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Paddy has different meanings. There is a proper noun and two common nouns.

  • The proper noun is an abbreviation: Paddy is a short form of the forename Patrick. There are two main types of such shortenings: they are convenient for writing, e.g. in lists; or they are essentially spoken pet-names, and thus informal. (See Conventional abbreviations for forenames.)
Short form Long form Informal or written Other short forms Remarks
Paddy Patrick informal Pat label for a stereotypical Irishman. Pat was used, but is rare nowadays

There is a list of similar names at Conventional abbreviations for forenames, as well as the category:short names

Note that any informal form may be spelled in different ways. Notably, any spelling listed that ends in '-ie' may be written with the ending '-y', and vice versa.
"Paddy (Irish Páidín), pet-form of the male forename Patrick (Irish Pádraig)" (OED]]). This is the name of the apostle and patron saint of Ireland.
  • One of the common nouns derives from the proper noun. A 'paddy' is a derogatory term for an Irishman, implying certain element of stupidity (see Irish Bull) and bad behaviour such is normally ascribed to thodse against whom the speaker is prejudiced. From this come:
    • paddy as a generic name for Irish whiskey;
    • to be "in a paddy" is to be in a fit of anger, a tantrum; possibly one caused by the whiskey;
    • a paddy used to be the generic term for a bricklayer's mate, and unskilled labourer on a building site.