Over a thousand years ago, Saint Patrick’s Day (March 17) was first celebrated with a large feast. Today, the patron saint of Ireland is fêted somewhat differently. All around the world, people of all nationalities get into the spirit of the celebration by wearing green, dressing up as leprechauns, and throwing raucous parties.
One part of the Saint Patrick’s Day traditions hasn’t changed, though—wearing a shamrock, the national emblem of Ireland. The word shamrock comes from the Irish seamróg, meaning “small clover,” which is a green plant with three leaves. This is probably why shamrocks are often mixed up with the lucky four-leaf clover … and in turn, how the Irish became associated with luck. (It’s not clear, exactly, how four-leaf clovers themselves came to be seen as lucky, but it’s a superstition that dates to at least 1846.)
If you’re going to celebrate good ol’ Saint Patrick, make sure you know how to write the holiday correctly. Is St. Patricks Day or St. Patrick’s Day correct?
In fact, you’re probably familiar with the somewhat loaded expression “the luck of the Irish.” This cliché, used primarily in the United States, describes how the Irish are seen to have an almost magical ability to attract good luck. The origins of this expression are disputed, and its meaning has likely changed somewhat over time (not least because the Irish were not necessarily a lucky people, historically speaking).
All this is to say, these days many associate the Irish and the holiday of their patron saint with a whole lotta luck.
Lucky, which comes from the Middle Dutch luc, means “fortunate.” It’s possible that the word was adopted into English as a gambling term—and you can see how being fortunate would be a big deal if you’re placing a bet!
As Saint Patrick’s Day rolls around, you might be interested to know other ways you can talk good fortune. Well, luckily, you’ve come to the right place! We’ll help you get into the spirit of the holiday with some fun synonyms for lucky.