This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Saturday Rave: The Emigrant's Return. Anon.

There's nothing like a good long read for catching up a reader and transporting him to an alternate universe - and this is nothing like a good long read.

I don't know who wrote The Emigrant's Return, but it's quoted by Samuel Reynolds Hole in his 1892 book The Memories of Dean Hole.

Here it is in full.

Scene - a cottage in Ireland, Enter EMIGRANT, who surveys the dwelling with emotion, and knocks on the door. Door opens. Enter INMATE.

EMIGRANT: Is my father alive?
INMATE: He is not.
EMIGRANT: Is my mother living?
INMATE: She is not.
EMIGRANT: Is there any whisky in this house?
INMATE: There is not.
EMIGRANT: [sighs heavily] This is indeed a woeful day! [Dies]
Slow music. Curtain.

Could any social occasion not be the better for its performance?
Step 2: Add some new customers(Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Word To Use Today: whisky. As it's presumably Irish whiskey the poor Emigrant is after, I'm surprised it isn't spelled with an e. But there you go. This word comes from the Scottish Gaelic uisge beatha, which means water of life.


  1. That must be one of the saddest tales ever told.
    So final!

    I always thought the whiskey with an 'e' spelling was only a U.S. usage.
    My lesson for the day!

    1. Yes - it's tragic in both sense of the word, I feel.
      Actually, I think I may have just started a new Christmas family tradition...

  2. That has inspired me to use the word whisky at least 7 times today, although the last two might be pronounced 'wishky', and will probably lead to the further mispronunciations 'tackshi!' and 'shorrybabybutlikeishaidlashttimeitwon'thappenagain.'


    1. I think this may be the first time we've ever had the author of a rave piece actually commenting on the blog.
      It's a great honour to host you, Anon. Do enjoy your evening.

    2. I'm genuinely not sure what a rave peice is, since I live in Ireland and so am therefore fairly new to the internet, and culture, and fire, and I'm still coming to terms with the wheel.

      I fear my life is a rant peice, starting at my birth with 'who spanks a newborn for the love of placenta?'

      Enjoy your evening too. We still have the afternoon to get through over here. Hope you don't mind me popping by now and again - your blog is quite a find!


    3. Sorry, Anon, no one knows what I'm going on about half the time. By "rave piece" I meant a one of the posts I do on a Saturday in which I say admiring things about other people's stuff.

      You're every welcome indeed to The Word Den, c, wherever you are: the more the merrier!

    4. I don't think I've ever authored a rave piece, but if I did, thanks.


    5. Wait wait wait. I only just got it! (I KNEW I wasn't intellectual enough to comment on this blog - and I haven't started on the Whisky or even the Whiskey yet)

      I read back over some of your posts today - really enjoyed them.


    6. I'm delighted, c, thank you very much indeed. I have a lot of fun, here, and am always happy to receive comments, even if they're just telling me I'm unintelligible. there's a word that'd be hard to say after seven whiskies...