Okay, I’ll admit it.  I really had no idea how dark a definition this word has until I was strapped with posting about it.  I feel a certain sense of pride in my vocabulary and, while I guess it’s a good thing I learned something new, I’m still skulking a little at my absolute confusion about what it really meant.

shenanigans | sh əˈnanəgənz| plural noun informal
•secret or dishonest activity or maneuvering : widespread financial shenanigans had ruined the fortunes of many.
• silly or high-spirited behavior; mischief
ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: of unknown origin.

I mean, did you know that’s what it meant?  Sheesh.  I thought leprechauns.  Not that it involved them, but that it was the kind of thing they’d be into.  Go figure.

So, let’s talk about dishonest activity.  Have I mentioned that I downloaded and printed a copy of the Gomery Report that I’ve been sinking my teeth into lately?  Nah, let’s not go there.

Here in Vancouver, there’s a bar (or night club, if you’re in the habit of using the term loosely) called Shenanigans.  Located on Robson Street – often considered the hub of downtown activity – many a friend of mine has done some time in there, just never with me in tow.

My high school (and later) boyfriend cut his adult teeth there, that is if, by adult, you mean roaring amounts of booze, various drugs and fake IDs.  I was younger than he and his friends so I was never invited along.  That and I was the only girlfriend that collective crowd could muster together.  While always remaining somewhat disgruntled about being left out, I still enjoyed listening to the stories of what those boys got up to out there.  And there were plenty of stories, let me tell you.

Considering the scope of the definition, I defy anyone to come up with a more appropriate name for a bar.  Really, is there any location that better incubates debauchery, deceit or dishonest activity in the guise of high-spirited behavior and mischief?  Probably not.  And what a wonderful word that it can encompass all of that and isn’t a bar as fun as it is for being all of that?

Ah, shenanigans and bars.  While I have plenty of my own secrets inspired by that lethal combination, I also have a lot of tales of mischief.  I will say this: I think the best part of a night out with the girls, the hijinks that inspire the most laughs and fond memories are those opportunities (often necessary) when you get the chance to alter your identity.  Boys, if you ever meet a girl named Ginger, buy her a drink.  It just may be Bex.  And if Kelly introduces you to her sister who is visiting from Paris, complete with accent that’ll be me.  Is there anything better than leaving your life behind and becoming someone else for a few hours?   Now that’s the kind of shenanigans I can really get down with.

Yes, we’re already in week four of the Blog-Off For Breast Cancer.  Who knew I’d still be around?


10 Responses to “Shenanigans”

  1. Courtney Says:

    I need to look up the origins of the word. The Irish association is bothering me. Not in a bad way, just making me curious.

    Bars are always good places for hijinks. A good time to let down your hair, relax your inhibitions and really let loose. Probably a good thing that I don’t go more often. 🙂

  2. Erin Says:

    I haven’t heard that word in so long! My grandmother ALWAYS used to accuse my sister and I of the “shenanigans”… lol.

    It came out like “I’m sick and tired of your shenanigans”
    Or – “Don’t give me those shenanigans”

    At one point we thought it was her favorite word 🙂

    We also had a shenanigans in New Bedford where I grew up. It was a fabulous Irish pub that I was much too young to get into at night, but we would eat there during the day. Ah, the memories 🙂

  3. Tara Says:

    Yeah, I hadn’t realized that it had such evil connotations. I just thought it was causing a bit of mischief.

  4. Evey Says:

    Well done my friend. This was a TOUGH word for me. But you already know that, I really struggled to find something to write. That aside, we came through anyways.

    I was shocked too when I looked up shenanigans that the definition in some cases was associated with evil stuff. When I think of it I always think more on the side of fun pranks. I dunno, perhaps its just me.

    Speaking of bars, I used to frequent The Blarney Stone when I lived in Vancouver. Fun times.

  5. jan Says:

    One of my favorite things in the world is to go to bars with two of my friends dressed in disguises and practicing our newly acquired accents to meet new people we never intend to see again.

  6. H. (aka NC_State_gal) Says:

    Strange, I saw several different definition of shenanigans and some of those definitions indicate that it was founded in SF, of all places by Irish Americans! Yet, I know several of my Irish friends (from Ireland) say shenanigans quite frequently :). Nice post!

  7. Say Rah! Says:

    i worked in a bar called shenganigan’s here in sioux falls. and i’ve gotten into plenty there as well!

  8. kelly Says:

    “Shamrocks and Shenanigans” By House of Pain. On the same album as “Jump Around” circa 1992? That’s all I can think of.

    Ah yes, my sister from Paris. I once pulled off being from Holland for a night, at the Blarney Stone of all places, Evey! Good times….

  9. durante vita Says:

    Loving your interpretation. Can’t top the bar, that’s for sure.

    At some point, I should mention that my husband and I got married in Vancouver. Maybe later.

  10. QueenieCarly Says:

    Ha! I never even thought of that record, Kel! That’s awesome.

    That’s pretty cool, DV. Did you guys spend a lot of time here? What did you guys think of the city?

    And Jan, that’s awesome! And exactly what I mean. Creating a new identity is the most fun ever!

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