You’ve probably heard of the Blarney Stone in Ireland. It is a block of limestone built into the battlements of Blarney Castle in Cork, Ireland. According to legend, kissing the stone (which must be done by leaning backward while holding onto two railings) endows the kisser with the gift of gab. That’s right - planting a wet one on that block of blue stone would result in being given the gift of eloquence. Is it baloney? Or blarney?
What is the difference between Blarney and Baloney, you ask?
“Baloney is when you tell a 50 year old woman she looks 18. Blarney would be to say ‘Tell me how old you are. I should like to know at what age women are most beautiful,’“ which is a quote from Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. He goes on further to say...
“There is a world of difference between ‘Blarney’ and ‘Baloney.’ Blarney is the varnished truth. Baloney is the unvarnished lie. Blarney is flattery laid on just thin enough to like it. Baloney is flattery laid on so thick we hate it. I firmly believe that if the world had a little more Blarney and a little less baloney it would not be in the mess it is today. Baloney is flattery laid on with a trowel. Blarney is flattery laid on with the lips; that is why you have to kiss the stone to get it.” – Archbishop Fulton Sheen
According to Irish politician John O’Connor Power, “Blarney is something more than mere flattery. It is flattery sweetened by humor and flavored by wit.’”
Me thinks the world may be a much better place with less baloney and more blarney!