(ABC4) – St. Patrick’s Day falls annually on March 17 and is widely celebrated in the United States, but some of the U.S. nicknames for the day would not be acceptable in Ireland.
The holiday represents a celebration of Saint Patrick of Ireland who is famous for introducing Christianity to the European island, as well as chasing the “snakes” of Ireland into the sea after they began attacking him following a 40-day fast he endured.
Despite its religious background, St. Patrick’s day has become a day of festivities ranging from family-friendly parades to college student bar crawls. As noted by Merriam-Webster, the holiday’s celebratory mood has led partygoers to refer to the day by nicknames of St. Patrick. However, there is one title that has proven to stir the Irish pot.
St. Patrick’s Day is often dubbed “St. Patty’s Day.” However, Patrick is the English version of the Irish Gaelic name Pádraig, nicknamed Páidín and Paddy, as stated by USA Today.
As the name “Patty” is the shortened version of the feminine name Patricia, the term “St. Patty’s Day” is downright incorrect. The term has been deemed disrespectful by the Irish community. The correct abbreviation for Patrick is “Paddy.”
However, “St. Paddy’s Day” has been rumored to be objectionable as well. According to Merriam-Webster, since the 18th century, the name Paddy has been used in English as a derogatory term for an Irishman, or in informal British English as “a fit of temper.”
Stay respectful today and stick to referring to the holiday as “St. Pat’s Day,” or the classic “St. Patrick’s Day.”