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To think friends are being over-senstive?

(1000 Posts)
pomadas87 Mon 20-Feb-17 18:51:59

A friend (who lives abroad) messaged me and a couple of our good mutual friends - he shared happy news of his new baby and some pics. Everyone v excited and wished him congratulations!

He then said "so who's next to have a baby - she needs a playmate!" ... me and DH are newly married and are getting the question quite a lot...! Other friend said "I'm looking at you guys" (meaning me and DH)...

I then said "not for a while I'm afraid grin why don't you have another one straightaway and you'll have Irish Twins - instant playmate!"

Meant it in a joking way and then they all called me a racist, xenophobe etc.... I didn't realise it was offensive and now I'm feeling shitty! Did they overreact to my (stupid) joke or am I just an idiot?! confused

mickeysminnie Mon 20-Feb-17 18:55:07

Your friends are ridiculous!!
Is being outraged their hobby?

passmethewineplease Mon 20-Feb-17 18:57:10

I don't think a lot of people realise it's connotations.

A woman once said something about my two being Irish twins whilst at a bus stop. I had to come home and google it. blush

Jayfee Mon 20-Feb-17 18:57:39

never heard of irish twins???

LiviaDrusillaAugusta Mon 20-Feb-17 18:59:03

Nope - that was offensive

mickeysminnie Mon 20-Feb-17 18:59:33

Irish twins are two siblings born within 12 months of each other.

Gizlotsmum Mon 20-Feb-17 19:00:04

Have to say I'd have thought that was offensive..

mickeysminnie Mon 20-Feb-17 19:00:33

Lucia how on earth is it offensive? It is a very common description in Ireland.

NataliaOsipova Mon 20-Feb-17 19:00:43

Oh - the professionally offended! It's a pretty well known turn of phrase, I'd have thought - probably a bit like "Siamese twins", which I suppose could also be deemed offensive to the inhabitants of Thailand.

I wouldn't worry about it. Possibly if one of your friends who was so outraged actually was Irish, then I might suggest you apologise, but seems a massive fuss over nothing.

Hotfuzzed Mon 20-Feb-17 19:00:50

Not sure I'm getting the joke tbh

user1471433068 Mon 20-Feb-17 19:00:58

As an Irish person I don't think your 'joke' is funny at all. I think you need to rethink your sense of humour as comments like this can be offensive.

Gallavich Mon 20-Feb-17 19:01:11

Is it really offensive though? Irish Catholics don't tend to use contraception so have babies close in age. Or does it have other connotations I haven't spotted?

ImNotFatICanSeeMyFeet Mon 20-Feb-17 19:01:57

It is offensive.

Lesson learned though, you know now and won't say it again.

steff13 Mon 20-Feb-17 19:02:35

The phrase Irish twins is used here. I wouldn't have called you racist, etc., but I'd have raised an eyebrow.

Redsrule Mon 20-Feb-17 19:02:55

Very offensive, along with 'Irish confetti' and 'Irish kiss'. Getting fed up with the increased, post Brexit, casual racism of this nature.

lougle Mon 20-Feb-17 19:03:40

Wasn't 'Irish twins' just a phrase coined because traditionally Irish women weren't permitted to use contraception so would often fall pregnant soon after giving birth, leading to two births within a year? So they'd have two children the same age?

TopBitchoftheWitches Mon 20-Feb-17 19:03:59

I have two sets of Irish twins then!

TopBitchoftheWitches Mon 20-Feb-17 19:04:38

Posted too soon, I have never had that said to me though thankfully.

YouTheCat Mon 20-Feb-17 19:04:51

It's offensive. Apologise and think before you speak.

CurlyMango Mon 20-Feb-17 19:05:21


jusdepamplemousse Mon 20-Feb-17 19:05:27

Are any of them actually Irish?

I am Irish and don't think it's offensive, it's used as an expression in jest yes but not generally with what I would class as prejudicial or mean intent. I don't know anyone who'd be offended by it. It's a reasonably common turn of phrase. I know people who refer to their own kids as Irish twins where the description fits.

Is there nothing more to it? If not I think they're professionally offended tbh.

user1471433068 Mon 20-Feb-17 19:06:24

Gallavich, as an Irish Catholic I find your comment ridiculous. You can't compare life in Ireland today with life in Ireland in say the 1950's. Irish Catholics, along with other religions, do use contraception. The OPs joke was offensive, made worse by the title of the thread which implies the friends are at fault and not her.

jusdepamplemousse Mon 20-Feb-17 19:06:53

I'm amazed at all the Irish folk saying they find it offensive - as in just actually really surprised.

Crunchymum Mon 20-Feb-17 19:08:03

My DP is second generation Irish (born here, parents came over 40 years ago when they were in their 20's) and he often says how racism against the Irish is the only "tolerated" racism these says.

I thought he was being a wee bit melodramtic but I've seen it so much over the years - in newspapers, on TV, in real life mainly in real life

It's appalling actually.

Yet I'd feel comfortable enough to say to a friend that used such a term 'look it's not OK to dig out the Irish' and explain my point. I wouldn't go in all guns blazing though

Devilishpyjamas Mon 20-Feb-17 19:09:45

Dh is Irish and one half of a set of Irish twins and I can't imagine him being offended by it.

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