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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for blarney
Historical Examples
  • 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
  • But why shouldn't you blarney with a gentleman, when you began by saving his life?

    The Gentleman From Indiana Booth Tarkington
  • blarney her cliverly, and work her to a foam against the McBrides.

  • If anybody wanted money, he kissed the blarney Stone and applied to Pete.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • The Irish race appear to have kissed the blarney stone in globo.

    My New Curate P.A. Sheehan
  • In Ireland, she had kissed the blarney stone and picked shamrock in the ruins.

    The Bill-Toppers Andre Castaigne
  • The blarney to put yourself over, and the ability to back it up.

    Hail to the Chief Gordon Randall Garrett
  • And yet, who could write of an Irish tour and make no reference to blarney.

    In Unfamiliar England Thomas Dowler Murphy
  • No one can wheedle like an Irish beggar or "blarney" like an Irish ward boss.

    The Old World in the New Edward Alsworth Ross
  • Its all sham and blarney, and a burning shame to you, to boot.

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 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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