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Beyond the Pale

Mellifont Abbey, IrelandThe other day, I used the term "beyond the pale" in conversation with some delegates, and as an afterthought commented - "I don't know where that saying comes from / originates". Well - they knew one origin at least!

It comes from Ireland ... the English aristocracy settled centuries gone by in the Dublin area, and spread out somewhat from there - but not all the way across the island. There was a certain boundary, rather beyond the current M50 motorway, I understand - a fence with pailings beyond which the land was regarded as wild country. And if people went out there ... they were Beyond the Pale


Illustration - Mellifont Abbey from A weekend in Ireland.
(written 2009-10-22, updated 2009-10-24)

 
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  [65] Ireland - (2004-09-27)


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