~~~~~~~~Sunset #1009 from my deck.~~~~~~~~
One of those great words that warped and changed a little as it travelled the many thousands of miles across the stormy ocean from Ireland to Newfoundland.
Here is the standard definition:
pi·shogue also pi·shoge (p-shg)
1. Black magic; sorcery.
2. An evil spell; an incantation.
And that is what I remember from my granny. Who was both a giver and receiver of the pishogue. She would tell me about pishogues being cast by dicey characters in her village and you'd have to ward them off with holy water and a crucifix. I remember one time that the pishogue that was cast on one of her brothers and his family was so awful, she couldn't begin to tell me. All she would say was that it involved black things coming out of the body. My granny. Creator of nightmares of stark, raving terror in the four year old entrusted to her care and protection.
Here is the Dictionary of Newfoundland English definition, a few spelling twirls (I love the fishogues, particularly!) along the way but the basic meaning survived intact apart from the spells.
pishogue n, usu pl also pisherogue, fizoge*, etc. [phonetics unavailable]. EDD ~ Ir; JOYCE 302; DINNEEN piseog 'witchcraft, sorcery,' pl, 'superstitious acts.' Incredible story, foolish talk; complaint.
1931 BYRNES 121 How many years have passed my friends, since you heard these once familiar localisms?. . . 'Sure it's all pisherogues.' 1937 DEVINE 37 ~s Superstitions. Gossipy yarns and incredible stories. 1968 DILLON 138 Fishogues, pisharogues—superstitions about ghosts, fairies, etc, matters a person complains about. 'Them are only some of your old fishogues.'
Today's post brought to you by the letter P from The Dictionary of Newfoundland English in partnership with the rest of the alphabet beginning here.