Posted by Word Camel on March 09, 2003
In Reply to: Effing and blinding posted by Cherry on March 08, 2003
: : : Anyone know the origin of "effing and blinding"?
: : "Effing and blinding", which is I believe a primarily British expression, means to be peppering one's speech with obscenities. The "effing" bit's quite easy to understand - it's euphemistically referring to the "F word", as in f*ck, or f*cking, both lamentably too often used in speech as coarse intensifiers, especially if the person's angry.
: : "Blinding" is a lot trickier - it all depends how old the expression "effing and blinding" is. There's a British mild swearword "blimey" - rapidly falling into disuse these days - that is allegedly a corruption of "God blind me", so this may be being referred to. Alternatively, given that "effing" uses the sound of the first letter of the word it replaces to make its point, maybe "blinding" is similarly meant to be a replacement for "bloody(-ing)", another albeit far milder British curse. Then again, there's an idiom over here, "to curse oneself blind", meaning to curse to extreme excess, and this may be why it came about.
: : Thoughts, anyone?
: There's also the expression "to swear blind" which may be related - as far as I know that means to take an oath such as "he swore blind he didn't do it" meaning he strongly denied doing it.
So 'blimey' is worse than 'bloody'? Really? And what about 'blooming', or was that just Dick Van Dyke and Audrey Hepburn?