What does the word ‘blag’ mean?

Reading time: Less than 1 minute

Increase your vocabulary and you’ll make your writing much more precise. That’s why I provide a word of the week. Today’s word: blag….

As soon as I heard about the 2018 book with an almost irresistible title — My Sister, the Serial Killer — I knew I was going to have to read it. Written by Nigerian novelist Oyinkan Braithwaite, the book tells the story of a plain-Jane nurse named Korede who has a glamorous sister, named Ayoola, who is not only the family favourite, but is also a person who insists on killing her (many) boyfriends.

The nurse, of course, knows how to clean up blood, so she is called into action every time her sister wields her knife. But the situation goes from messy to infuriating when the murdering sister targets a doctor with whom the plainer sister is in love. Despite all the blood and the murder mystery vibe, there is no whodunnit here. We already know the name of the killer. The book is written with an assured voice and a winning sense of humour.

It also gave me my word of the week: blag. Here is how Braithwaite used it:

I imagine her trying to blag her way out of it and being found guilty.

As you might have guessed from context, to blag means to gain acceptance or approval through persuasive banter or conversation or to use trickery or to be keenly persuasive.

Generally a British expression, the word is thought to originate from French, perhaps from blague which means a joke or a tall tale, which in turn comes from the verb blaguer meaning to joke.