phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Blue streak

Posted by Brad on February 12, 2008 at 10:01:

I have found several threads in the archives relating to the phrase "blue streak" or "curse a blue streak."

I was surprised that nobody seemed to get to the bottom of this expression which actually arose during the days of vaudeville. In vaudeville there were the family or "legit" houses (as opposed to less reputable venues that might have featured strip tease, etc.). Anyway, these major theatres had very strict rules about appropriate language and any performer who cursed on stage would be reprimanded in writing and on a blue piece of paper. Several violations would mean that you basically lost the right to perform at their theatre. Consequently, the phrase 'blue streak' or 'curse a blue streak' grew to be synonymous with being "off-color" or inappropriate.

I know I have read this is several sources but am surprised there doesn't seem to be a lot on web about this. Anybody else familiar with this version of the story? I'm 99% certain that it is an accurate account.