National Liars Day

A mischievous person with a sly grin, wearing a colorful outfit, surrounded by an eccentric and whimsical setting..
National liars day illustration

Buckle up, dear reader, as we embark on a journey of dubious truthfulness! Welcome to National Liars Day, a holiday celebrated with mischievous grins, outrageous fibs and unbelievable tales! Let's explore this fun-filled day together!

When is Liars Day?

It's national liars day on the 2nd March.

A Web of Lies and Laughter

Popular wisdom has it that Honesty is the Best Policy, but National Liars Day takes a playful detour from this high-minded axiom. Our data shows that the internet first started to buzz with mentions of this day on 2nd March 2017, turning the spotlight on every jokester, tall-tale-teller, and harmless fibber in cyberspace. Since then, it has gone on to make waves around the globe, leading to a wave of whopping lies and sensational stories!

Celebrating the Art of the Untruth

Despite its name, National Liars Day doesn't really encourage deceitful behavior. While it's true that the day nudges people to weave a few lighthearted lies, it's all in the name of fun and laughter - no serious trickery involved! Many folks have taken to hilariously blaming their missed deadlines or forgotten chores on far-fetched encounters with Bigfoot or alien abductions!

Tales as Tall as Skyscrapers

Searching for the perfect way to celebrate National Liars Day? How about organizing a gathering where everyone shares their tallest tale, most extravagant exaggeration, or most ludicrous lie? As a rule of thumb, the more outrageous the story, the better! It's a day to let our imaginations run wild, devising tales of mermaids in bathtubs, unicorns at the superstore, or penguins at the north pole!

History behind the term 'Liars'


Early Existence

The term 'liars' can be traced back to the year 1250 when it first appeared in the English language. At this time, the term was used to describe individuals who deliberately deceived or misled others through false statements or actions. The concept of lying itself has existed throughout human history, but it was during this period that the specific term 'liars' gained prominence in the English lexicon.

59 AD

The First Written Reference

The term 'liars' can be traced back to 59 AD when it appeared in a written work by the Roman poet Lucan. In his epic poem 'Pharsalia,' Lucan used the Latin word 'mendacem' to refer to liars. This early reference highlights the enduring human fascination with the concept of lying and the need to identify and label those who engage in deceptive behavior.

13th Century

Early Origins

The term 'liars' dates back to the 13th century and has its origins in the Middle English word 'liere,' which means 'falsehood' or 'deception.' This word was derived from the Old English word 'leogere,' which had a similar meaning. During this time, the word 'liars' referred to individuals who were habitually or intentionally deceitful.


Origins in Old English

The term 'liars' has its roots in the Old English word 'leogere,' which referred to someone who deliberately tells false statements. In the early 14th century, this term began to be used as an insult for people known to be dishonest or untrustworthy. The notion of deceit and dishonesty has been prevalent throughout history, and 'liars' encapsulates this concept.

13th century

The birth of the term

The term 'liar' originated in the 13th century, derived from the Old English word 'leogere,' which meant 'person who tells lies.' At that time, telling lies was seen as a violation of trust and integrity, leading to the creation of a word specific to guide the culture in distinguishing these individuals from truth-tellers.


Shakespearean Influence

During the late 16th century, the term 'liars' became increasingly popular, thanks in part to the influential works of William Shakespeare. In many of his plays, Shakespeare crafted characters who were skilled manipulators and deceivers. These characters, such as Iago in Othello or Richard III, showcased the multifaceted nature of lying, leading to a heightened awareness and discussion of the concept. The term 'liars' gained cultural significance as it found its way into Shakespeare's dialogues and monologues, permanently ingraining itself in the literary landscape.

16th century

Expanding into broader usage

During the 16th century, the term 'liar' started to gain broader usage. It evolved beyond just denoting a person who tells lies and began to describe someone who habitually and knowingly deceives others. This expansion in meaning reflects the deeper societal understanding of the behavior and the need to differentiate between occasional falsehoods and habitual dishonesty.


Shakespeare's Contributions

During the Elizabethan era, renowned playwright William Shakespeare made significant contributions to the English language. Shakespeare's works, such as 'Othello,' 'Hamlet,' and 'Macbeth,' contained various characters who were skilled in deception. The portrayal of liars in his plays further popularized the term 'liars' in common usage. Shakespeare's influence on language ensured that 'liars' remained a prominent term in English vocabulary.

16th Century

Usage in Shakespearean Plays

In the 16th century, during the Elizabethan era, the term 'liars' gained prominence in the works of William Shakespeare. Shakespeare often used the word in his plays to describe characters who were dishonest, manipulative, or prone to deception. These characters gave depth and complexity to his stories, showcasing the negative consequences of deceitful behavior.

Middle Ages

The Shift to the Old English 'Lēogan'

During the Middle Ages, the Old English word 'lēogan' emerged as the term used to describe someone who tells lies. 'Lēogan' derived from the Germanic root 'leugh,' which meant 'to deceive.' As language evolved, so did the means of expressing falsehood, reflecting society's continued preoccupation with dishonesty and deceit.

18th century

Associations with moral character

In the 18th century, the term 'liar' became closely linked with moral character. Being labeled a liar carried significant social stigma and often resulted in damaged reputations. The cultural impact of the term expanded beyond its initial definition, emphasizing the importance of honesty and integrity in society.

16th Century

The Emergence of 'Liar'

In the 16th century, the term 'liar' began to gain prominence. Derived from the Middle English word 'lyer,' which meant 'a person who lies,' 'liar' became the standard term in English to refer to someone who tells lies. The streamlined nature of 'liar' facilitated its widespread usage and adoption, representing a more concise and powerful label for individuals engaged in dishonesty.


Social Consequences

In the 19th century, the term 'liars' gained even more significance as society became increasingly concerned with honesty and integrity. Being labeled a 'liar' held severe social consequences, tarnishing reputations and diminishing trust within interpersonal relationships. The prevailing emphasis on moral character during this period reinforced the negative perception of those seen as 'liars.'


Etymological Evolution

In 1766, the term 'liars' underwent an etymological evolution. It evolved from the Middle English term 'liere' and the Old English term 'leogere.' By this time, 'liar' had firmly established itself as the preferred term to describe someone who habitually told falsehoods. This linguistic shift further solidified the term in everyday conversation and ensured its continued usage in various forms of literature, from novels to poetry.

18th Century

Expansion of Its Meaning

By the 18th century, the term 'liars' had expanded its meaning beyond habitual deceivers. It began to refer to individuals who told lies or made false statements knowingly, whether on rare occasions or as a recurring behavior. The widespread use of the term during this period highlighted society's growing awareness of the impact and consequences of dishonesty.

20th Century

Popularity in Contemporary Culture

During the 20th century, the term 'liars' became deeply embedded in popular culture, featuring in books, movies, and music. Artists and entertainers explored themes related to deception and the consequences of lying, further cementing the term's cultural impact. The notion of 'liars' gained attention not only for its negative connotations but also for the intrigue and drama associated with deceit and manipulation.

18th Century

Expanding the Lexicon of Deception

As the English language continued to develop, additional terms pertaining to lying started to emerge. Words like 'fabricator,' 'prevaricator,' and 'perjurer' were introduced to describe different aspects and degrees of falsehood. However, 'liar' remained the most commonly used term due to its simplicity and broad applicability. This expansion of the lexicon of deception showcases language's inherent adaptability to reflect human experiences and behavior.


Psychology and Deception

In the early 20th century, researchers and psychologists began to delve deeper into the study of deception. Pioneers like William Marston and Hugo Münsterberg explored the psychology behind lying and its impact on human behavior. This increased interest in understanding deceit contributed to a broader understanding of the term 'liars.' It became associated not only with individuals who intentionally misled others but also with the complex psychological processes involved in deception.

20th century

Psychological perspectives

With advancements in psychology during the 20th century, the term 'liar' gained additional layers of analysis. Researchers started studying the motivations and behaviors of pathological liars, contributing to a better understanding of the complexities behind habitual lying. This shift in focus from societal perception to psychological analysis marks a significant milestone in the history of the term 'liar.'


Cultural Representations

In the 1920s, popular culture began to embrace the idea of 'liars' through various forms of entertainment. Films, books, and plays depicted characters who were skilled at deceit and manipulation, captivating audiences with their intricate stories. This cultural representation further solidified the term 'liars' as a symbol of duplicity and cunning.

Present day

The term 'liar' in contemporary culture

In contemporary culture, the term 'liar' remains a powerful label. It continues to suggest a breach of trust and integrity, and individuals labeled as such often face severe consequences in personal and professional settings. As society becomes increasingly concerned with truthfulness and authenticity, the term 'liar' retains its cultural significance and importance in shaping honest communication.


Digital Age and Fake News

The rise of the internet and social media in the 21st century brought about new challenges regarding truth and deception. The term 'liars' took on a new context as the spread of misinformation and fake news became increasingly prevalent online. With the ease of sharing and disseminating information, individuals could now perpetuate falsehoods at an unprecedented scale. Consequently, 'liars' became a term commonly associated with those who intentionally deceived others through online platforms.

Modern Era

Cultural Associations and Popularity

Throughout history, the term 'liar' has become deeply ingrained in various cultures, literature, and popular media. It has gained notoriety through its portrayal in literature, theatre, music, film, and even childhood games such as 'Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire.' 'Liar' continues to carry a strong negative connotation, making it a word that people strive both to avoid being associated with and to identify in others. It has become a steadfast symbol of dishonesty and untrustworthiness in modern society.

Present Day

Continued Relevance in Modern Society

In modern society, the term 'liars' remains highly relevant and commonly used. It has evolved beyond mere name-calling and is often associated with discussions around trust, integrity, and ethical conduct. The term serves as a reminder of the importance of honesty and the implications that dishonesty can have on personal relationships, professional settings, and societal trust.


Modern Usage

In the present day, the term 'liars' remains an integral part of our lexicon. It continues to be used to describe individuals who intentionally deceive others, whether in personal relationships, politics, or other realms of society. With the rise of social media and information sharing, the concept of 'liars' has become even more relevant as people grapple with the spread of misinformation. Understanding the history of the term 'liars' helps us navigate the complex landscape of honesty, deception, and trust in the modern world.

Did you know?

Did you know that a 'Liar's Club' exists in Cumbria, UK? They actually hold an annual competition to see who can tell the most convincing lie! Watch your noses, folks!


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First identified

1st April 2015

Most mentioned on

2nd March 2017

Total mentions


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