Have You Been Calling It ‘St. Patty’s' Day? Here’s Why You’re Being A Jerk.
Cultural norms can be tricky. One culture’s “thumbs up” is another culture’s “sit on it.”
In Asia, it’s rude to leave your chopsticks sticking straight up in your rice.
In Latin America it’s rude to pour a drink with your left hand.
In Africa, you don’t talk during the meal.
And in Ireland, you don’t ever… ever… call St. Patrick’s Day “St. Patty’s.”
Yeah, you may say to yourself, well that’s Ireland’s problem. This is the USA and being rude is our national pastime.
Maybe, but not on St. Patrick’s Day. On St. Patrick’s Day, we’re all Irish. You. Me. That guy over there who wants to take a swing at you for calling it St. Patty’s.
All. Of. Us.
So why is saying ‘St. Patty’s’ considered rude?
Well nothing, if it were St. Patricia who drove all the snakes out of Ireland, converted the heretics, died the patron saint of the Emerald Isle and inspired a global holiday celebrating the nation’s culture.
But it wasn’t St. Patricia. It was St. Patrick.
And since Patty is short for Patricia, the preferred term here is “Paddy” which is short for “Padraigh” which is the Gaelic variant of the name Patrick.
So given that the guy accomplished so much (see previous with the snakes and the heretics, etc.) and we’ve seen fit to celebrate him by bathing our livers in green beer, let’s at least afford him the respect of referring to him by the proper name.
Happy St. Paddy’s.