The Bluffer goes from Bunty and Judy to Cosmopolitan

Go mbeannaí Dia daoibh, welcome males and females to the Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

The Bluffer was killing time in a hotel lobby last week when he picked up a magazine to read – the September/October edition of the women's magazine, Cosmopolitan.

Now, nuair a bhí sé óg - when he was young, he would read his sister’s copies of the Bunty and Judy, confused by the goings-on of The Four Marys and the Bobby Dazzler but even more confused by Cosmo.

Iris is a magazine and from it we get the word iriseoir - a journalist and iriseoireacht - journalism.

There is another word, tréimhseachán - which means a periodical, but these tend to be more intellectual than the coimicí - comics we used to read as children.

Irisí do chailíní - girls’ magazines featured hockey, romance and fashion – the Bunty had a bábóg - a doll you could cut out and dress in her own paper clothes, but the Bluffer was no prospective Yves Saint Laurent.

It is fair to say that the worlds of those girls’ magazines of the 60s-80s have changed utterly in the meantime – but not as much as you would think.

For instance, the October Spanish edition of Cosmopolitan – the Bluffer is in Gran Canaria at the moment – starts off with a ceistiúchán - a questionnaire on mental health where they report on the answers to various questions.

For instance, cad é chomh tábhachtach is atá do mheabhairshláinte? - how important is your mental health dar leat - in your opinion.

5% said they never thought about it. 57% said they think more about it than before and 38% said they think about it as much as they do about an tsláinte choirp - physical health.

Another question was: ”An mothaíonn tú brónach de ghnáth?” - “do you normally feel sad?” or an dtagann lagmhisneach ort go minic? - do you often feel dispirited?

35% said they don’t normally feel depressed but do sometimes, while 65% said they have those feelings every day.

While it’s good that Cosmo is drawing attention to the things that made women especially feel inadequate, there isn’t a single female on its 146 pages less than a size 12.

Many of its pages are given over to faisean - fashion with a €465 bomber jacket, a €235 bum bag and a €209 watch you can dream about as you turn off the heating on a cold night.

Then there is the section devoted to áilleacht - beauty which will suggest béaldath - lipstick which will give you perfect lips to pout with during the cost of living crisis, and a section on grá - love but is more about gnéas - sex, two often confused subjects which the Bluffer is too embarrassed to discuss on this page!

Having said that, there are more articles in this particular edition of Cosmopolitan that aren’t as superficial.

There is an interesting article on conversion therapy and people who suffer from tnáitheadh - burnout.

To be honest, the Bluffer was burnt out reading it, longing for the innocent days of jolly hockey sticks and The Four Marys.


nuair a bhí sé óg (noor a vee shay awg) - when he was young

iris (irish) - a magazine

iriseoir (irishore) - a journalist 

iriseoireacht (irishorakht) - journalism

tréimhseachán (trayvshakhaan) - a periodical

coimicí (comickee) - comics

irisí do chailíní (irishee daw khaleenee) - girls’ magazines

bábóg (baabawg) - a doll

ceistiúchán (keshtookhaan) - a questionnaire

cad é chomh tábhachtach is atá do mheabhairshláinte? (cadge ay khoe taowakhtakh iss ataa daw vyaowerlaantcha)  - how important is your mental health  

dar leat (dar lat) - in your opinion.

an tsláinte choirp (un tlaantcha khirp)- physical health 

An mothaíonn tú brónach de ghnáth? (un motheean too broenakh de grah) - do you normally feel sad?

an dtagann lagmhisneach ort go minic? (un dagan lugvishnyakh ort gaw minic) - do you often feel dispirited?

faisean (fashion) - fashion

áilleacht (ileyakht) - beauty

béaldath (bayldah) - lipstick 

grá (graa) - love

gnéas (grayce) - sex

tnáitheadh (traahoo) - burnout