One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Frequently with the: Irish people considered collectively.
Originally especially in representations of Irish speech: = "Irish". Later also: exaggeratedly, sentimentally, or putatively Irish in style, character, etc.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in The Caledonian Mercury. Representing an Irish English pronunciation of Irish and Irish, often taken as indicative of exaggerated or pseudo-Irish speech.
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