County nicknames

I’m just back in from a pre-dawn jaunt to the airport with TJ who is getting a red-eye flight to Heathrow (do you like how he’s sorted out the background colour on the site, by the way? I think it’s all looking pretty good, so good in fact that I think the lads owe us a victory on Sunday) and, ignoring the siren call of the scratcher (I could eke out another 90 minutes or so there, no bother, before the chisellers start to stir), I think that instead it’s time to deal with this issue of county nicknames. This was first mentioned last week in a comment by FourGoal and has been added to since by both The Brother and TJ.

It turns out that I don’t have to go rummaging under the stairs after all for that suitcase containing various scraps of paper dating back to the Eighties. That’s because the web (take a bow, Sir Tim Berners-Lee) has been invented since then and, while this doesn’t mean that all the scribblings contained in that suitcase have found their way into cyberspace (thank the Sweet Lord for that), it has ensured that the topic of county nicknames has already been dealt with fairly comprehensively by others, such as these contributors on An Fear Rua and this one on Raheny GAA.

So, harnessing this collective wisdom, here’s a more or less definitive list of county nicknames:

Antrim: The Saffrons, The Glensmen
Armagh: The Orchard County, The Cathedral County
Carlow: The Dolman County, The Fighting Cock County, The Scallion Aters
Cavan: The Breffni County
Clare: The Banner
Cork: The Rebel County, The Donkey Aters
Donegal: O’Donnell County, The Herrin Gutters
Down: The Mourne County
Dublin: The Dubs, The Metropolitans , The Jacks/Jackeens, The Liffeysiders
Fermanagh: The Erne County, The Lakeland County
Galway: The Tribesmen, The Herrin Chokers
Kerry: The Kingdom
Kildare: The Short Grass County, The Thoroughbred County, The Lillywhites
Kilkenny: The Cats, The Marble County, The Noresiders
Laois: The O’Moore County, Queens County
The Ridge County, The Wild Rose County
Limerick: The Shannonsiders, The Treaty County
Derry: The Oak Leaf County, The Oak Grove County
Longford: The O’Farrell County, The Slashers
Louth: The Wee County
Mayo: The Heather County, The Yew County, The Maritime County
Meath: The Royal County
Monaghan: The Farneymen
Offaly: The Faithful County, Kings County
Roscommon: The Sheep Stealers, The Rossies
Sligo: The Yeats County , The Herrin Pickers, The Magpies
Tipperary: The Premier County, The Stone Throwers
Tyrone: The Red Hand County, The O’Neill County
Waterford: The Deise, The Crystal County
Westmeath: The Lake County
Wexford: The Model County, The Yella Bellies, The Strawberry Pickers
Wicklow: The Garden County, The Goat Suckers

The only ones missing from the list are those two noted Connacht counties, viz. London and New York, but they tend to trade under a generic “The Exiles” moniker.

Although we’ve got three different names, none of them have really stuck to us. I’ve only recently seen us referred to as The Maritime County and, large coastline notwithstanding, I can’t really see what we’ve done to merit the name. It’s not as if we’ve done anything to acknowledge the salt water that laps up against us and our most famous mariner remains Foxford’s own Admiral Guillermo Brown. I suppose we’re forever blighted with the “Mayo, God Help Us!” tag and events at Croke Park since 1989 haven’t exactly helped us to shake off that particular one, I fear. Any suggestions for a new nickname?

6 thoughts on “County nicknames

  1. I’m browsing this on an iPhone in the Apple Store in London and am happy to report that Green & Red 2.0 renders beautifully on it.

  2. That’s a comprehensive list. I had been having a go at answering my own question but your answer went way beyond what I had done. Incidentally, I had been told that Kilkenny, as opposed to Tipp were the Stone Throwers. Your sources suggest otherwise. Maybe they were just in the habit of throwing stones at each other – they played each other often enough to develop such an intense rivalry!

    As for ourselves, I think we should swipe the “Faithful” title from Offaly. We certainly deserve it! Failing that, we could take the title “The Hardy Men” from the Niall Tobin story “The Man from Coosim”. It would be appropriate considering the ball-freezing conditions we have endured as Mayo supporters over the years.

    Keep the Faith!

  3. Hi FourGoal

    The Hardy Men has a ring to it, alright. I’m kinda sorry we don’t have a slightly derogatory one to proclaim as a sort of badge of honour: I mean, how come Carlow get to be called the Scallion Aters? I suppose with herrins featuring so prominently down the Western seaboard, from Donegal to Sligo and down to Galway, it could be a fishy kind of one (though, on second thoughts, if picking, gutting and choking are already spoken for, it’s hard to see what’s left!)

    All the best


  4. Hi TJ

    That’s great but I hope you’re not paying roaming data charges over there in doing so!


  5. How bout ‘The Playboys’ from John Millingtons play set in west Mayo.. or ‘The Ploughers’ any takers??

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