Vocabulary Roll Call!

So, I’m reading this contemporary romance with late 20-somethings. The Irish guy uses words like “spitfire,” “vixen,” and “courting.” Mind you, I’ve never been to Ireland, but I have been over the UK and never heard any under 30-something or even over 30-something use these words. I feel like I’m reading an old Harlequin romance.

Anyone have input or thoughts? Or would like to inform me that, “Why, yes. Our Irish 20-somethings do use these words in their everyday language.”

Each time I read one of these words I feel like I’m being poked in the eye. Boing.

Thanks.

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13 replies »

  1. Are they using it ironically or in a mocking way? Is the heroine ‘old fashioned’ in some way so it’s meant to be clever? Or maybe there’s a plot twist coming and he’s traveled into the future in a nuclear DeLorean?

  2. I love hearing about the stuff you encounter as a prolific reader! Fortunately for me I have a critique group that catches and stops me when I occasionally stumble back in time with words. As I’m Irish/Scot, my characters tend to have these roots and although I’ve been to both Ireland and Scotland, I still watch A LOT of BBC and movies set in Ireland and the UK to pick up speech. But Ireland is a place unto itself. I doubt these words would be heard in cities like Dublin, but in the country villages–possible.

    • The story is set in Dublin and the Irish guy went to university in the US and currently works for an Irish company in Boston. My feeling is that he would have been teased out of any quaint words if they had originally been part of his vocabulary.

      At times I just feel nitpicky.

      Glad you have such a great support and critique group!

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