A great old Irish word has survived intact within the Limerick dialect, as a term of abuse. Naturally, this being Limerick, they couldn’t have held on to a term of endearment.
The word is gabhal, pronounced gowl, to rhyme with owl. Contrary to what many people think, it isn’t a corruption of ghoul. It means a fork or crotch and thus you can see where the Limerick people are going with it. Gabhal still appears in many Irish place-names, such as Gouldavoher in Limerick, now pronounced by most people “Gooldavoher” but actually a direct transliteration of gabhal dá bhóthair: the fork of two roads.
A gabhal is a thundering gobshite entirely devoid of sensitivity or social graces. In Limerick, the entire body is used when pronouncing the word gabhal including facial grimaces, shrugging, waving, pointing, jumping and possibly spitting, as in don’t mind that fukken gabhal. He was always a fukken gabhal, and so was his father. Fukken gabhals the whole lot of ’em.
Right. That’s enough of the background shit. I hereby announce a regular slot: Gabhal of the Week. This will be awarded for services to gobshitery above and beyond normal pomposity or stupidity.
This week’s nomination goes to Bono for being a complete twat, gobshite, wanker and self-important hypocrite.
Bono: gabhal of the week!!