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Irish English

Bally... er, Bali

Somebody I knew in Kilkenny said he'd called a friend's mobile telephone to invite him over for a bit and contacted him in "Bally."

"I don't know where that is," I said. There are a gaggle of places in Ireland called "Bally-" something; Ballyragget, Ballymun.... "Baile" is Irish for "town." (Rhymes with "tally.")

"It's down by Indonesia..."

"Oh, you mean Bali; in the south seas?" (Rhymes with "dolly."[for me])

"Yeah, Bally," he said.

"I thought you said Bally, like it was a town in Ireland." (Of course, no town is called simply "town.")

But, no; he'd called his friend and gotten through in Bali—which is remarkable, really, and attests to the flexibility of European telephones [ca. 2002.] It's a bit far to come for a cup of tea.