See more synonyms for blarney on
  1. flattering or wheedling talk; cajolery.
  2. 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.
  1. 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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for blarney

Historical Examples of blarney

  • 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?

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for blarney


  1. flattering talk
  1. 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

blarney in Culture


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.