Elizabeth I and the Blarney Stone

A very Happy St Patrick’s Day to all of our Irish visitors! Hope you have a great day and please enjoy a pint of Guinness for me!

Thanks to Paudie Kennelly for telling me about this legend. On the Wikipedia page for the Blarney Stone, that famous block of bluestone in Ireland, it says that “it is claimed that the synonymy of “blarney” with “empty flattery” or “beguiling talk” derives from one of two sources. One story involves the goddess Clíodhna and Cormac Laidir MacCarthy. Another suggests that Queen Elizabeth I, while requesting an oath of loyalty to retain occupancy of land, received responses from Cormac Teige McCarthy, the Lord of Blarney, which amounted to subtle diplomacy, and promised loyalty to the Queen without “giving in.” Elizabeth proclaimed that McCarthy was giving her “(a lot of) blarney,” thus apparently giving rise to the legend.”

So, was Elizabeth I the first person to tell someone that they were talking “a load of blarney”? Perhaps so!

By the way, Elizabeth I had a tiny bit of Irish blood – see “Anne Boleyn’s Irish Roots” for details.

Happy St Patrick’s Day and here is an Irish joke for you:-

An Irishman and an American were sitting in the bar at Shannon Airport.

“I’ve come to meet my brother,” said the Irishman. “He’s due to fly in from
America in an hour’s time. It’s his first trip home in forty years”.

“Will you be able to recognize him?” asked the American.

“I’m sure I won’t,” said the Irishman, “after all, he’s been away for a long time”.

“I wonder if he’ll recognize you?” said the American.

“Of course he will,” said the Irishman. “Sure, an’ I haven’t been away at all”.

Joke from St Patrick’s Day Jokes

5 thoughts on “Elizabeth I and the Blarney Stone

  1. I had no idea that it referred to an actual stone. The kids in my class only know that March 17th means to wear green. They had on shamrock necklaces and had no idea what it was that they were wearing. As for St. Patrick, well, that name meant nothing to them. It really is hard to work with kids who have lived in the US all their lives and yet have not picked up on any of its traditions. Some one thought St, Patrick was Cesar Chavez! Some days I want to pull the covers over my head and hide.

  2. I had always heard a rumor that the locals pee on the stone and get a kick out of gullible tourists kissing it! Don’t have any idea if that’s true or not; it’s just what pops into my mind when someone says “Blarney Stone”.

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