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What does "pea green pink Irish Catholic" mean?
June 24, 2009 6:42 AM   Subscribe

"Pea green pink Irish Catholic" - what, if anything, does this phrase mean and/or refer to?

I'm editing the transcription of an interview with someone wherein he's talking about his relationship with his wife, an Irish Catholic. At one point he says, "she grew up in a very pea green pink Irish Catholic family, where everything is very dour and there isn’t a lot of adventure."

Has anyone ever heard that phrase, and if so, do you know what it means? I can't tell if it's a mistake in the transcript, or just something I don't know. Googling revealed nothing.
posted by MaudB to Religion & Philosophy (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Typical left wing Irish catholic
posted by mattoxic at 6:49 AM on June 24, 2009


Are you sure it's not "pea green and pink", and the speaker just swallowed the "and" a bit?

If so, that'd be the Newfoundland tricolor, the banner of blue-collar Irish immigrants.
posted by rokusan at 6:49 AM on June 24, 2009


When you google that phrase, it comes up with the former colors for Syracuse. Any chance that's it?
posted by Houstonian at 6:59 AM on June 24, 2009


Absolutely, he could have swallowed the "and." As for Syracuse, I don't think so - he describes her family as an old New England mill family, working class.
Does the Newfoundland flag apply to Americans as well as Canadians somehow?
posted by MaudB at 7:06 AM on June 24, 2009


Does the Newfoundland flag apply to Americans as well as Canadians somehow?

Not in the sense that both regions used it -- but in the 1800's there was a lot of Canadian emigration to New England, with people looking for work in the New England mills. A lot of these emigrants came from the Maritimes, because -- well, it was kind of right there.

There was even some emigration in the early 1900's (my grandmother's family emigrated from New Brunswick when she was only 6, which would have been sometime in the 1910's).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:30 AM on June 24, 2009


...Hit post too soon, sorry.

So, since there was emigration between Canada and New England, it makes sense to me that the emigrants brought that flag with them.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:31 AM on June 24, 2009


My ancestors in that region were German, not Irish, but they moved from Nova Scotia to Baltimore in the late 19th/early 20th century. They weren't the only ones either. EmpressCallipygos's explanation sounds about on point to me: "blue-collar Irish immigrant".
posted by valkyryn at 7:40 AM on June 24, 2009


Given 'Cuse is now the "Orangeman" It is sort of ironic that their original choice of Pea Green and Pink is associated with Irish Catholics.
posted by JPD at 7:56 AM on June 24, 2009


The combination of pink and green is traditionally associated with preppy attire. Think Izod shirts and belts with little whales on them. For example, apparently there's a chapter called "The Virtues of Pink and Green" in the dressing section of The Official Preppy Handbook. So the writer may have been saying it was a very preppy, old-school, Kennedy-esque family.
posted by That takes balls. at 8:06 AM on June 24, 2009


Not preppies, for sure. Her background is being described as being in contrast to the preppy upbringing of the narrator.
posted by MaudB at 11:25 AM on June 24, 2009


What about "pea green, pink, Irish Catholic family."
posted by fiercekitten at 12:03 PM on June 24, 2009


I think it was meant to be "pee green big Irish...". As in so Irish they peed green and stereotypically big.
posted by stefnet at 12:21 PM on June 24, 2009


Yes, that could be the correct punctuation. But I still don't know what it means, if anything. The "working class lefty Irish" explanation fits best so far.
posted by MaudB at 12:40 PM on June 24, 2009


The "pink" part may refer to them being slightly communist/socialist (because red=communist, therefore pink=left leaning).

(link)
posted by hydrobatidae at 12:54 PM on June 24, 2009


I think fiercekitten has it. I think the speaker is referring to the typical colors of commercial products and especially of the decor of the 1950s suburbs, and just saying that this person was white, suburban, etc and nothing was remarkable or exciting.
posted by indiebass at 2:42 PM on June 24, 2009


2nd Mattoxic's answer: typical leftie Catholic. Pink, as in supporting of Unions and workers, but still anticommunist.

Would be DLP if Australian... I presume others have/had similar parties.
posted by pompomtom at 8:04 PM on June 24, 2009


I think pea green in this context refers literally to pea soup, a dour fairly bland food. Pink definitely refers to left-wing sympathies.
posted by atrazine at 12:19 AM on June 25, 2009


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