Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Usury.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun archaic Usury.
  • noun historical, Ireland A moneylender during the Great Famine.
  • noun Ireland, slang A mean, underhanded, corrupt person. Usually applied to politicians.
  • adjective Ireland Corrupt, underhanded.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Irish Gaelic gaimbín, diminutive of gamba, smidgen, lump.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Irish gaimbín ("monetary interest").

Examples

  • 'gombeen' behaviour will become unprofitable, and eventually legally prohibitive.

    Irish Blogs

  • 'gombeen' behaviour will become unprofitable, and eventually legally prohibitive.

    Irish Blogs

  • I would really love to hear some topical radio shows about Parnell and Robert Emmet and people like that rather than the gombeen gobshites we have to hear about every day these days.

    The Tae man | clusterflock

  • Whatever the medics and gombeen men would have you believe cannabis, whiskey and wine are psychologically and physically addictive.

    Giving evidence to the Chilcot inquiry, Tony Blair said: “I...

  • Kerry let me remind you is the former constituency of Dick Spring, former leader of the Labour Party and the current constituency of former IRA commander Martin Ferris TD, a man who was once caught red-handed shipping a cargo Libyan supplied arms and the home of gombeen Jackie Healey-Rae, a man who would make a St. Patrick's Day leprauchan blush with shame at his shameless stage Oirish paddywackery.

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with...

  • For now, 26 county gombeen Freestatism is the name of the game.

    Archive 2008-11-01

  • For now, 26 county gombeen Freestatism is the name of the game.

    We’re on the one road. Well, sort of.

  • There's plenty that can be said against gombeen politics - but a situation where people prioritise local needs is completely dependent on its existence.

    Archive 2007-11-01

  • And it was scarcely to be supposed the poet of the Roisín Dubh had in mind the coming of a shoneen talking-house, a gombeen legislature scrounged and cadged for by whiskey-swilling fixers in the imperial Parliament across the sea.

    At Swim, Two Boys

  • And it was scarcely to be supposed the poet of the Roisín Dubh had in mind the coming of a shoneen talking-house, a gombeen legislature scrounged and cadged for by whiskey-swilling fixers in the imperial Parliament across the sea.

    At Swim, Two Boys

Comments

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  • The gombeen woman Eliza Tudor had underlinen enough to vie with her of Sheba.

    Joyce, Ulysses, 9

    January 6, 2007

  • I had a teacher who used this a lot

    January 4, 2008

  • I think it's a teacher trick to choose one or two vocab words and beat them to death during the year. I had a geometry teacher who was particularly fond of superfluous. Dawdle is my personal mission for the 07/08 school year.

    January 4, 2008

  • I had a teacher who always threatened to "have our heads" when we misbehaved. I used to fancy them all lined up, shrunken to fist size, along the front edge of her desk.

    January 4, 2008

  • Why am I beginning to think of a list of teacher words? It's one of the those Word Reality = List Potentiality afflictions. I have it bad :-(

    January 4, 2008

  • Get jennarenn to help you. She's an expert. :-)

    January 4, 2008

  • Well, the only thing a teacher really needs to do is shoot you is the LOOK OF DEATH. Collecting the heads could get her classroom all messy.

    January 4, 2008

  • She liked to give us the impression that she wouldn't have minded the mess. Chalk it up (sorry) to Catholic school. ;-)

    January 4, 2008

  • I've heard that nuns do a really great LOOK OF DEATH. Never had the good fortune to be Catholic, so I missed all the "fun".

    January 4, 2008

  • Oh, they do indeed. And it comes with a nicely wrapped package of Burn in Hell, too. Highly effective. :-)

    January 4, 2008