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The Irish For: Vegans, vegetarians and the battle of translating modern words

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06.10.2019

This is the latest dispatch from our columnist Darach Ó Séaghdha, author of the award-winning and bestselling Motherfoclóir. Every Sunday morning, Darach will be regaling (re-Gaeling?) us with insights on what the Irish language says about Ireland, our society, our past and our present. Enjoy.

THIS OCTOBER MARKS the 26th anniversary of the passing of promising actor River Phoenix, credited by many with bringing the term vegan into common usage.

This word was previously quite obscure. Early interviews with the star frequently included the word in inverted commas and offered a definition.

Prior to the actor’s breakthrough role in Stand By Me in 1986, the word vegan turned up more commonly in print as part of Las Vegan – the term used for a resident of Las Vegas in the US – than in reference to food choices.

Nowadays, many inhabitants of Sin City often settle for being referred to as........

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