The Sanas of Fluke is not a fluke

Daniel Cassidy DanCas1 at AOL.COM
Sun Dec 12 20:09:16 UTC 2004

Fo-luach   (pron fu'look)
A rare result or reward.

Fo-, prefix, Rare, occasional.  (Fo- can also mean  "low")
Luach: Effect, result; reward, recompense, payment. 
"Fluke, from middle 1800s, British. An extraordinary or unpredictable  event. 
 Origin unknown." (American  Slang, Robert Chapman,  p. 143).

A  Texas-Irish "Fluke" 
In 1947, Benny Binion, an illiterate Texas-Irish road gambler, Policy  (Padh 
lae samh, pron. paah lay saah, "Easy Payday")  Wheel operator, dice "fader," 
and triggerman, who had been a  Big  "Shot"  (Seod, pron. shodt, a big "Chief" 
or  "Warrior") in Texas gambling and political circles for twenty years, fled  
the Dallas underworld for Las Vegas with two million dollars cash in the 
trunk  of his maroon Cadillac. Binion opened up The Horseshoe Casino on the Vegas 
Strip  in 1951 and went on to found the World Series of Poker in 1970. He 
remained a major figure in Las Vegas gambling until his death  in 1989. ( Ed Reid 
and Ovid Demaris, Green Felt Curtain, Ch. 10, ,  NY, 1963;  Maryellen Glass, 
Benny Binion: An Oral  History, Univ. Nevada, 1973).  
]“In about 1928, 1 opened up what they call a "policy"  -it's  kind of a 
numbers business– in Dallas, Texas. I started with fifty-six dollars  that day. 
The first day, I made eight hundred dollars. And, of course, that was  a kind of 
a fluke ( fo-luach) thing....In  1936, the city of Dallas kinda' opened up 
gambling. So I went into the dice  business there.. And then in '46 -- the last 
of '46, things was rocky there, no  good... couldn't operate. Yeah, had to 
go... So we came out here {to Las Vegas},  and we was very successful.”         
(Benny Binion: An Oral History).
The massive, hidden, silent Irish and Scots-Gaelic influence on  the American 
language is not a fo-luach.
Daniel Cassidy
The Irish Studies Program
New College of California
San Francisco

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