True blue

Posted by ESC on November 30, 2001 at

In Reply to: True blue, through and through posted by Richard Lee on November 30, 2001

: : anyone know the origin or original meaning of this phrase?
: If memory serves, that is what Rudy said in response to an query of whether he was a student at Notre Dame. This was in the movie RUDY.

I don't know where the "through and through" phrase originated. But here's information about the front-end of the phrase.

TRUE BLUE -- "A loyal adherent of a group. The phrase was applied in the 17th century to the Scottish Covenanters (Presbyterians who wore blue as their badge) and to the Whig party in England. Later it came to designate Tories in England (blue was the color of the Conservative party) and members of the university (crew, cricket and so on) at Oxford and Cambridge universities. The origin is evident in Samuel Butler's 'Hudibras' :

For his Religion it was Fit
To match his learning and wit;
'Twas Presbyterian true blue

The literal origin of the phrase is in the blue thread made in Coventry in the Middle Ages; it was prized for holding its color. John Ray wrote in 1670: 'Coventry had formerly the reputation for dying of blues; insomuch that true blue became a Proverb to signifie one that was always the same and like himself." From The Dictionary of Cliches by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).