shillelah

shillelagh

[shuh-ley-lee, -luh]
noun (esp. in Ireland)
a cudgel, traditionally of blackthorn or oak.
Also, shillala, shillalah, shillelah.


Origin:
1670–80; < Irish Síol Éiligh town in Co. Wicklow; the adjoining forest provided wood for the clubs

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shillelagh or shillala (ʃəˈleɪlə, -lɪ, Irish ʃɪˈleːlə, ʃəˈleɪlə, -lɪ, Irish ʃɪˈleːlə)
 
n
(in Ireland) a stout club or cudgel, esp one made of oak or blackthorn
 
[C18: from Irish Gaelic sail cudgel + éille leash, thong]
 
shillala or shillala
 
n
 
[C18: from Irish Gaelic sail cudgel + éille leash, thong]

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Word Origin & History

shillelagh
1772, "cudgel," earlier, "oak wood used to make cudgels" (1677), from Shillelagh, town and barony in Co. Wicklow, Ireland, famous for its oaks.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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