town did a 'sort of' Halloween thing by hollowing out a turnip and carving a face in it, going house to house saying "A penny for the Guy". People gave us money, and we went and bought our own candy at the local pub (pork scratchings YUM!). I have a photo of me and the other kids with that darned turnip!

By the way, in England they start school at age 3 & 1/2, so I was a year behind (grade 6 here, grade 7 there). As I was an A student here, it wasn't too hard to catch up there, except they all had much more beautiful handwriting than I did (something I've worked on ever since) and they were much further ahead in maths than we were (they were already doing fractions). I was in Form 1A - which means I was in the first year of high school, and the "A" stood for the standing of the class. Because the School was called "Parkside", those in "P" were in the smartest class, "A" the second smartest class, "R" the 3rd, "K" the 4th, etc. I've never seen anything like that before or since. What's wrong with just good old A, B, C?

The name, in full, that I had to put on my workbooks, after my name was "Form 1A, Willington Parkside Comprehensive, Lower Crook". I still remember it, because it was so darn long!!!

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the kids in town did a 'sort of' Halloween thing by hollowing out a turnip and carving a face in it
When I was a kid (not TOO far back, in the 80s), you couldn't really buy pumpkins in the UK. You can now, but I have to say I prefer the 'turnip lantern' - they usually look creepier than a pumpkin though they are a pain in the behind to hollow out!
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When you lived in England, did you visit alot of great castles?

And see any ghosts? (spirits) of any famous historians.

Pretty soon I'm going to be a historian, Lol

Any ways, Lol, I'm laughing, while I'm typing.

Halloween now a days in Hamilton here is way different, the children go to the malls and trick Or treat. Knocking on doors does not happen any more with our violent society.

I think it 's a great idea to have your children go to malls.

What do people do in Cleveland? the same?

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When we lived in England, we visited a number of castles (Durham, Edinbrough, Glasgow, London, Washington, etc.). Rumor was thst we had a ghost living in our house. There were a number of odd rattling noises in it, but I think that's pretty common for any old house.

I remember being in one castle that was built in 978. I remember standing there - looking at the 16 feet thick walls - thinking that these walls had been there before America was discovered, through wars, battles on everything from men in armour on horseback to by-planes to jumbo jets and now rockets... Made me feel very small and insignificant in view of world history - being only 11 years old at the time.

The neatest thing was going to graveyards - likely the start of my lifelong obsession with graveyards and genealogy. I found a grave of a baby from the 900s. That baby had been buried for over 1100 years! Here I was 11 years old, and the grave was 1100 years old! Blew my little mind... Still does just thinking about it! I have a photo of me standing beside the grave. Little did I know at the time that it would be the first of MANY that now fill my photo albums. I blame my parents for my grave obsession - and I listed them in my dedication to my genealogy book that I wrote. Today we play a game called 'find the oldest graveyard'. My husband and I are on a hunt for the oldest in America. I had him beat with some from the early 1800s in Quebec, until we went to Halifax, and he found one from 1748. I haven't found anything older yet, although there should be some in Quebec - they've been settled since the late 1600s. The problem is that the graves don't last that long - snow, rain, acid rain,ice, freezing, melting, vandals, heat, sunlight, etc., all take their toll. Of course, I'm always on the lookout. Being from Alberta, if you see anything older than 100 years, it's a rarity!

As for halloween - as a child in Alberta we got to go door to door asking for candy. I'm lucky enough to currently live in a city safe enough that my child can still do that. I don't think I would allow my child to go to a mall to trick or treat. It's bad enough that stores make enough money with us having to purchase treats - and we can't make candied apples or popcorn balls like in the olden days (like in the 80s when I was young) - but to commercialise Halloween so that parents have to spend time in the mall with their children to have Halloween is too much. It's only a marketing ploy on the part of the businesses to get people into their businesses and purchase more products. I won't get into a rant about the excessive consumerism in our society, but children are already the greatest marketing group for these businesses, and this is just one more ploy to get young children into the stores and allow them to have an effect on the purchasing decisions of households. Like one quote I was reading the other day, "Children used to be allowed to pick the color of the family car, now they're picking the brand of car". That CHILLS me. Although, I have to admit, on a snowy Oct 31st, a warm mall would be a nice substitute for a cold sidewalk when trick or treating. But, if you're at the mall, how do you get the chance to toss eggs and use shaving cream and toilet paper on the houses of people you've been saving up to do it too all year? That was the BEST part of Halloween anyway! All those teachers who gave you bad marks, gave you detention, that old man who yelled at you to stay off his precious lawn, etc.... All year long the pent up anger built up, leading to one night of tension relief in the form of some very aged eggs, a bit of TP, and some shaving cream... Ahhhh. The stress was gone for another year.... Too bad they don't still have outhouses to tip over.

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Halloween is still my favorite holiday - last night I had a party for my soccer team and their parents (nine of the girls are still here!!!) WE have a costume contest - scariest (dead cheerleader) funniest (an inflatable sumo wrestler costume) and most creative ( a tie: a girl was in an "explosion" at a costume factory - bits of all different costumes and another girl with a homemade giant piece of candy corn!)

We go trick or treating up and down the neighborhood and we met some of our best neighbors that way. The pack of moms we travel with go to each door to see all the different decors of the houses!

The night before Halloween is called a variety of things: Gate Night (the night you wished you had a gate on your property!) Cabbage Night (I think they threw rotten produce at the bad houses) and Mischief night - self expalanatory! I let my kids toilet paper MY house and we sneak over to firends' houses and do commando-toilet paper raids. No eggs anymore - we used to take a bar of soap and write messages on the car windows!!!

We used to go with my brothers or friends and the challenge was to stay away from the hoodlum types that would hide in the bushes and steal your bag of candy - and boy, would my mother be PISSED OFF if we were using a pillow case and came home without it!

Halloween began in Ireland with a pagan ritual, sanham (I think) to appease the spirits of the dead and the night before All Souls Day (or All Hallows Eve)was especially rife with loose spirits walking about among the living. So people would dress to look like a dead person to trick the real spirits. A misfortunate guy named Jack got caught out on a deserted lane one All Hallow's Eve and was chased by a ghost and beaned in the head by a turnip. He died and was doomed to roam the road carrying a candle in the hollowed out turnip. Hence the Jack O Lantern.

There is a cemetary I'm trying to find in Connecticut reported to be the most haunted on the East Coast, even in broad daylight.

Great book - "Haunted Heartland" a collection of real hauntings, including Resurrection Mary in chicago - she gets into the cars of unsuspecting people and asks to be driven home. Of course home is Resurrection Cemetary, where she disappears out of the car!!

hey Michelle - the place we stay at in Boulter, Ontario has outhouses!! Wanna meet up???

annie eek

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If I remember to come and visit your country, I wouldn't want a turnip thrown at me.

I will bring a zucchini and use it like a club.

You still have the odd person here soap windows, but not as much.

That night, everyone throws pumpkins on the road, the vandals do.

You want to see a real haunted house, how about the house that was in the four films, the movie that starred, James Brolin. (Marcus Welby M.D.)

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Gord - that was so funny about the s*** house...if you can't laugh at the disease, you won't be laughing much!!!

The Amityville horror house - is that the one you mean? It's out on Long Island and people still live in it - a kid killed his parent(s) in the house and then it was sold. The next owners experienced plagues of flies, bleeding walls, insanity...and then wrote a book!

I'll tell you my ghost story about the mariner's church in Old Montreal (I think it is Notre Dame)

...we went on vacation two years ago and my husband met us up there by bus from Mnahattan. He wanted to see this cathedral...I had walked by it several times and hadn't gone in. He heard it had spectacular architecture.

So, in we go, stop in the vestibule to pick up literature about it and I get the distinct feeling that my grandmother mary is behind me (she's dead). Not a creepy feeling but a warm sensation. I am compelled to go to the offertory candles to light one for her and her two sisters, also passed on. So I go to light a votive but, in my head, I am pre-empted: the three sisters want the BIG candle lit! So I do that and walk up the center aisle, just feeling like the three sisters are behind me, grandma right on my shoulder. What a great feeling.

Long story short - I went home , looked up my research on grandma and found out she came to Canada through the port of Montreal in the 1920's and stayed for a few weeks in the area before moving on to Winnepeg. She would have worshipped at that church.

Happy halloween!!!


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