Joe Biden sent people to Google searching for “malarkey” after his verbal exercise in wouldn’t-you-like-to-have-a-beer-with-me? — otherwise known as his speech at the Democratic National Convention. After Biden called many of Donald Trump’s claims “malarkey” — Irish slang for nonsense or bullshit — searches on the word rose more that 17,000% according to Merriam-Webster.
Malarkey sounds like what it means, just as all the best slang does. You might easily intuit its definition, without quite knowing it, when you hear it used in context. And malarkey also has a childlike innocence that bullshit just can’t pull off. Trying to figure out just what’s malarkey and what isn’t — that’s not limited to politics. It’s actually a fun board game too, with a slightly different spelling. Check out Malarky: The Game of Believable Answers by Patch Products (now PlayMonster). Playing Malarky is sort of like watching the debates.