Cor blimey


What's the meaning of the phrase 'Cor blimey'?

‘Cor blimey’ is an exclamation of surprise.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Cor blimey'?

‘Cor blimey’ is a euphemism (specifically a minced oath) derived from ‘God blind me’.

Blimey is first recorded in print in Barrère and Leland’s A dictionary of slang, jargon and cant, 1889. The extended version was used, by Arthur Morrison in A Child of the Jago, 1896:

“Gawblimy, not what?”

The link between ‘gor blimey’ or ‘cor blimey’ and ‘god blind me’ was made evident by James Joyce in Ulysses, 1922:

God blimey if she aint a clinker [a good looking woman]

Being as it is, a contraction of ‘God blind me’, the term was originally spelled ‘gorblimey’ and is still frequently used that way.

Trend of cor blimey in printed material over time

Gary Martin is a writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.

Gary Martin

Writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.