Started conversation May 22, 2006
I'm new here.
I got here by searching Irish slang. And I was wondering if anyone knew the meaning of the phrase 'Billy Boys', as used in Jack Vettriano's paintings.
Posted May 22, 2006
I think it is a word used by Northern Protestants - referring to King William (William of Orange) - "We are the Billy Boys" - as in (King) William's Boys.
It's a rather sad fact that often you can tell "what side" people are from just from their names in the North. Billy is a common Protestant first name, as is Sammy and George and Harry. Conor, Gerry, Jimmy, Michael or Kevin are common Catholic names.
Posted Jun 19, 2007
The Billy Boys were in fact Glaswegian, as far as I remember a gang which murdered Roman Catholics and were involved in a load of criminal activity. I have a book about them somewhere .... I must look it out. I think the name came to Northern Ireland via Rangers FC.....
If I get that book I'll come back to this.