Luck of the Irish

I do not know when the phrase “Luck of the Irish ” started.  I have heard it most of my life, so I assumed the Irish were lucky.  I also remember thinking that throughout history the Irish have been anything but lucky.  The people of Ireland for centuries have had very difficult lives, many moving to America in the mid 19th century due to a severe potato famine and much starvation in Ireland.  I learned in history class that the greatest export of Ireland to America was not potatoes, but people, a mass immigration to America.

Ironically the phrase “Luck of the Irish” may have actually originally referred to the traditional bad luck of the Irish.  One website on  the Internet mentioned that the term “Luck of the Irish” did originate in America during the 19th century, possibly implying that if any of the Irish were successful after coming to America, well, it was due to luck, not hard work.

I remember watching a movie as a child about 40 years ago and someone found a bottle with a little man inside.  I think he was a leprechaun.  He had the green hat, the Irish accent, and a bottle of whiskey.  Whoever found him in the bottle would be granted three wishes.  He looked the guy you would envision at the end of a rainbow in your quest to find a pot of gold.  It was fun to fantasize about, but I admit, it all of sounded far fetched, even to me as a young child.  None of us expects to find a little man in a bottle, much less a pot of gold, but we do have hopes of someday our luck coming through on something we would like.  I included a space on the game board of Treasure Trovecalled “Luck of the Irish” where players have the opportunity to draw from various stacks of situation cards available while playing the game.  In the process of drawing a card a player may win money,  or capture a treasure, or have the opportunity to travel to various places around the world on their journey to collect treasure.  On the other hand they may lose a turn.  Such is the luck of the draw.  Perhaps with a little luck, that is with the “Luck of the Irish” they may draw a good card.  If a player draws a lousy card, well let’s just say that could also be called “Luck of the Irish.”

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