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Re: "blue murder"

Posted by James Briggs on March 10, 2006

In Reply to: Re: "Blue murder" posted by Smokey Stover on March 10, 2006

: : tthe What is origin of the phrase "blue murder"?

: From the OED. "Blue 8. fig. Often made the colour of plagues and things hurtful. blue murder, used in intensive phrases: see MURDER n. 3."

: Any chance you recently saw the film, "Blue Mureder at St. Trinian's"? This extremely popular film of 1956-57 was second in a series about the antic doings of the girls at a fictional girls' school. The first (of 5) was Belles of St. Trinian's . SS

I've heard the origin of this one is a play on the French morbleu, where 'bleu' was a euphemism for 'dieu' - this occurs also in 'sacré bleu'. The related to get away with blue murder must have the same source, but has no overtones of fear or terror, merely good fortune. Blue is occasionally added to words to strengthen them, eg blue blazes, blue funk.