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What is the Definition of Malarkey?

What is the Definition of Malarkey?
defination of malarkey
(Last Updated On: October 24, 2023)

Do you like to know about new words and their unique meaning? Vocabulary learning is a good way to improve your first and second languages. It is never difficult to learn new words in the English language. You can simply improve your vocabulary by developing a reading habit. Search online and look for new words and make sentences of them. You can keep a diary and write the list of words you learn each day. In this article, the English word i.e. Malarkey is explained in detail. People spent their days and nights figuring out its actual meaning.

Universal Translation Services works to offer the best services to its clients. It is our responsibility to solve the queries and answer the problems of our customers. Through experts’ help, we’ve provided this guide that primarily focuses on the word Malarkey and its definition. So, let’s study all about this topic!

interesting to know about malarkey

What is The Definition of Malarkey?

The basic meaning of the word Malarkey is ‘nonsense and meaningless talk’. According to Merriam-Webster, it means insincere or foolish talk. It is a noun and people use it in their casual language. This word is popularly used in slang culture. It has some other synonyms as well including Nonsense, housefathers, bushwah, humbug, bunkum, rubbish, twaddle, exaggeration, lies. Malarkey originally became US slang, first seen in print in 1924 in the Indiana Gazette. Being extremely rich in publicity, the word is in use by many people.

Origin of Malarkey

The word Malarkey which means exaggerated talk is expected to find its origin in Irish-American usage but the exact origin is still unknown. This word was not famous only until the cartoonist of Irish descent, Thomas Aloysius Dorgan popularized it. He used it several times in his cartoons such as; there is a reasonable explanation that states the mentioning of this word in 1901 in the baseball game at the Polo Grounds. But there is no evidence that Thomas drew that hot dog cartoon because the hot dog was already in use for a decade before this debate arose. Apart from Malarkey, TAD also helped in publicizing the usage of some other words that are now circulating all around the world in American Lexicon including hard-boiled and kibitzer.

When Dorgan used this word, its spellings were unsettled. In one of his cartoons that appeared on Mar. 9, 1922, the word Milarkey was a fictitious place name. Two years later, on April 2, 1924, he used the word Malachy, apparently with its nonsense meaning. Most people suggest that the word has a prolonged history with Irish origin but some still settle for the unsatisfactory ‘origin unknown’.

American Roots

Apart from its Irish origin, malarkey has American roots as well. But it shows up occasionally in the UK. A British poet and novelist recently titled her poetry collection ‘The Malarkey’. In the US, malarkey has been used as a trademark, most often as an eponym. Further, there’s also a clothing brand Malarkey, which has an original link to a company ‘Shenanigans’. It first appeared in print in 1855, in a San Francisco publication called Town Talk. Some other charming and mysterious American words include trickery, a prank, and an exhibition of high spirits.

Keeping in view all the facts, we can certainly say one thing i.e. where other languages are adept at expressing the nuances of snow, the English language overflows with variations on nonsense. There are many words in use nowadays only as slang. And the American culture publicizes them. Want to know more about the definition and examples of American English? Read now.

Slang Culture

Now when you know a lot about the origin of the word Malarkey, you should take a look at the slang culture. This part is significant because this slang has been in use widely all around the world. Since Malarkey is absurd or junk, it explains how bitter it is as slang. This fact is concerned that slangs are what allows people of different cultural groups to create their kind of territory in the form of language. When a word seeps beyond the original group who uses it to signal shared attitudes, which can be just as hurtful for the old speakers as it is exciting for the new ones.

A slang term has a close relationship to the culture and time in which people speak it. In the early 1900s, American slang was common mostly in gangster culture. Today, the culture of popular media has become the main source of our new words. It is more like a vocabulary for people belonging to the same social groups and the ones who know each other well. Slang is a very informal language. It can offend people that are outside a group of people who know each other well.

facts about malarkey
explanation of malarkey

Jonathan Lighter and Malarkey

Slang expert Jonathan Lighter notes that along with Dorgan, another early popularize of malarkey was Davis J. Walsh, sports editor of International News Service. Some examples where he used the word include:

  • That the business is not so much Malarkey is indicated by the fact that [etc.]. (1924)
  • We presume, however, that this kind of malarkey is to be expected from certain quarters. (1924)
  • However, all talk of Eddie Roush figuring in any deal with the Giants is so much malarkey, according to Hendricks. (1924)
  • His announcement, consequently, could be taken as so much malarkey. (1925)

It was just a lot of Malarkey. (1925)

Why do people use the word ‘Malarkey’?

People who know each other well use slang often. But the main aim of speaking to them is seldom the exchange of information. More often, slang serves social purposes: to identify members of a group, to change the level of discourse in the direction of informality, to oppose established authority. Sharing and maintaining a constantly changing slang vocabulary aids group solidarity and serves to include and exclude members. Slang is the linguistic equivalent of fashion and serves much the same purpose. This proves why Malarkey is in use by many people in their daily lives.

Word of the Week

Although Malarkey was already a famous slang after Thursday’s debate between Vice President Joe Biden and his Republican challenger, Congressman Paul Ryan, the word is all over the news. The President i.e. Biden used the word twice. He said, “With all due respect, that’s a bunch of malarkey” and clarifying his characterization of Ryan’s comments as “a bunch of stuff” ”We Irish call it malarkey.” According to Peter Sokolowski, a lexicographer at Merriam-Webster, Malarkey became the most looked-up word after the debate. The phrase by the President was pointing towards Donald Trump for populist posturing. Biden is not afraid to call out malarkey bunches when he sees them.

The Washington Post even reports, the nonprofit Sunlight Foundation believes that Biden has publicly used the word malarkey with a frequency unrivaled by any other member of Congress, going back some 200 years’ worth of data. This makes it clear that it is no big deal for Biden to use it more frequently. He also explained once that malarkey is synonymous with stuff, though, more accurately, that stuff is nonsense.

At Universal Translation Services, we are always looking for an opportunity that gives our readers an insight into the current happenings, especially the ones revolving around words and communication means. And since the speech of Vice President Joe Biden, many people searched for the definitions for malarkey. Here we provided a guide and hope that helps!

definition malarkey

The meaning of Malarkey is: foolish, silly, incomprehensible, useless, or even misleading. This is the reason why we hear terms like Pesky Democracy Malarkey, Festival Malarkey, Gym Malarkey, Federal Election Malarkey, Expat Malarkey, etc. These are not just examples of malarkey but actually, it’s the nonsense that occurs in the places, events, etc. and so malarkey is used to describe it.

Some other words that you can use instead of malarkey are Hogwash, Piffle, Sillyness, Nonsense, Rubbish, Garbage, foolishness, and baloney.

You can use Malarky in a sentence like this:

1. Your opinion will be considered absolute malarkey if you can’t support it with logic or evidence.

2. Political malarkey can bamboozle anyone with a sane mind.

There is a history with Malarkey, yes it came into light when the Irish-American cartoonist Thomas Aloysius (“Tad”) Dorgan (1877–1929) started using the word in his cartoons on March 9, 1922.

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