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[blahr-nee] /ˈblɑr ni/
flattering or wheedling talk; cajolery.
deceptive or misleading talk; nonsense; hooey:
a lot of blarney about why he was broke.
verb (used with or without object), blarneyed, blarneying.
to flatter or wheedle; use blarney:
He blarneys his boss with the most shameless compliments.
Origin of blarney
1760-70; after the hamlet Blarney, in Ireland; see Blarney stone Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for blarney
Historical Examples
  • And though Philip declared it was blarney, and was inclined to think it infra dig.

    The Three Brides Charlotte M. Yonge
  • In Ireland, she had kissed the blarney stone and picked shamrock in the ruins.

    The Bill-Toppers Andre Castaigne
  • Edith said merrily, "you must have found an Italian blarney stone somewhere."

    Rafael in Italy Etta Blaisdell McDonald
  • All her share of the blarney of Ireland began to roll from the mellow tip of her tongue.

    Her Father's Daughter Gene Stratton-Porter
  • Why, to have a body to look at now and again, and to blarney, just that I might not forget the trick.

    The Eye of Dread Payne Erskine
  • blarney her cliverly, and work her to a foam against the McBrides.

  • But it wasn't to gaze at the view we had come to blarney Castle, it was to kiss the stone, and we went at once to look for it.

    The Charm of Ireland Burton Egbert Stevenson
  • If anybody wanted money, he kissed the blarney Stone and applied to Pete.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • But I saw through his blarney, and he was added to the list of those who preferred sister's hands to my attentions.

    Sketches of the East Africa Campaign Robert Valentine Dolbey
  • And yet, who could write of an Irish tour and make no reference to blarney.

    In Unfamiliar England Thomas Dowler Murphy
British Dictionary definitions for blarney


flattering talk
to cajole with flattery; wheedle
Word Origin
C19: after the Blarney Stone
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for blarney

1796, from Blarney Stone (which is said to make a persuasive flatterer of any who kiss it), in a castle near Cork, Ireland. As Bartlett explains it, the reason is the difficulty of the feat of kissing the stone where it sits high up in the battlement: "to have ascended it, was proof of perseverence, courage, and agility, whereof many are supposed to claim the honor who never achieved the adventure." So to have kissed the Blarney Stone came to mean "to tell wonderful tales" ["Dictionary of Americanisms," 1848]. The word reached wide currency through Lady Blarney, the smooth-talking flatterer in Goldsmith's "Vicar of Wakefield" (1766). As a verb from 1803.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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blarney in Culture

blarney definition

Smooth, flattering talk, often nonsensical or deceptive. Based on an Irish legend that those who kiss the Blarney Stone will become skilled in flattery.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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