Gifford identifes “Palefaces” as being “Irish slang for the English,” derived from a term supposedly used by native Americans for their “white English conquerors.” But Joyce is also playing with a uniquely Irish resonance, as Gifford goes on to note. In the late Middle Ages, the Pale was the small part of Ireland that remained under the direct control of the English crown after the Anglo-Norman invasions of the late twelfth century succumbed to intermarriage and alliance with various Gaelic chieftains.

JH 2011

Ireland in 1450. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

The Pale in 1488. Source: Wikimedia Commons.