Shamrock, Blarney Stone, Slainte – Irish Phrases Defined
According to IrishCentral.com, “Slainte is the most used Irish expression in America our recent reader survey discovered. Slainte, meaning ‘Good Health’ is an ancient Irish expression that derives from the word Slan, meaning safe. It is used in different contexts, usually when downing a pint of Guinness, you say ‘Slainte’, before you begun drinking it.”
A shamrock is a 3-leaf clover and has been deemed a symbol of Ireland. Whether the origin came from the Holy Trinity of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, or from the three phases of the moon, the symbol remains and should not be confused with a four-leaf clover which symbolizes good luck.
The shamrock was traditionally used for medicinal purposes and today graces sports teams, coat of arms, a passport stamp, a flag, is a prison gang’s symbol and rocks McDonald’s as the well-known Shamrock Shake.
Shamrock Shake sightings have been going on for days now with a strategic website set up to share the findings! see: http://www.shamrockshake.com/ for your local minty freshness.
And then the Blarney Stone, a popular tourist site, is a block of bluestone built into the Blarney Castle that is near Cork, Ireland. According to legend, when a person kisses the stone (which you must do upside down and backwards), the gift of sweet talking comes upon the kisser so the word “blarney” has come to mean “clever talk or flattery.”
But this gift of gab may come at a high price (with a back ache) as Catherine Price lists the Blarney Stone as one of the “101 Places Not to See Before You Die” stating the kissing stone as unsanitary.
The Blarney Castle owner, Sir Charles, defended his attraction saying, “To my knowledge no one has ever caught anything from kissing the stone. I had an esteemed expert clarify that you cannot catch any disease from kissing the stone,” reported by the Irish Times per IrishCentral.com.