word of the day: March 17, 2011
Children, born in succession within one year
They were like rabbits. Now their Irish twins are six and seven.
Siblings born within 12 months of each other.
My sister and I were born 11 months apart. We were known in our family as Irish twins.
The roots of the idea behind the term are actually quite old, although no one knows when, exactly, people first began to talk about Irish twins. In both England and the United States, a massive influx of Irish immigration in the 1800s led to a negative connotation with Irish people and society. This often happens when a large immigrant group begins to settle in mass numbers in a new country. The Irish were accused of being backwards and uncultured, and it was assumed that they were uneducated, dirty, and a general pox on society. As a result, the use of the word “Irish” began to be pejorative.
A number of derogatory terms incorporating stereotypes about the Irish began to emerge, including “Irish confetti” for thrown bricks and “Irish kiss” for a slap. Irish twins fits into this vernacular, and is actually insulting on multiple levels.
Firstly, the term pokes fun at the stereotypical fertility of Irish Catholic families, which traditionally do not use birth control. In addition, it implies that the Irish lack the ability to plan ahead or control themselves, having children in quick succession rather than responsibly spacing them. Finally, it suggests that the Irish do not understand the medical definition of twins, which involves two children conceived and born together.
two people born less than 12 months apart (from the stereotype that Irish Catholics have many children)
They ended up with Irish twins and shortly after, decided they would be better off with a larger house.
siblings who are born less than twelve months apart
i swear their parents rut like bunnies. debbie and jim are irish twins: ten months apart!
Two siblings who are not twins but born in the same year, usually nine months apart.
Are Andie and Jack McPhee Irish twins?
Siblings who were born 10 months apart.
Patrick and Noreen, born 10 months apart, are Irish Twins.