Judge Your Coffee in Coffee Circuit Court?

In Alabama.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Unfortunately, the reality is quite boring—it's just the court in Coffee County. (There's also one in Coffee County, Tennessee, but that's usually called the Coffee County Circuit Court.) The county is apparently named after one John Coffee, and the surname supposedly comes from "the old Gaelic O'Cobhthaigh," which sounds more like coughing than coffee to me.

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  1. And if one of John Coffee’s lineal descendants now sat on the court, then Judge Coffee would judge Coffee.

    1. Would the bailiff please fetch Judge Coffee a cup of Coffee.

  2. Harumph! Clearly you care not whether the Gaels among us are offended!!

    1. He’s just being polite and avoiding cultural appropriation.

    2. With its huge thicket of silent letters and even silent syllables, Irish Gaelic is the only Latin-alphabet language with even more cockeyed spelling than English.

      In Boston in 2008, we joked that the Democratic Presidential nominee had a home-court advantage, because O’Bama sounded (sort of) like an Irish name. I would have liked to see a competition for an ornate (yet correctly pronounceable) “ancestral” Irish spelling for Obama: O’Bhamagh, O’Buathachmha, etc. (I do not actually know Irish Gaelic, so I cannot vouch for these.)

      Winners could be chosen in four separate categories: (1) most ornate; (2) most attractive-looking (to someone pronouncing it according to English rules) (3) has actual Irish meaning; (4) is an actual Irish name. (I doubt if there is a #4, however, or we would surely have heard of it by now.)

  3. Let’s discuss the crime problem in Yolo County, California.

  4. Complain all you want about the spelling of Irish words, but there is a reason for that. Prior to the spelling reform of the mid 20th century, the Irish used a somewhat different alphabet that incorporated the sounds of the language. If you pronounce it like you would an English word, it sounds odd, but since it is not English, you have to know the conventions in order to use the spelling to say the word. Most languages have the same issues but people dont make fun of them. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_orthography

    I am a descendant of a Coffee from County Kerry, so I know it is an Irish name (and John Coffee’s ancestor was an indentured servant from Ireland who came to VA.) I am from near Coffee County, TN and my sister lives there. Her coffee is not that great.

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