Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for March 17, 2021 is:

blarney • BLAR-nee  • noun

1 : skillful flattery : blandishment

2 : nonsense, humbug


The bartender laughingly asked her gregarious patron if anyone ever believed his blarney.

“There’s plenty of blarney around the history of cocktails in general, and the Irish coffee is no exception. The most well-known origin story is that it was born in the 1940s, when a bartender at the Foynes airport in County Limerick served it to passengers who had disembarked half-frozen from a seaplane that had turned back due to bad weather. One of the passengers asked whether the delicious libation was Brazilian coffee, and the bartender replied, ‘No, that’s Irish coffee.'” — M. Carrie Allan, The Washington Post, 13 Mar. 2017

Did you know?

The village of Blarney in County Cork, Ireland, is home to Blarney Castle, and in the southern wall of that edifice lies the famous Blarney Stone. Legend has it that anyone who kisses the Blarney Stone will gain the gift of skillful flattery, but that gift must be attained at the price of some limber maneuvering—you have to lie down and hang your head over a precipice to reach and kiss the stone. One story claims the word blarney gained popularity as a word for “flattery” after Queen Elizabeth I of England used it to describe the flowery (but apparently less than honest) cajolery of McCarthy Mor, who was then the lord of Blarney Castle.

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