Tilly

In Brief

Applying free indirect style in a small way to a minor character, the narrative of Telemachus approaches the language of the old milkwoman when it says "She poured again a measureful and a tilly." Like the "baker's dozen" of English tradition, "tilly" is a Hiberno-English word for giving customers a little additional measure of the substance they are purchasing. It comes from the Irish tuilleadh, meaning "extra" or "added."

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In An Anglo-Irish Dialect Glossary for Joyce's Works (Syracuse UP, 1987), Richard Wall defines "tilly" as "a small added measure given by milkmen, shopkeepers, etc., to their customers." Terence Patrick Dolan's A Dictionary of Hiberno-English (Gill and Macmillan, 1998) supplies a similar definition: "a small amount added to anything as a token gift or for good measure, especially by milkmen." Dolan supplies the example of a seller from Cork who "always gave a tuille with a pint of milk." 

JH 2019
1985 photograph of milk being delivered by horse cart in an Irish village. Source: www.etsy.com.