Monto

Monto

I’m curious if anyone is familiar with the song Monto. I’ve managed to find some info about its background at various places on the web (in the link below, the late Ronnie Drew talks briefly about it).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wny_0pi4hR4


I was wondering if anyone knew what the following words meant in the context of the song.

wingo
ringo
langeroo
mot
Liathroidi

Thanks!

Re: Monto

… and "Monto" is short for Montgomery Street, formerly a red-light district of Dublin.

A "langeroo" is roll of raffia, but probably has a different meaning in this particular song …

Re: Monto

And for those too young to remember. The old Irish penny had a Hen and a Flock of Chickens on the Obverse side and a Harp on the Reverse side. Hence the slang term ‘Wing’ for a penny. The Harp was retained but sadly the Hen plus chicks flew away on Decimalisation Day 15th February 1971, and it was downhill all the way from there. The Dublin speak is famous for putting an O at the end of shortened words. Names such as Anthony becomes Anto, Declan becomes Deco, Mike becomes Mikeo etc etc.

Re: Monto

According to a recent World Wide Words (www.worldwidewords.org) newletter "mot" was in England an old term for a prostitute, which the Oxford English Dictionary says was still in use in 1866. The current English slang term for prostitute "tom" could be derived from it in the same way as backslang "yob from "boy".

Could this "mot" be the same word as that still in use in Dublin, rather than the latter being the Dublin pronunciation of "moth"? As I understand it there is something mildly derogatory about "mot" when applied to a girlfriend, though clearly it no longer means "prostitute". Words do change their meanings, and this would be a change in the opposite direction to that of "tart", which today (in most of Britain at least) means a promiscuous or over-dressed woman, whereas originally it was a shortened form of "sweetheart".

Re: Monto

Mot , mott or motte (I’ve seen it spelled all three ways) is an Old English word for a mound or small hill. There’s a type of defensive work still fairly common in the UK called a ‘motte and bailey’ castle.

The slang reference is to a lady’s ‘mount of Venus’, also sometimes referred to as a ‘mound’. It’s still used widely in the North of England, particularly by the colourful travelling entertainer Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown.

Re: Monto

I too would like to see a complete explanation of the lyrics. Our band does Monto, and we sometimes get odd looks on the "lost her up the Furry Glen" line.

Re: Monto

Interesting stuff, lissagriffin! I must check out this worldwidewords website. Reference your "boy" reversed becoming "yob", I heard somewhere that "spiv" is derived from "VIPs" reversed. I also heard that the "letter reversal" system to create a new word with an opposite meaning originated in the RAF, during Word War II. I didn’t realise that that the word "tart" was derived from "sweetheart"- one learns something new every day from this board!

Re: Monto

Nice thread you started here Cpn Pete - it makes a nice change from the usual stuff revolving aound tunes, playing, instruments etc. When somone comes up with a novel discussion topic, it’s like a breath of virtual fresh air ,,,

Re: Monto

always useful:

http://www.hiberno-english.com/archive.php

mot
// n. a girl, a female companion; ‘the mot’, the female in one’s life, ‘the little one’ < E dial. n. mot, an atom. fig. (suggesting something precious, the object of great affection, etc.) a small creature (e.g., ‘a mot of a lamb’, a little lamb); the connection with Irish ‘maith’, n. and adj. seems unlikely. ‘She’s my mot; what do you think of her?’, ‘Along we went, me, the mot, and the mot’s mother’, ‘Tell me now: Is Michael motting’, = Does Michael have a regular girl-friend? (colloquially invented forms such as motting are a feature of HE).

add/view comments (2)
// n. colloq. pej. an unprepossessing, lazy individual < origin uncertain, but cf. E Dial. ‘languor’, and alternative form ‘langer’, and from which derives ‘langersome’, adj. slow, tedious. ‘You langer you’, ‘He’s a right langer’, ‘They’re nothing but a bunch of langers’, Leslie Williams/Cork.

Posted .

Re: Monto

That’s an interesting website, kilfarboy. Thanks for giving the link. I guess the sense of "mot" meaning "atom" is related to the English word "mote" - speck of dust, etc. The Irish use of "mot" to mean "girlfriend" might be quite unconnected.

The earlier suggestion that "mot" comes from the Dublin pronunciation of "moth" being Dublin slang for girlfriend is interesting. But has the word "moth" ever been used (in Dublin or anywhere else) to mean "girlfriend"? Interestingly, according to the Oxford English Dictionary "moth" is a rare slang word in British English for "prostitute" (a fly-by-night).

The origin of "mot" as used in Dublin looks like it will be hard to pin down. Samuel Beckett, by the way, spells it "motte" in More Pricks than Kicks (1934).

Re: Monto

@ CleverName…just in case you are asked sometime about the ‘lost her up the Fury glen’ line …
The ‘Fury Glen’ is an area in the large park in Dublin called the Phoenix Park. If you are ever there on a visit, the Glen is up at the Castleknock Gates end of the park (opposite end to the main entrance on Parkgate street). Nice spot actually, I remember as a lad cycling around that area and having great fun on the hills down into the Glen. I think it used to be a spot for courting couples (hence the song’s reference to bringing the girlfriend up there and losing her!), but I was too young to be at that carry-on ;)

hope that helps!
Andy

Re: Monto

I may have invented the missing ‘h’ on the end of ‘mot’, since I had only heard that explanation aurally from a Dubliner, and I had noticed that ‘th’ is often pronounced ‘t’ by the Irish.

Re: Monto

Mot is also Welsh valley slang for a woman’s secret place.

Re: Monto

Wingo Slang for a penny

Ringo Short for Ringsend

If youve got a wingo take her up to ringo translates to

If you have a penny go to Ringsend

Mot is slang for Girlfriend or Wife we use it all the time here in Dublin

Took his mot and lost her up the furry glen translates to

Took his Girl up to the furry glen which is an area in the Phoenix Park Dublin

Liathrodi is Irish for Balls Though It is only used in some versions of Monto

Re: Monto

I remeber hearing an explanation for mot years ago, that it was related to maith (Irish for good) and equated to a good thing.