Steve Edwards' website

Home Page



"Yeah but sure...."

...[a part of] an Irish expression

I have been slow to hear many uniquely-Irish expressions while apparently exposed to them constantly....

"Yeah but sure..." is the first part of a common Irish phrase. The rest of it — "what can you do?" — may remain implicit.

I had to call my landlady because the washing machine had stopped working. My clothes were stuck in there, too. I made sure to mention this to her. Then (she said) she told the repairman the same fact.

Anyhow, he made it over the next day. But he didn't have the part that he'd need. So he said he'd return with it — tomorrow or the next day.

I knew a bit about Irish culture, at that point. And I love the Irish, anyhow; so this kind of an interaction is totally acceptable to me. But I did say something about it; I just told him that I really did need to have my washing machine working. I stuck in there that I was going to be showing the place to prospective tenants (which was true.)

A friend was over visiting me at the moment, an Irish lad. The repairman commented to my friend, as an aside, "he's American, alright."

__   ___   __

I was trying to find out who owns the light above the outdoor stairway up to my apartment.

I lived in a unit at the back of the downtown shopping center, an apartment on the second floor of the complex, part of the same property. But the light? Whose property was that?

The bulb was out. The stair was dangerous after sundown, especially on a moonless night. The bulb is a specialized, industrial-grade unit that the average Joe-Soap would be hard-pressed to manage — to find, even.

I went in search of the light's owner. There were three candidates: the city, the shopping center, and the group of four landlords above — amongst whom there was no formal association.

One of the landlords told me that he had spoken with management at the shopping center and had received a promise to replace the bulb.

But that didn't happen, so I went to the manager of the shopping center. He tole me that the light fixture belonged to the landlords. However, I did finally get assurance that he would see to the replacement of the bulb.

But he's a busy man.

Six months forward. It was time to try again. At least I could tell prospective or newly-elected tenants that I'd made an attempt....

I was fortunate to find in the general office a security guard who was happy to help. And, fortunately, there was a crew replacing lightbulbs around the interior of the shopping center on that day.

The security guard rang the manager on his mobile phone.

He said that there's a lad here who was in last week; I forgot to give you the message (and he winked, dispelling my confusion about that statement,) and he's inquiring about a light that's gone out at the back of the property. He explained that I was trying to figure out who owns the thing and how to get it replaced.

A fellow came later that day and put a new bulb into the fixture.

__   ___   __

I was down at Dunne's Stores the other afternoon and went into the off-licence (liquor store, in Irish English) section to check out, because the queue is likely shorter in there that time of day.

While there, I asked the girl at the checkout whether the beer cooler had been repaired yet. The one that includes the good inexpensive lager "Hoffberg" had been out of service ever since the weekend. This was mid-week. She said no.

I said (gently, of course) "you'd think Dunne's Stores could repair a beer cooler."

She said "Yeah but sure...."

Bookmark and Share Contact