Paddy’s Market

When I was a kid my Mum would use the expression “Paddy’s Market” quite often, to describe a messy, chaotic place e.g.

Tidy up your bedroom! It’s like Paddy’s Market!

Actually, that’s not so much an “e.g.” as an “invariably”.

Anyway, I always assumed that “Paddy’s Market” was a well-known term, but later began to think it wasn’t used very much at all in the Big Wide World.

The name “Paddy’s Market” clearly derives from the name of a place in Glasgow, which is perhaps testament to my family’s Scottish connections but it may be commonplace on Tyneside (where I was born) and even elsewhere. I just don’t know how widespread is its use.

Anyone out there in the blogosphere care to comment?


4 Responses to “Paddy’s Market”

  1. Here in America my mom always said something messy looked like Fibber McGee’s closet.

  2. I’d never heard the phrase until you blogged it. Then today my wife described where she is as “like Paddy’s market” meaning not necessarily untidy but with lots of people rushing about in all directions in an uncoordinated fashion. There’s a name for such coincidences, I think – in that they are not coincidences because the listener is sensitised by the first use?
    She comes from South Wales but spent a lot of time in London. No Glasgow connection at all.

  3. In the 1960s and 70s ,when I was a youngster, my mother (who was from a Glasgow suburb) would use the phrase a lot to describe something that was untidy or chaotic. I use it myself occasionally,

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