"Whale oil beef hooked” are words that have been printed on many images. Supposedly, it’s a joke of how an Irish persons says, “Well, I’ll be fucked.” The words have been cited in print since at least 1975.
“How to speak Irish in one easy lesson: Say very quickly: WHALE OIL BEEF HOOKED” was printed in a London magazine in 1985 and recorded in Béaloideas: The Journal of the Folklore of Ireland Society in 1986.
The New Review
Volume 2, Issues 13-24
‘Chrissy White’s Jug Band’ was scratched on the dashboard, ‘Whale Oil Beef Hooked’, ‘Brillo Pads’, ‘Costello’s Castella’ and other items.
The Journal of the Folklore of Ireland Society
They make an occasional appearance, however, as in the following item from a London rag mag of 1985:
How to speak Irish in one easy lesson:
Say very quickly:
A Serious Look at Humour
By John R. Durant and Jonathan Miller
Essex, Eng.: Longman Scientific & Technical; New York, NY: Wiley
How to speak Irish in one easy lesson. Say very quickly:
Summer 1992, The New Welsh Review, pg. 56:
Whale Oil Beef Hooked
29 October 1994, The Times (London, UK), “Home is where the plaque is” by Oliver Bennett, pg. ?:
This tradition continues: Peter Watson, of Watson Signs in Richmond, North Yorkshire, recently made a Dambreezy for a hilltop homestead, and he has even sold dozens of a sign reading Whale Oil Beef Hooked, which needs to be read out loud for maximum impact.
OCLC WorldCat record
Author: Beat Farmers (Musical group)
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : Sector 2, p©1995.
Edition/Format: Music CD : CD audio : English
Whale, oil, beef, hooked --
26 February 1996, The Irish Times (Dublin, Ireland), “This healthy living business is really a laugh” by William Reville, pg. 2, col. 7:
Here is one I read recently, of American origin—Question: What is a real quick way to learn Irish? Answer: Repeat the following words in quick succession—WHALE, OIL, BEEF, HOOKED.
Can you say “whale oil beef hooked” without sounding like a paddy swearing?
6:32 AM - 10 May 2008
Whale Oil. Beef Hooked. Say it with a pirate accent.
7:09 AM - 7 Jun 2008
Whale Oil Beef Hooked...once again, now with a Scottish accent!
6:49 PM - 10 Sep 2008
The Mammoth Book of Great British Humour
By Michael Powell
London: Constable & Robinson, Ltd
Try saying, “Whale oil beef hooked”, without sounding like an Irish man swearing.
Irish 101: Say “whale oil beef hooked” 5 times fast #StPatricksDay
11:49 AM - 17 Mar 2017 from Torrance, CA