The White O‘Morn Cottage and the Origin of the Muddy Boots Landscaping Name

Muddy Boots. The name. The logo. I get regular compliments on these things from clients, Uber drivers , fortune tellers, and Uber-driving, fortune-telling clients. I’m always flattered, but I end up telling the rather mundane story about how I wanted something a little whimsical that didn’t sound like the name of a law firm, and how I sat down at the kitchen table and made a list of 20 names and this one just sort of floated to the top.

But one comment from an acquaintance recently took me aback.

I take a dog agility training class on Tuesday evenings. As another student was arriving with her dog for the next class and I was leaving, she told me she really liked the name of my company, and that I must be a big fan of The Quiet Man.

Well, that’s one I never heard before!

She explained that there was a line in the movie where Will Danaher (nemesis to John Wayne’s Sean Thornton) is told, upon entering the White O’Morn cottage, to “Wipe your muddy boots”. (Or YER Muddy Boots, depending on the transcription.)

I was impressed. I can quite unimpressively recite select dialog from Star Wars and Pulp Fiction, but here is someone quoting an obscure (to say the least) line from a movie that does not even exist if you are under 40. (My wife is over 40, and claims to have seen The Quiet Man more than 20 times.)

It turns out that there is a movement afoot in Ireland to save this cottage from total decay and ruin. The cottage has its own Facebook page and website. You can read all about it here.

UPDATE 9-30-2020:

I’ve deleted the website and Facebook links to the White O’Morn cottage restoration project since those sites are now gone. I’m not sure if they’ve given up, or if they accomplished their mission. I’ll update this when I have more information.

The cottage seems to be known as both White O’Morn and White O’Mornin. It’s Sean Thornton’s mother’s ancestral Irish home. Thornton is on some sort of quest to return to a more innocent land of Eden and escape a troubled boxing career back in the States, and his purchase of the cottage is an integral part of the movie.

So, now I have a much more interesting explanation for the company name. Maybe not true, but more interesting. (“It’s funny that you ask. I’ve always been a big fan of John Wayne – especially his work in The Quite Man. Well, there’s this line in the movie…”)

2 thoughts on “The White O‘Morn Cottage and the Origin of the Muddy Boots Landscaping Name”

  1. Mary Ellen Sherman

    If you’re not Irish, you should be. You have a great story-telling gift and love of the language!

  2. Just a very late note re Steve’s Irish blood. states as follows “Irish: Anglicized form of Ó Canann or Ó Canáin ‘descendant of Cano or Canán’ “.
    Seems to me that there just might be some of the Irish here.

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