Many folks associate Irish fortune (or misfortune) with “Murphy’s Law”, which basically states that “Anything that can go wrong, will”, sometimes amended with “, and does.” However, the term “luck of the Irish” has a totally different connotation.

Starting with the “gold rush” of North America and continuing through the second half of the 19th century, many flocked west to find their fortunes in precious metals. Some of the most successful in finding the elements were Irish, or of Irish ancestry. Hence, the phrase was coined.

On this St. Patrick’s Day, keep one thing in mind. Never call it “St. Patty’s Day”, or even “St. Pat’s Day”, in the presence of a true Irishman! Or Irish woman, for that matter.


An Irish Admonition


An Irish admonition
Public Service Annoucement posted in Dublin Airport on March 17, 2014.

It is quite alright to call it St. Paddy’s Day, or Paddy’s Day, as is, of course, the traditional St. Patrick’s Day and Patrick’s Day.

So what’s the problem with calling it St. Patty’s Day, or Patty’s Day?

Well, Patty is a nickname for Patricia, which is a woman’s name, and St. Patrick was, of course, a man. This is all according to the website

Paddy comes from Padraig, a Celtic variant of the name Patrick, making it appropriate.

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh!

Source articles: – Where does the term “the luck of the Irish” come from? – August 8, 2017, ABCNews – Please Don’t Call it St. Patty’s Day – March 17, 2014.