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Borrowed from Irish Seoinín, from Seon (John) + -ín (diminutive suffix).



shoneen (plural shoneens)

  1. (Ireland, derogatory) One who prefers English attitudes, customs or lifestyle to Irish ones.
    • 1889, W B Yeats, The Ballad of Father O'Hart
      Good Father John O'Hart / In penal days rode out / To a shoneen who had free lands / And his own snipe and trout.
    • 1922, James Joyce, Ulysses:
      So then the citizens begin talking about the Irish language and the corporation meeting and all to that and the shoneens that can’t speak their own language

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