today's terms, I guess you could say that the "Blarney Stone"
would now be called the "Blah Blah Blah Stone?" Or the
"BS Stone?" (And we know what the initials stand for don't
we!) There really is an actual stone in Cork, Ireland.
It's not a natural stone in the ground per se. It is on a
parapet. Tradition says that whoever kisses it will get the
"gift of gab." Were people that shy years ago that they
needed to kiss a stone?
No one is sure how
this tradition got started (like a lot of others), but the word
"blarney" in the dictionary means to speak with a flattering
tongue, over praise, overstate, hyperbole, schmooze, or in
today's society someone who says what you want to hear, but not exactly
what the truth is. Blarney can also be a lot of
"pre-determined complimentary statements" known in bars
as pick-up lines.
In the late 16th
century, someone named Cormac MacDermot MacCarthy had a castle. He
was suppose to turn it over to the crown (reasons unknown).
Because he kept delaying this and telling the Lord President of
Munster various excuses with smooth, eloquent speech, this became known
as "talkin' blarney." It worked for a while, but
eventually MacCarthy lost his castle. Afterwards, Sir John
Jefferys got the castle and added to it by building a Gothic-style
house. There was a fire, however, in 1820 and it all burnt to the
Since I have never
been to Ireland, I have no clue if the official Blarney Stone is from
the original castle or the added-on Gothic home. Does it really
matter? If you have the guts to kiss a stone in public, you're not
really very shy at all in the first place. And, today the stone is
located at the top of the castle. To safeguard it from all the
tourists, an iron grate surrounds it. So it's not easy to get to
and I'm told that in order to actually kiss the blarney stone you must
hang upside down while kissing!