Where Did the Term “Blarney” Originate For the Irish Gift of the Gab and What Does the Word Mean?

Kissing the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle near Cork, Ireland, is supposed to transfer the gift of gab to the kisser.

But the idea that the word blarney meant a smooth talker came from the mouth of Elizabeth I of England in 1602.

She had insisted that Dermot McCarthy surrender Blarney Castle as proof of his loyalty, but he kept coming up with excuses.

There were so many excuses, in fact, that the Queen once exclaimed in exasperation, “Odds Bodkins, more Blarney talk!”

That’s why the Irish gift of the gab is called “blarney”.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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