About the Author
Mass Effect
Final Fantasy X
Batman:Arkham City
Borderlands Series
Weekly Column
Champions Online
World of Warcraft
DM of the Rings
Good Robot
Project Frontier

Pop Culture Shamus

By Shamus
on Sunday Jul 9, 2006
Filed under:
Nerd Culture


My name might be rare, but I’m betting for most of you this isn’t the first place you heard it.

There was a computer game for the Atari and Commodore 64 8-bit computer systems called Shamus, which came out in 1984. It could be described as “the thinking man’s Berzerk”, but only if he isn’t thinking too hard.

In 1973 Burt Reynolds starred in a movie titled “Shamus”, where he played a private detective. “Shamus” used to be slang for detective way back when, probably due to the fact that many of them were Irish immigrants, and many of those would have been named Shamus. There is an even more obscure 1959 movie of the same name.

In The Big Lebowski, The Dude meets a private detective who has mistaken The Dude for a fellow private detective, and they have this conversation:

Da Fino, Private Snoop: I’m a Brother Seamus!
The Dude: A Brother Seamus? What… like an Irish monk?
Da Fino, Private Snoop: …What the f**k are you talking about?

In Back to the Future III, Marty travels back in time and meets his ancestor, Seamus McFly.

I have no idea how you could ever put this information to use, but there it is.

Comments (7)

  1. MOM says:

    Wow! A subject I know something about. To add to your collection of Seamus/Shamus trivia, I read that a detective in England is called a James which is the christian name of which Shamus is the gaelic form. Also James is the english form of Jacob. Jacob means supplanter- one who takes by trickery or coercian the position of another. Furthermore, for those wondering why your name is misspelled, I found it listed in a book of baby names with the Sh spelling in 1971. I don’t reallty regret it as the name is odd enough without the gaelic spelling. It is cropping up more often now. You forgot the most infamous example of the name given to his dog by Bill Clinton.( I don’t know what spelling he used)

    Tomorrow you can tell everyone about your middle name!


  2. Alex says:

    The day we see someone in popular culture with the surname “Doenau”, we’ll know that the world’s authors have run out of names (No, my epic tales of the battles between the Doenau Dynasty and the CAP Clan do not count, because I wrote them).

  3. MOM says:

    and btw, have you considered the irony that Jacob was the SON of Isaac?

  4. shamus dark says:

    And there’s me, Shamus Dark, the greatest crooner yet to be discovered…

    Check out the music at:


  5. AndrewNZachsDad says:

    OMG! I had a copy of that game! I never finished it, and there was no internet for me to get a walkthrough on. In my defense, tho, I think the main reason I didn’t finish was because which ever system I played it on (could have been my TRS-80 CoCo II) crapped out, but I don’t remember.

    My wife and I are having boy #2 on Tuesday. Wonder if I could convince her to use Shamus as a middle name…

    Zachary Edward Shamus Davison…I like that! :)

  6. Browncoat says:

    Don’t forget Seamus (Finnigan?) in the Harry Potter Universe.

  7. “Seamus” is also a song on Pink Floyd’s 1971 album Echoes. It was about (and featured a vocal performance from) Seamus, a hound owned by Steve Marriott of Humble Pie fame.

Leave a Reply

Comments are moderated and may not be posted immediately. Required fields are marked *


Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun.

You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>