Genesis good for you
U 7.497: Our old ancient ancestors, as we read in the first chapter of Guinness's, were partial to the running stream.
FW 4.24: by the might of moses, the very water was eviparated and all the guenneses had met their exodus.
Don Gifford (Ulysses Annotated, p. 137) asserts that Lenehan's pun confusing ‘Genesis’ with ‘Guinness's, the famous Dublin brewery’ was ‘a common pun in Dublin’. And the evidence shows that Gifford is quite right.
There were several Guinness’s/Genesis anecdotes doing the rounds of the newspapers in the late nineteenth century, thanks for heavy syndication on the leisure pages. Perhaps the most popular was this one, in which Guinness’s XXX (Guinness’s Triple XXX porter) is confused with Genesis xxx. (chapter thirty of the Book of Genesis):
Those early series of Notes and Queries often contain much more rambling and anecdotal information than does today’s periodical. The story was picked up widely, across the world, from California to Queensland.
Another instance of the confusion between ‘Guinness’s’ and ‘Genesis’ appears in a second story syndicated across the globe in the closing years of the nineteenth century. A typical example comes from the New York Observer of 1895:
Closer to home, Ulick O’Connor quotes a rhymed epistle Gogarty sent to his Oxford friend G. K. A. Bell from the Sandycove tower in the summer of 1904, where we find:
Joyce’s reference to the ‘first chapter of Guinness’s’ is recalled in several sources just after the publication of Ulysses in 1922, but clearly representing an independent stream. In 1923 the Sunday Times of Perth, Western Australia offers, in its ‘Verse and Worse’ section:
The expression ‘thirsty-first’ had a brief vogue with reference to the so-called ‘Thirsty-First of June’, the day notionally interposed between the last day of June and I July 1919, the first day of Prohibition in America.
Later on, the theme continues, as in the Manchester Guardian of 2 June 1931:
Joyce's Environs >