- Black magic; sorcery.
- An evil spell; an incantation.
Origin of pishogueIrish Gaelic píseog, from Middle Irish pisóc, piseóc.
In James Joyce's novel Ulysses (1922, p. 307), the Citizen famously misuses this word, which he confuses with another word of Irish origin:
- "” Half and half, I mean, says the Citizen. A fellow that's neither fish nor fowl ... A pishogue, if you know what that is.
The word the Citizen should be using is pithogue, from the Irish piteog, which means "an effeminate man", "a dandy", "a sissy" or (in modern usage) "a homosexual", which is probably what lies behind the Citizen's insult. The term pishogue is never applied to individuals.
Joyce may have deliberately confused the spelling for two reasons:
- the Citizen vents an opinion without actually knowing full well what he is talking about.
- the pishogue is seen in reference as a prophecy, an aphorism on the disappearing divide between men and women, or as a spell cast on the future of the colonial man of that era.
Anglo-Irish, from Irish piseog (“witchcraft"), from Middle Irish piseÃ³c, pisÃ³c.