Definition of blarney in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈblɑːni/


[mass noun]
1Talk which aims to charm, flatter, or persuade (often considered typical of Irish people): it took all my Irish blarney to keep us out of court
More example sentences
  • Right now you're either dazzling the general populace with brilliance or charming them with blarney.
  • There is an absence of celebrity backers on the pro side - but there is the fast-talking Irishman driving the Scottish bid team with charm, blarney and bundles of enthusiasm.
  • I last saw Peggy in late July and she was as enthusiastic as ever - full of that Irish blarney that saw her through her life.
informal sweet talk, soft soap, smarm, spiel, ego massage, buttering up, cosying up, cuddling up
British informal flannel
Australian/New Zealand informal guyver, smoodging
archaic glozing, lip salve
rare cajolement
1.1Amusing and harmless nonsense: this story is perhaps just a bit of blarney
More example sentences
  • There was quite a bit of the old blarney left in this extremely complicated New Englandy-Irish lady yet.
  • This sweet, straightforward story has enough Irish charm to overcome the occasional blarney.
  • There's probably a wee bit of Irish blarney in that tale - but it's what helps make him a great tour guide.

verb (blarneys, blarneying, blarneyed)

[with object]
Influence or persuade (someone) using charm and pleasant flattery: he went overboard in blarneying him into thinking that Joe considered him a nice guy
More example sentences
  • He had blarneyed the Jaguar driver into taking him along.
  • Disguised first as a horse dealer and later as a holy man, he successfully blarneyed his way through regions, which were not a part of British-held India at the time.
  • So he blarneyed his way into flight school and a couple of years later flew night missions over Vietnam in an F-4.


Late 18th century: named after Blarney, a castle near Cork in Ireland, where there is a stone said to give the gift of persuasive speech to anyone who kisses it.

Words that rhyme with blarney

Afghani, ani, Armani, Azerbaijani, Barney, biriani, Carney, frangipani, Fulani, Galvani, Giovanni, Hindustani, Killarney, maharani, Mbabane, Modigliani, Omani, Pakistani, Rafsanjani, Rajasthani, rani, sarnie

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: blar|ney

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