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Oh Blarney! A New Word that is used when no other works!

September 1, 2012

Oh Blarney! A New Word that is used when no other works!

The Queen herself as you can read on this photo was responsible for this great slang expression

Want the Gift of Gab offered up after you climb stairs 85 feet up from the ground
and hang upside down to kiss the Blarney Stone? Check out the photo below and see if

you have the nerve to hang so far off the ground with two attendants holding your ankles for stability! 

Shown here are two photos with the right photo as an example of a person hanging upside down-Ok, I forgot to tell you that there is a grate that would stop your fall! The photo on the left will also show you how far it really is from the top. That is where you Kiss the Blarney Stone. For those that suffer from fear of heights, I don’t recommend this adventure but indeed, you do not want to miss the visit here at the Castle and grounds.


Blarney – Ireland

This castle was built in 1446 and all that remains is the tower where the famous Blarney Stone is found.  The special gift according to history was said the Gift of Gab was to be bestowed if you hang upside down to kiss the rock.  Hint:  ‘Empty your pockets first. It was also said that tipping those that held your feet after you kiss the rock was customary. My advise is to do that beforehand!

There are several stories surrounding this special rock but the three that sounded official to me were that it was a special gift from Scotland but I liked the story about Queen Elizabeth 1.

But whether it true or not (and I can’t find a source to tell me) is that Queen Elizabeth 1 in the 16th century in her exhausted patience  dealing with the Irish Lord of Blarney and his witty flattery, said (supposedly)  “This is nothing but Blarney” and then a new word was introduced to the English language!  I have seen this story on the literature at the castle so I tend to believe this one.  Of course another was associated with this story or so it is said-Father Prout in the 1830’s may have given magical powers to the stone when he declared that whoever kisses it shall gain eloquence!  Now which tale or truth do you believe?

Now while we were there an official from the castle grounds told us that people that had taken a rock from the grounds had sent them back because after having the rocks in their possession, they had received the worst luck of their lives and after returning them reported back to the Castle Blarney their luck had improved again.  Magical powers?  Signs ask you not to remove these rocks from the grounds so unless you want to gamble with your luck, I would suggest you leave them where you see them.

Blarney is located about five miles from Cork City and reachable by car or bus.

We had a most enjoyable day looking at so much history and walking the grounds that were so well maintained along with a staff that could not have been nicer therefore grateful we had not missed this special attraction in Ireland.

A bit of history I was able to find from the Blarney Castle goes like this:

The Blarney Castle was originally built in the tenth century with it’s construction being a wooden one.   On around 1210 A.D. it was replaced by a stone structure with an entrance on the north face twenty some feet above the ground.  It was demolished and again in 1446 the third castle was built with the remains of what you see today.

There is much history about this castle and cutting a part of te facts alone would be confusing so should you want more, please contact me about your own signed copy of my book.

For special interest we decided to include the two photos below.  They were provided to us for your enjoyment by the Blarney Castle and so was the text that is with the photos..

“Where one can become Invisible!”

“The Fern Garden”

In bygone years, fern seeds were thought to make one invisible.  They allow the finder to understand the language of birds, find buried treasures, and have the strength of forty men.  As ever at Blarney, exploration is rewarded.”

“The Witch’s Stone”

“Fortunately for visitors, she only escapes the witch stone after nightfall – and we close at dusk.”

It takes little imagination to see who is imprisoned here.  The Witch of Blarney has been with us since the dawn of time.  Some say it was she who first told MacCarthy of the  power of the Blarney Stone.


Telephone: 00 353 21 438 5252





The special offer for this property comes from the River Lee Hotel.  Paula Cogan, Sales and Marketing Director calls it: “Gift of Gab” for our readers. She is the one that started many to follow with slogans that gave you a special offer exclusive to my book.  This special location and offer will be featured next week.

Once again, thank you for following my blogs and I hope you have enjoyed this part of our journey!

Rosemary “Mamie” Adkins



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  1. Ah – yet another piece of delightful Irish history to tantalize the imagination. No one does this as well as you Rosemary and so I thank you for sharing with us.

    • Linda,
      I can always count on you and your delightful support. Thank you for following along while I relive such wonderful memories.
      Take Good Care and come back soon.

  2. Raani York permalink

    I soooo love your history blog posts and the pictures… and some day I will probably believe that the grass in Ireland is greener than anywhere in the world. It’s beautiful! Thank you for sharing this Rosemary!!

    • Thank you Raani,
      I hope you will believe that and pack your bags with the rest of us and visit Ireland in 2013. Ireland is a land where you meet no strangers. This will be such a great journey with so many authors writing their own stories-imagine, romance, childrens, mysteries and all started in Ireland. A new marketing adventure too.
      Pack your bags!

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