Who was Cormac Teige McCarthy?
In 1602, Cormac Teige MacCarthy, Lord of Blarney was under considerable pressure from Queen Elizabeth and Sir George Carew, her Deputy in Cork. Carew suspected MacCarthy of plotting against the Queen and wanted him to swear allegiance and hand over legal tenure of his lands. Every demand of the English Queen was met with protestations of undying loyalty, flattering references and suggestions that he 'seemed very inclinable to the notion'. Nothing, however, was actually moving forward and Carew complained of his 'fair words and soft speech'. On the receipt of yet another MacCarthy letter, Queen Elizabeth exclaimed, "This is all Blarney; what he says he never means!" And so the word slipped into the English language and the rest is history... taken from www.blarneycastle.ie