In a sort of raucous melange of my recent posts Braw and witty (the Scotticizing of Aristophanes) and Patapoufs! Anthropophages! (the comic use of French puns and insults), I bring you King Gubu, the Irishization by Tom Quinn of Alfred Jarry’s scandalous 1896 play Ubu Roi, whose famous opening exclamation “Merdre!” and the following lines are rendered:

Mister Gubu – Gobshites!
Missus Gubu – Oh, would you ever whist with yur Gubu-ulations, Mister Gubu, ya big eejit ya!
Mister Gubu – Ooh! Ooh! Careful now! Don’t have me to do ya in now, Missus Gubu!
Missus Gubu – It isn’t me ya should be doin’ in, Mister Gubu, it’s another fellow altogether.
Mister Gubu – Green shite, m’dam, I don’t understand a word yur saying.

Braw and witty stuff, to be sure! (Via wood s lot.)


  1. Is “whisht” in your language? OED says “now dial.” and cites RL Stevenson and Scott. Hmm.

  2. joe tomei says

    I sent this to an Irish friend and he replied
    Jumpin Jayzus, is it having a go you’re at? Holy shite (what, pray, is this “green” nonsensicalisimus?) isn’t it soon I’ll be putting a stop to your gallop and sending ye back to the ha’penny seats with your head forninst you on the table askin ye to your face if you’re not a right feckin bollix, or wha’ …….?
    It did seem to take him a few days to compose that though…
    And a bit of serendipity, Yeats attended the premiere of Ubu Roi and in his autobiography, (with hindsight) in remembering this, he makes his famous comment ‘What more is possible? After us the Savage God’.

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