View Full Version : Meaning of the Irish word "Shoneenism"

03-04-13, 13:07
Whilst transcribing some letters written to an Irish newspaper by a Great Uncle, I have come across the word "Shoneenism", but am having difficulty in finding out the actual meaning of the word. It is not in the English Dictionary and I have googled. At first I thought I hadthe wrong word, but I have found it in some contexts but still struggle to find the correct meaning. Can anybody help me please?


03-04-13, 13:19
I found this definition:

shoneen[ˈʃoːniːn]nIrish an Irishman who imitates English ways[from Irish Gaelic Seoinín, diminutive of Seon John (taken as typical English name)]

(http://www.thefreedictionary.com/shoneen)Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/_/misc/HarperCollinsProducts.aspx?English) © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003


So I am guessing that it could very well be an insult/ accusation of being too English, depending on the timing/context ...

03-04-13, 13:24
Irish: a would-be gentleman who puts on pretentious airs

(Anglo-Irish, derogatory) One who prefers English attitudes, customs or lifestyle to Irish ones




03-04-13, 13:30

Thank you. Hm, yes that does sound very feasible in the context of the letter that I have!! I could not find it at all in the Oxford dictionary and did not check out other dictionaries for the word Shoneen, mainly because I could not read the word very well, and assumed I had transcribed it wrongly. Thank you very much and I have now noted the meaning.