Here’s a tiny clip from a recording made in Mayo in 2008 with Kathleen Murphy and Nora Connell chatting to me about a little Irish language phrase they’d say when throwing out dirty water after 12 o’clock at night. It’s a great clip as the first two words were used by own mother in Wexford who had a similar story where they’d say “Huggada Hugadda Taypot Jack” when they’d be throwing out old dish water at night.
The general idea was that you called this out in a bid to warn the fairies and the souls walking around, especially at Hallowe’en and All Souls Night. Interestingly in Co. Offaly I’ve been told that some people refer to going out on Hallowe’en night as “Going out on the Huggadas’.
The saying is from the Irish and some suggest it comes ‘chugaibh, chugaibh an t-uisce salach!’ which literally translates as “To You, To Yoo - the dirty water!”
I’ve always loved the phrase and that’s why I called the song I wrote for my little ones “Huggada Huggada Taypot Jack”. Anyway, have a listen to Kathleen and Nora and their lovely accents and memories.
Samhain is a solstice when the vel between worlds is at its thinnest allowing both the fairy folk and the dead to crossover to the mortal world.