[ 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), blar·neyed, blar·ney·ing.

to flatter or wheedle; use blarney: He blarneys his boss with the most shameless compliments.

Nearby words

  1. blanquillo,
  2. blantyre,
  3. blantyre-limbe,
  4. blare,
  5. blaring,
  6. blarney stone,
  7. blart,
  8. blasco ibáñez,
  9. blasco ibáñez, vicente,
  10. blase

Origin of blarney

1760–70; after the hamlet Blarney, in Ireland; see Blarney stone Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for blarney

British Dictionary definitions for blarney


/ (ˈblɑːnɪ) /


flattering talk


to cajole with flattery; wheedle

Word Origin for blarney

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

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

Culture definitions for blarney


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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.