Green’s Dictionary of Slang

Paddy n.

also paddy
[common Irish name, Patrick; all race-related usages are derog.; the occupations are those considered to be stereotypically Irish]

1. (also patty) an Irishman, a generic term for the Irish.

[UK]H. Howard Choice Spirits Museum 97: By Jasus poor Paddy may e’en bite his Nails.
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 199: Attended by a dozen gudgeons, / All Paddies, arm’d with Brentford bludgeons.
[Ire]J. O’Keeffe Dead Alive (1783) 14: Now Paddy the brogue he puts on, / Then struts with the pride of a Don.
[Ire] ‘Rodney’s Glory’ Luke Caffrey’s Gost 5: Bold Rodney’s guns and Paddy’s sons [...] fear no French or Spaniards.
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (4th edn) II 329: [They] tremble at thy phiz, and run / Faster than Paddy from a dun.
[UK]M. & R. Lovell Edgeworth Essays on Irish Bulls 149: Do you hear Paddy’s brogue?
[Ire]Spirit of Irish Wit 191: ‘He told me,’ said Paddy, ’ to go to the devil’.
[US]A.N. Royall Letters from Alabama 8 Dec. 83: Poor Paddy, for an Irishman he was.
[UK]‘An Amateur’ Real Life in London I 348: The Irishmen in strong terms expressed their indignation [...] one of the Paddies having cut a piece of wood.
[UK]London Standard 24 Dec. 4/5: A volley of mud missiles rattled about Paddy’s ears.
[US]R.P. Robinson Life and Conversations 11: An adequate supply of Paddies, negroes, hogs, dogs, cats, &c.
[Ire]S. Lover Handy Andy 168: Even an electioneering dispute could not but savour of fun and repartee, between Paddies.
[Ind]Bellew Memoirs of a Griffin II 141: ‘You Paddies think there’s nought like yeer’sels in the world’.
[US]Gleaner (Manchester, NH) 9 Sept. n.p.: A Yankee so far humbles himlself [that] he is no longer worthy of the name and should work for paddies, receive paddies pay, and be kicked to the Devil.
[UK]F.E. Smedley Frank Fairlegh (1878) 344: I tapped at the door, and ‘discooresed’ ’em, as Paddy calls it.
[Aus]G.C. Mundy Our Antipodes III 61: Poor Paddy, with his dudeen, his caubeen, his piggeen.
[US]Night Side of N.Y. 19: The inevitable Irish Paddy, whacking his shillaleh.
[UK]Sportsman 21 Mar. 2/1: Notes on News [...] The old row-loving leaven is strong in Paddy yet.
[Aus]C. Money Knocking About in N.Z. 50: Rowley, I, and one other, were obliged to risk our lives to satisfy the obstinate Paddy.
[Ind]‘Aliph Cheem’ Lays of Ind (1905) 185: You’ve heard the old jokes about truculent dhoolies, /[...] / Of paddy-fields, meaning an Irish location?
[UK] ‘’Arry on Law and Order’ Punch 26 Nov. 249/1: They couldn’t take me for a Paddy.
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ Robbery Under Arms (1922) 80: Then everybody goes to lunch — swells and selectors, Germans and paddies, natives and immigrants.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 16 Aug. 14/3: The Christian Colonist has taken the trouble to learn that of lunatics in N.S. Wales last year 1301 were Roman Catholics and 218 were Presbyterians. Very naturally, ‘wit to madness near allied’ is found more often in Paddy than in Sandy.
[UK] in Punch 26 Nov. 252: Or poor Paddy in his tater-patch alongside of a bog.
[UK]Boy’s Own Paper 11 May 499: Phil was a Paddy. Yes, a real Irishman he was.
[Aus]W.A. Sun. Times (Perth) 8 Sept. 1/1: A Bridgetown Paddy has been accused of padding other people’s cheques.
[UK]Sporting Times 1 Jan. 10/3: He could not conscientiously say anything good of the Irish, as he was a Paddy himself.
[US]G. Henderson Keys to Crookdom 413: Paddy. An Irishman.
[UK]J. Curtis Look Long Upon a Monkey 30: This Paddy coming the cautious, and to top it, the screws.
[Ire]T. Murphy Whistle in the Dark Act I: You’re not a Paddy?
[UK]T. Parker Frying-Pan 81: A typical fighting Paddy, straight-out from the bog.
[UK]S. Berkoff Decadence in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 30: It’s very hard to think of paddy quite like us.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Godson 42: ‘It was a paddy taught me how to make letter bombs’.
[Ire]P. McCabe Breakfast on Pluto 86: Blown raht dahn to stumps, they are — all because of them bleedin’ Paddies!
[US]J. McCourt ‘Vilja de Tanquay Exults’ in Queer Street 293: A big thing too / One that must have given no end of relief / To yanks and tommies, paddies, taffys and jocks.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Viva La Madness 374: The local Catholic priest — O’Fallon, the Paddy, the one who taught me to box.
[Aus](con. 1943) G.S. Manson Irish Fandango [ebook] ‘[I]f you stumble over any Paddies [...] don’t forget this Delaney’s armed and dangerous’.

2. a nickname or intimate form of address to an Irishman.

[Ire]J. Ward ‘Smock Race at Finglas’ in A. Carpenter Verse in Eng in 18C Ireland (1998) 80: Poor Paddy swears his whole week’s gains away.
[UK]Proceedings at Sessions (City of London) Jan. 17/2: One Patrick Gill, alias Black Patty in Newgate [...] own’d, that himself committed the Fact.
[UK]Teague-Root Display’d [cover] Being some Useful and Important Discoveries [...] From Paddy Strong-Cock, Fellow of Drury-lane.
[Ire]H. Fitzcotton (trans.) Homer’s Iliad 35: I know who would have gone to wrack, / Had I not call’d in Irish Paddy.
[Ire] ‘Wee Wee Bag of Potatoes’ Luke Caffrey’s Gost 6: If you would go to Crampton Court, it’s there you’d see the ladies, / It’s round about the coffee-house, about St. Giles’s, / And round about the coffee-house, and away to Paddy Miles’s.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Feb. XXIII 284/2: ‘Paddy,’ said an Englishman, ‘why are you so apt to make Blunders?’.
[UK]C. Dibdin Yngr Spectre Knight 30: Psha! Paddy hold your prate.
[Ire]Tom and Jerry; A Musical Extravaganza II iv: As sure as my name’s Pat. M’Lush – tho’ they call me Paddy sometimes for shortness.
[UK] ‘Awning’ Knowing Chaunter 13: She said she was sorely afraid / That Paddy, her love, wouldn’t meet her.
[UK]Sinks of London Laid Open 46: ‘Have you got any browns (pence) about you, Paddy?’ ‘Yes,’ said the Hibernian.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor I 417/1: There’s Paddy in the truck too; he makes a good thing, and sends money home to Ireland.
[UK]Five Years’ Penal Servitude 90: The Irish warder, or ‘Paddy,’ as he was called by his flock.
[UK]Sporting Times 11 Jan. 2: Ah thin, Paddy, we miss you, for dhrink is galore.
[US]H. Hapgood Types from City Streets 40: What I said to Paddy O’Brien and what Paddy O’Brien said ter me.
[UK]E. Poole Harbor (1919) 51: Sing it again, Paddy!
Wisconsin Mag. Hist. XIII 134: Someone nicknamed him ‘Paddy’ and the name stuck, probably because he was so unlike an Irishman.
[UK]E. Pound letter 21 Dec. in Read Letters to James Joyce (1968) 242: O Paddy dear an’ did you hear / The news that’s going round.
[US] in Randolph & Legman Ozark Folksongs and Folklore (1992) I 444: Oh Paddy, oh Paddy, come here right quick, / And see the wild Irishman handle his prick.
[Ire]B. Behan ‘I Became a Borstal Boy’ After the Wake (1981) 27: It’s a waste of time with you, Paddy, doing all this bloody signing.
[UK]A. Sillitoe Sat. Night and Sun. Morning 71: Bert said he was a Mick, and called him Paddy, asking what part of Ireland he came from.
B. Wannan Crooked Mick of the Speewah 103: In one week, Irish Paddy dug so many holes it took him a fortnight to walk back to where he’d started from.
[Ire]P. O’Farrell Book of Irish Farmers’ Jokes 20: ‘How long to the nearest town, Paddy?’ came the nasal enquity from a rich American.
[Ire]J. Healy Grass Arena (1990) 11: ‘Top of the morning to you, Paddy,’ he said.
[Aus]Penguin Bk of More Aus. Jokes 413: [They] took a wrong turn in Belfast and got hijacked by the IRA. The leader, Paddy, said [etc.].

3. (US/Aus.) a Chinese person [use of Paddy as generic for any foreigner; plus note SE paddy field, a rice field, common in China].

[US]Soulé, Gihon & Nisbet Annals of S.F. 415: The stone for this building was prepared in China and put up in San Francisco by Chinese workmen [...] The faithful ‘paddy’ or steam-excavator never tired.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 27 Jan. 31/1: [They] abused him, patronised him, and agreed among themselves that ‘Paddy’ was not a dashed bad lot for a dashed Chow.

4. (US black, also paddy boy, paddy girl, patty) a white person, though not always Irish; often derog.

C. HImes If He Hollers 3: If it had come down to a point where I had to hit a paddy I’d have hit him without any thought.
[US]C. Brown Manchild in the Promised Land (1969) 17: Who wanted to be in a clique with a stud who let a paddy boy beat him?
[US]Current Sl. I:2 4/2: Paddy, n. A white person.
[US]P. Thomas Down These Mean Streets (1970) 86: Do me a favor, you motherfuckin’ paddy, get back with your people. [...] I hate all your white motherjumps. [Ibid.] 137: I couldn’t just start yellin’, ‘Here I am, paddy girl’.
[US]B. Seale Seize the Time 38: Some paddy boy [...] had accused Huey of stealing a book.
[US]E.E. Landy Underground Dict. (1972) 146: patty n. White person.
[US]J. Wambaugh Choirboys (1976) 93: This paddy started talkin some crazy shit.
[US]J.L. Gwaltney Drylongso xvii: paddy – a slightly negative term for a white person or white people taken collectively. [Ibid.] 19: Paddies can’t stand us and we don’t think a hell of a lot of them.
[US]E. Bunker Little Boy Blue (1995) 47: For a Paddy you’ve got lots of guts. [Ibid.] 206: They wouldn’t have fucked with no rich Paddy-boys.
[US]L. Rodríguez Always Running (1996) 65: ‘What’s with the paddies, man?’ he yelled.
[US]N. McCall Makes Me Wanna Holler (1995) 301: Their paddy-boy shoes and tight-butt walks.
[US](con. 1975–6) E. Little Steel Toes 9: The drawling slow speech of my guys, the paddies, peckerwoods, white boys.

5. (US black) a police officer, usu. male.

[[UK]G.A. Sala My Diary in America II 210: He is frequently an Irishman [...] and Patrick who is in the ‘pollice’ keeps a very tight hand over Paddy who isn’t].
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 20: When a paddy showed himself I would tap on the window with a key.
[UK]B. Beckham My Main Mother 148: You talk like them social workers [...] You better get hip, and stop talking like them paddy boys.
[US]B. Seale Seize the Time 45: Three paddies had me down, tied down onto the ground.

6. (US) a bricklayer.

[US]Maledicta III:2 163: Paddyn 1: Bricklayer [...] from nickname for an Irishman which comes from Padraic, the Gaelic form of Patrick.

7. (Irish) Irish whisky.

[UK]D. Seaman Bomb that Could Lip-Read 51: Will you gentlemen join me in a drink now? [...] Three Paddies, then, is it? [OED].
[UK]W. Trevor Fools of Fortune 124: Another Paddy bottle stood uncorked on her bedside table [...] the smell of whiskey was pungent in the room.
[Ire]Sun. Trib. (Dublin) 12 May n.p.: ‘Half a bottle of Pernod and a naggin of Paddy,’ said Fionnuala [...] ‘Good.’ Róisín said. ‘Bring them over. You can’t really do this properly unless you’re trolleyed’ [BS].

8. see paddy wagon

In compounds

Paddy-bashing (n.) [bash v. (1); on the pattern of Paki-bashing under Paki n.]

beating up Irish people, usu. used of soldiers in Northern Ireland.

[UK]J.J. Connolly Layer Cake 99: The best days of his life, Paddy bashing, fuckin Fenians and cuntin Prods as well, cos they’re all just shit-shovelling Micks, ain’t they, all the same.
paddy boy (n.)

see sense 5 above.

paddy fever (n.) (also white fever)

(US black) the desire for sex with white men or women.

[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Mama Black Widow 223: I don’t have white fever. [...] They were [...] saying you had paddy fever.
paddy funeral (n.) (also paddy’s funeral)

any boisterous occasion, not necessarily a wake.

[US]Maledicta III:2 163: Paddy funeraln 1: Festive funeral procession 2: Any boisterous affair.
[Ire]Share Slanguage.
paddy girl (n.)

see sense 5 above.

paddy land (n.) (also Paddyland, Paddy’s Isle, paddy’s land)

Ireland; thus Paddy-lander, an Irish person.

[Scot]D. Haggart Autobiog. 113: Paddyland is the land for pickpockets.
[UK]J. Burrowes Life in St George’s Fields 12: Though, to use the expression of the King when in Paddy’s land, — I am all Surrey.
[UK]‘Thomas Brown’ Fudge Family in England 121: In the bogs of old Paddy-land.
[UK]J. Grant Sketches in London 216: Go home to Paddy’s Land, you spalpeen of an Irishman.
[UK]J. Labern ‘Paddy McShane’ Comic Songs 24: May Glory smile o’er Paddy’s Isle.
[UK] ‘Yelverton Marriage Case’ in C. Hindley Curiosities of Street Lit. (1871) 133: He took then to Paddy’s land / So gentle, meek and clever.
[US] in My Young Wife and I Songster 44: [song title] I’m Off To Paddy’s Land.
[UK]‘Old Calabar’ Won in a Canter I 67: ‘I must take you out of England now to Paddy’s land’.
[UK]E.L. Linton Patricia Kemball I 219: He once went over on business to what he always called Paddy-land.
[US]Iola Register (KS) 5 Oct. 6/6: A native of Paddyland asked a neighbor if he had ever seen a red blackberry.
[US]Salt Lake Herald (UT) 10 July 16/2: Reconnoitering the green shores of the Emerald Isle [...] we rested a short time, talking on passengers and luggage, relieving Paddy’s land of some of her enterprising ‘childer’.
Scanton Trib. (PA) 2 Sept. 4/2: We are better pleased that the cup has gone to Paddy’s land than to any other spot across the Atlantic.
[UK]Sporting Times 25 Feb. 1/2: You take the game to Paddyland to teach to Kate or Barney, / They will tell you it is lovely, and will help you till you’re led.
[Aus]‘Henry Handel Richardson’ Aus. Felix (1971) 38: Oh, just a couple o’ stony-broke Paddy-landers.
[Aus]Western Mail (Perth) 3 Oct. 4s/7: I’m Murphy of Bungalow Station, / I come of the Paddyland nation.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 279: The Irish Paddy has been elaborated in various ways, e.g., Paddyland, the place where the Paddies come from.
[Ire]Share Slanguage.
Twitter 28 June 🌐 Since Friday, the racist messages have starting coming in larger numbers too, along the lines of ‘fuck off back to paddyland you fucking IRA c***’.
Paddy’s eyewater (n.) [SE eyewater but note eyewater under eye n.]

(Irish) illicitly distilled whisky, poteen.

[UK]Judy 4 Aug. 58: He imbibed stupendous quantities of jiggered gin, dogs nose, and Paddys eye-water [F&H].
[US]Salt Lake City (UT) 30 Mar. 4/5: He has been taking a little of Paddy’s eyewater.
[Ire]Share Slanguage.
Paddy’s Goose (n.)

see separate entry.

paddy’s lantern (n.) [? a ref. to the lack of electricity in rural Ireland]

the moon.

[Aus]N. Keesing Lily on the Dustbin 164: There are lots of these old Paddy expressions, often denigratory of the irish: ‘Paddy’s lantern’ (the moon).
paddy’s market (n.) [note WWII milit. use, the market in Cairo where Australian troops sold illegally manufactured goods, black market commodities etc; a similarly named market, frequented by Irish immigrants, existed in late 19C Glasgow] (Aus.)

1. any kind of cheap market.

[UK]‘Shadow’ Midnight Scenes 102: We find ourselves again in what seems to be a continuartion of ‘Paddy’s Market’ or ‘Rag Fair’.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘Jones’s Alley’ in Roderick (1972) 36: Paddy’s market — the eloquent advertisment of a young city’s sin and poverty and rotten wealth.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 11 Aug. 38/2: Then everything will start to burn and crackle, and Satan will appear in the Post Office tower and stop the clock. All the people will be gathered together from the workshops and the mines and Paddy’s Market, and Fat will dock their time.
[US]B. Appel Tough Guy [ebook] [The] swiped fruit from Paddy’s Market on Ninth [Avenue].

2. the weekly market for cheap or secondhand goods held in the late 19C near Haymarket Square in Melbourne.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 31 Jan. 22/3: Unfortunately for the world at large (and in gaol also), before these people had time to spit on their hands and start off on their new career, up comes this Bungwall Teuton with a cock-and-bull yarn that he is as much alive to-day as the oldest cheese in Paddy’s Market.
[Aus]H. Nisbet Bushranger’s Sweetheart 37: Latour’s Coffee Palace, Little Collins Street, near Paddy’s Market.
[Aus]L. Stone Jonah 12: On Saturday night they went to Bob Fenner’s dance-room, or strolled down to Paddy’s Market .

In phrases

Paddy’s stocking (n.)

lit. or fig. empty, worthless, i.e. ‘footless and without a leg’.

[UK]Censor (London) 25 Jan. 5/1: H]is triumph was equal to Paddy’s stocking—footless, and without a leg.
paddy wagon (n.) (also paddy) [? abbr. SE padlock, or with the implication that most US police (? or criminals) would be Irish]

(orig. US) the vehicle in which arrested people are transported to the local police station or prison (cf. pat wagon under Pat n.).

[US]St. John’s Rev. (OR) 29 May 3/5: There is a Paddy-wagon ride coming in any event.
[US]Chicago Daily Trib. 12 Sept. E3: Don’t it make you think of the paddy wagon going down the street to pinch a gambling joint?
[US]Wash. Post Misc. 15 Mar. 1/5: ‘A ‘peetman’ is a safeblower, and when he blows a safe he ‘cracks a joint.’ If he is caught and taken to the station in the ‘paddy wagon’ he may be given ‘six months in the buck’ or a ‘long bit’ or a ‘short bit’.
[US]Day Book (Chicago) 17 Sept. 3/1: The ‘paddy’ wagon of the St Charles home for juveniles was just about ready to pull out [...] when one young fellow [...] jumped out the back door and made a break for freedom.
[US]J.T. Farrell ‘Curbstone Philosophy’ Short Stories (1937) 214: Dere was a riot, and dey called de paddy.
[US]N. Algren Neon Wilderness (1986) 250: The paddy wagon pulled away south down State.
[US]N. Algren Walk on the Wild Side 244: ‘Who’s that?’ she asked the paddy wagon gloom, ‘Who’s else takin’ this ride?’.
[US]K. Marlowe Mr Madam (1967) 130: The nicest, biggest, blackest, shiniest Paddy-waggon was backed right up to the door for us.
[Can]J. Mandelkau Buttons 104: We were all loaded into the paddywagons.
[Can]R. Caron Go-Boy! 47: The roadway was patrolled by a black scout car and a paddy wagon.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett You Wouldn’t Be Dead for Quids (1989) 176: A paddy-wagon driven by three trepidatious but hard-faced policemen cruised past.
[US]C. Hiaasen Tourist Season (1987) 124: I got a rear bumper missing off a paddy wagon.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 67: The cops herded all the girls out and into the paddy wagons.
[Aus]L. Davies Candy 155: I walked handcuffed and flanked through Bourke Street Mall to the paddy wagon.
Thirstin Howlin’ III ‘Walk the Walk’ 🎵 Squad car, paddy wagons, snitch bitch.
[Aus]T. Winton ‘Long, Clear View’ in Turning (2005) 200: Every night at dusk a paddy wagon cruises by.
[US]Codella and Bennett Alphaville (2011) 76: Why didn’t somebody send a half-dozen paddy wagons down there.
New European (London) 3-9 Aug. 10/2: Trump [...] suggested that their [i.e. arrestees’] heads should be banged against the roofs of paddy wagons.
[Aus]T. Spicer Good Girl Stripped Bare 47: We’re thrown in the back of a ‘divvy van’ (Also called a ‘paddy wagon’ [...] Those Irish, always up to no good).
Twitter 31 May 🌐 The only thing I can really get from talking to cops in the paddy wagon tonight is that at this point they’re just in a fucking cult.
come (the) Paddy (over) (v.)

to bamboozle, to confuse, to ‘blarney’.

[US]Sun (N.Y.) 3 Jan. 2/3: You don’t come paddy over me after that sort.
[US]Morning Herald (N.Y.) 1 July 2/3: Charles Enroff, charged with coming paddy over an Irish shoemaker, and thereby cheating him out of a pair of shoes.
The History of the ‘Striped Pig’ n.p.: If I don’t ‘come the paddy’ over these self-styled temperance folks, I’m mistaken!
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 27 Nov. 3/2: That conversation did not take place on the first intercourse taking place between us, but the first time he came Paddy over me on the top of the stairs.
ignorant as Paddy’s pig (adj.)

(N.Z.) very stupid.

Charles Hoy Fort Ructions 🌐 Out of me sight! Ye skinny half-fed creature! Ye’re as ignorant as Paddy’s pig! I’m a college-bred man! Out of me sight, you half-fed ignoranimouse!
what Paddy gave the drum (n.) [i.e. a paddywhack n. (3)]

(orig. milit.) a thrashing, a beating.

[UK]Sam Sly 2 June 1/3: We advise old Crockford [...] to act more like a gentleman, [...] or he will get what Paddy gave the drum, a good thrashing.
[US]Life in Boston & N.Y. (Boston, MA) 11 Oct. n.p.: We would advise H—d R—l to stop his blowing, or he will recive what Paddy gave the drum.
[UK]J. Ware Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era 261/2: What Paddy gave the drum (Irish Military, 1845). Elegant euphemism for a sound thrashing, as ‘I’ll give you what Paddy gave the drum’.
[US]C. Woofter ‘Dialect Words and Phrases from West-Central West Virginia’ in AS II:8 355: Tom got what Paddy gave the drum at the carnival yesterday.