Blue Murder

Posted by Bob on November 15, 1999

In Reply to: Blue Murder posted by Dr Bob Kapur on November 15, 1999

: Does anyone know the origin of the phrase, " Blue murder," or, " screaming blue murder."
Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable says
Blue Murder: To shout blue murder. Indicative more of terror or alarm than of real danger. It appears to be a play on the French exclamation morbleu; there may also be a distinct allusion to the common phrase "blue ruin."
It goes on to define "blue ruin" as gin (from its tint) a phrase that is no longer common, perhaps because most gins these days are clear, lending new nicknames to the old truth serum: see-through, for one.