New Hampshire: Blarney Spoken Here

Blarney Casstle Ireland, photograph 2005 by Janice Brown

Blarney Casstle Ireland, photograph 2005 by Janice Brown

Without a doubt, Blarney is spoken in New Hampshire. Even the word itself rolls off our tongues. Blarney comes from the Gaelic word, “Blar” which means an open field.

Blarney is not only indicative of possessing the “gift of gab,” but it is an actual place in Ireland.  County Cork hosts many magical locations, and the small village of Blarney, situated about 5 miles from Cork City, is one. The main attraction for tourists is the enchanting Blarney Castle, with its ever-sought “Blarney Stone.”

A few years back when I had the opportunity to kiss that stone, I did not.  For those of us in New Hampshire who are of Irish heritage, we have no need to bend backward in an awkward position, nor to press our lips to that cold stone. For we already possess that inherent ability to speak with grace, and to relate a tall tale.

The Irish are particularly fond of proverbs.  Although probably spoken in Gaelic, by the time they were imparted to me, they were in the English tongue.

Two from my lovely gram were….

… “If you wish to live and thrive, let the spider stay alive.” (She would GENTLY sweep a spider out of the house with a broom while reciting this.)

… “The map of Ireland is on your face.” (referring to the freckles often found on the face of the Irish, or those of Irish descent)

New Hampshire still has a population where many claim to be of Irish origin. When you walk the streets or visit the malls you can’t help but hear wee ghosts of the lilting Gaelic language in the current accents, and in certain words still used. (Conundrum, geezer, ginger [i.e. “you are full of …”], and even caca come to mind).

Let us hope that one hundred years from now, Blarney will still be spoken in New Hampshire.


This article was written for the 5th edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture. Don’t forget to contribute YOUR story! The carnival will be posted at A light that shines again on St. Ciarán’s Day, April 30.

Irish Sayings

-Irish Dictionary Online-


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