phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Home | Search the website Search | Discussion Forum Home|

Effing and blinding

Posted by TheFallen on March 08, 2003

In Reply to: Effing and blinding posted by Jon 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?