Donnybrook

By Deane Barker tags: slang

Definition: a fight

Donnybrook was a town in Ireland (now a district of Dublin) which was home to the Donnybrook Fair. That event became legendary for alcohol consumption and subsequent fist fights.

Why I Looked It Up

In Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked, it says that Ronald Reagan wrote in his dairy about getting into a “donny brook” (he used the space, which I think is incorrect) with Tip O’Neill about Social Security policy, referring to a 45-minute yelling match they held during a White House meeting in 1982. Both Reagan and O’Neill were Irish, which might have encouraged the usage.

Postscript

Added on

This term has come up in Letterkenny a few times. That show is Canadian, but it’s set in a town named for the Irish town of Letterkenny and populated with Irish immigrant descendants.

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