If you have been around my mom (Norma Florence Ford Boling, picture circa 1943) for any length of time, it’s likely that you have heard her say “Malarkey” or sometimes “Baloney” instead of “bullshit” or some other expletive to disagree with what’s being said. Several of us have always wondered where she picked up the word “Malarkey”. Well, recently Vice President Joe Biden surfaced a new awareness of the word malarkey in his October 11, 2012 vice presidential debate with Paul Ryan.
His use of the word malarkey instead of nonsense or pack of lies, bullshit, or baloney shot up searches for the word malarkey by 3,000% on Merriam-Webster’s site, setting a record for searches for any word within a 24-hour period. This spike in searches went on to make malarkey one of the most popular word searches and words of 2012. So, like many others before me, I set out on my own search to see if I could find out where the use of malarkey was coined. And, in keeping with my researcher and genealogist nature, I share below my findings– which may or may not be a bunch of malarkey: