IRELAND and Britain may only be separated by 19 miles of water, but it’s fair to say the lingo can be worlds apart at times.
Irish comedian Dara Ó Briain was in Dublin over the weekend for the Vodafone Comedy Festival in Iveagh Gardens, when he tweeted his approval over one of his dishes on offer at his local ‘chipper’.
He wrote: “Possibly the greatest discovery of all in Dublin this weekend though: a chipper that serves pepper sauce on chips.
“This changes everything!”
Possibly the greatest discovery of all in Dublin this weekend though: a chipper that serves pepper sauce on chips. THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING.
— Dara Ó Briain (@daraobriain) July 30, 2017
But it seems our British cousins are rather protective of their national dish – and particularly those hallowed shops which offer it.
Cue a deluge of replies to Dara’s message from British people left dumbfounded by the suggestion that the Irish call businesses of fried goodness ‘chippers’.
"Chipper? I hope that's an autocorrect mistake and not a word people use," wrote one confused chip chomper.
Chipper? I hope that's an autocorrect mistake and not a word people use
— Andrew (@Bearsito) July 30, 2017
“What is this witchcraft? It's 'chippy', pronounced 'chip-ee',” wrote another.
While another chippy defender even suggested that Ireland and Britain may need a ‘Good Fry Day’ agreement to decide the issue.
That may well be, but it's creeping into east and south Belfast lexicon. We need a new #GoodFryDay agreement ?
— Belfast Books (@BelfastBooks) July 30, 2017
Belfast Books ran their own poll on the proper word for a chip shop, with a whopping 88 per cent of voters choosing the (incorrect) term ‘chippy’.
But some cosmopolitan chippy connoisseurs came round to the idea of a chipper. “You learn something new every day,” said one.
Never realised the Irish called Chippies - Chippers.
— John-Paul (@John_Paul1985) July 30, 2017
A chippy is a carpenter. Not eating from that.
— paul devlin (@paulydevlo) July 30, 2017
The Oxford English Dictionary is clear – a ‘chippy’ is a fish and chip shop while ‘chipper’ is another word for cheerfulness – but we aren’t accepting it as a neutral source.
So what exactly is the right name for a fish and chip shop? Chipper or Chippy?