Where does the phrase “a Donnybrook fair” come from and What does it mean?

The phrase “a Donnybrook fair” means: Strife and contention; a melee; Bedlam broke loose; hell’s a-popping.

Why? Because Donnybrook, now a part of Dublin, was a place where, every year for six centuries beginning in 1204, a riotous fair was held each August.

Originally the fair lasted for two weeks, but eventually that became too taxing for even the most fun-loving of the natives of the town and the exhibitions and festivities were cut down in later years to one week.

where does the phrase a donnybrook fair come from and what does it mean

Needless to say, huge quantities of usquebaugh were consumed even in that one week, and a quick-tempered Irishman found ample occasion to crack a crown with his stout shillelah.

Probably to the regret of none, the fair was discontinued in 1885.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist for zippyfacts.com. Born in New York, she loves interesting random facts from all over the world.