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Victorian Slang of the Week

Volume 1, A-G, J.E.Lighter Editor

 

blue— 1) the blues, at it’s earliest, blue devils, sadness, depressed,1807 through the end of the century.  “Her leaving gave him the blues.”  Sing the blues, however didn’t come around until the 20th century.  Also in “when he left I started to feel blue”

           2)straight-laced pupil, a prude.  1842, used, understandably, mostly in colleges and universities

          3) a police officer, due to a blue uniform,  1844

         4) a U.S. soldier, due to a blue uniform, 1848 

   5) a depressing or discouraging state as in, “The falling stock market made the economic picture look blue indeed

   6) counterfeit, generally in terms of bad money, 1813

   7) an intensifier, as in “What are you doing with that blue gun?”  Personally, I could see it more in “blue blazes.” 1821

 

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1 Comment

  1. Caroline Clemmons says:

    Denise, My mom used this term when she was depressed. I remember a singer who once said she was so blue, she was in a deep purple funk. Loved it.

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