blow-dry (v.) Look up blow-dry at Dictionary.com
1971, of hair; see blow (v.1) + dry (v.). Related: Blow-dried; blow-drying.
blow-fly (n.) Look up blow-fly at Dictionary.com
1720, from fly (n.) + blow (v.1) in an obsolete sense "to deposit eggs, to infect with eggs," in reference to to insects, "apparently connected with old notions of natural history" [OED].
blow-gun (n.) Look up blow-gun at Dictionary.com
type of weapon, 1799, from blow (v.1) + gun (n.).
blow-pipe (n.) Look up blow-pipe at Dictionary.com
type of weapon, 1680s, from blow (v.1) + pipe (n.1).
blowback (n.) Look up blowback at Dictionary.com
also blow-back, 1883, in reference to flames in enclosed spaces (firearms, furnaces, etc.), from blow (v.1) + back (adv.). Sense in reference to convert actions, etc., is from 1978.
blower (n.) Look up blower at Dictionary.com
early 12c. (originally of horn-blowers), from Old English blawere, agent noun from blow (v.1). Of mechanical devices from 1795.
blowfish (n.) Look up blowfish at Dictionary.com
also blow-fish, 1862, American English, from blow (v.1) + fish (n.).
Then he described another odd product of the bay, that was known as the blow-fish, and had the power of inflating himself with air when taken out of the water. ["The Young Nimrods in North America," New York, 1881]
blowhard (n.) Look up blowhard at Dictionary.com
also blow-hard, 1840, a sailor's word (from 1790 as a nickname for a sailor), perhaps not originally primarily meaning "braggart;" from blow (v.1) + hard (adv.). An adjective sense of "boastful" appeared c. 1855, and may be a separate formation leading to a modified noun use.
blowhole (n.) Look up blowhole at Dictionary.com
also blow-hole, 1787, of whales and porpoises, from blow (v.1) + hole.
blown (adj.) Look up blown at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "inflated," from Old English blawen, past participle of blow (v.1). Figurative sense of "inflated by pride" is from late 15c. Meaning "out of breath" is from 1670s. As a past participle adjective from blow (v.2), it was Old English geblowenne.
blowzy (adj.) Look up blowzy at Dictionary.com
c. 1770, from obsolete blouze (1570s), "wench, beggar's trull," perhaps originally a cant term, + -y (2).
blub (n.) Look up blub at Dictionary.com
"fit of weeping," 1894, imitative. As a verb by 1843. Related: Blubbed; blubbing.
blubber (v.) Look up blubber at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "to seethe, bubble," from blubber (n.). Meaning "to cry, to overflow with weeping" is from c. 1400. Related: Blubbered; blubbering.
blubber (n.) Look up blubber at Dictionary.com
late 14c., blober "a bubble, bubbling water; foaming waves," probably echoic of bubbling water. Original notion of "bubbling, foaming" survives in the figurative verbal meaning "to weep, cry" (c. 1400). Meaning "whale fat" first attested 1660s; earlier it was used in reference to jellyfish (c. 1600) and of whale oil (mid-15c.). As an adjective from 1660s.
blubbering Look up blubbering at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, present participle adjective from blubber (v.). Originally of fountains, springs, etc.; of weeping, from 1580s. As a verbal noun, from 1570s.
blubbery (adj.) Look up blubbery at Dictionary.com
1791, from blubber (n.) + -y (2).
Bluchers (n.) Look up Bluchers at Dictionary.com
type of old-style boots, from Prussian Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht Blücher (1742-1819).
bludge (v.) Look up bludge at Dictionary.com
"shirk responsibility," 1919, Australian and New Zealand slang, earlier "be a prostitute's pimp," from bludger "pimp."
bludgeon (n.) Look up bludgeon at Dictionary.com
"short club," 1730, of unknown origin.
bludgeon (v.) Look up bludgeon at Dictionary.com
1802, from earlier noun bludgeon "short club" (1730), which is of unknown origin. Related: Bludgeoned; bludgeoning.
bludger (n.) Look up bludger at Dictionary.com
"prostitute's pimp," 1856, short for bludgeoner, agent noun from bludgeon (v.).
blue (v.) Look up blue at Dictionary.com
"to make blue," c. 1600, from blue (1).
blue (1) Look up blue at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, bleu, blwe, etc., from Old French blo "pale, pallid, wan, light-colored; blond; discolored; blue, blue-gray," from Frankish *blao or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *blæwaz (source also of Old English blaw, Old Saxon and Old High German blao, Danish blaa, Swedish blå, Old Frisian blau, Middle Dutch bla, Dutch blauw, German blau "blue"), from PIE *bhle-was "light-colored, blue, blond, yellow," from PIE root bhel- (1) "to shine, flash" (see bleach (v.)).

The same PIE root yielded Latin flavus "yellow," Old Spanish blavo "yellowish-gray," Greek phalos "white," Welsh blawr "gray," Old Norse bla "livid" (the meaning in black and blue), showing the usual slippery definition of color words in Indo-European The present spelling is since 16c., from French influence (Modern French bleu).
The exact color to which the Gmc. term applies varies in the older dialects; M.H.G. bla is also 'yellow,' whereas the Scandinavian words may refer esp. to a deep, swarthy black, e.g. O.N. blamaðr, N.Icel. blamaður 'Negro' [Buck]

Few words enter more largely into the composition of slang, and colloquialisms bordering on slang, than does the word BLUE. Expressive alike of the utmost contempt, as of all that men hold dearest and love best, its manifold combinations, in ever varying shades of meaning, greet the philologist at every turn. [John S. Farmer, "Slang and Its Analogues Past and Present," 1890, p.252]
The color of constancy since Chaucer at least, but apparently for no deeper reason than the rhyme in true blue (c. 1500). From early times blue was the distinctive color of the dress of servants, which may be the reason police uniforms are blue, a tradition Farmer dates to Elizabethan times. For blue ribbon see cordon bleu under cordon. Blue whale attested from 1851, so called for its color. The flower name blue bell is recorded by 1570s. Blue streak, of something resembling a bolt of lightning (for quickness, intensity, etc.) is from 1830, U.S. Western slang.

Many Indo-European languages seem to have had a word to describe the color of the sea, encompasing blue and green and gray; such as Irish glass (see Chloe); Old English hæwen "blue, gray," related to har (see hoar); Serbo-Croatian sinji "gray-blue, sea-green;" Lithuanian šyvas, Russian sivyj "gray."
blue (2) Look up blue at Dictionary.com
"lewd, indecent" recorded from 1840 (in form blueness, in an essay of Carlyle's); the sense connection is unclear, and is opposite to that in blue laws (q.v.). John Mactaggart's "Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia" (1824) containing odd words he had learned while growing up in Galloway and elsewhere in Scotland, has an entry for Thread o'Blue, "any little smutty touch in song-singing, chatting, or piece of writing." Farmer ["Slang and Its Analogues Past and Present," 1890] offers the theory that this meaning derives from the blue dress uniforms issued to harlots in houses of correction, but he writes that the earlier slang authority John Camden Hotten "suggests it as coming from the French Bibliothèque Bleu, a series of books of very questionable character," and adds, from Hotten, that, "Books or conversation of an entirely opposite nature are said to be Brown or Quakerish, i.e., serious, grave, decent."
blue blood (adj.) Look up blue blood at Dictionary.com
1809 in reference to the blood that flows in the veins of the old and aristocratic families of Spain, translating Spanish sangre azul, claimed by certain families of Castile as uncontaminated by Moorish or Jewish admixture; the term is probably from the notion of the visible veins of people of fair complexion. In reference to English families by 1827. As a noun, "member of an old and aristocratic family," by 1877.
blue chip (adj.) Look up blue chip at Dictionary.com
also blue-chip, in reference to the high-value poker counter, from 1904 in the figurative sense of "valuable;" stock exchange sense, in reference to "shares considered a reliable investment," is first recorded 1929; especially of stocks that saw spectacular rises in value in the four years or so before the Wall Street crash of that year.
blue collar (adj.) Look up blue collar at Dictionary.com
also blue-collar, 1949, from blue (1) + collar (n.). From the common color of men's work shirts.
blue jeans (n.) Look up blue jeans at Dictionary.com
from 1843 as a type of fabric; see jean. As short for blue jeans trousers, from 1878.
blue laws Look up blue laws at Dictionary.com
1781, severe Puritanical code said to have been enacted 18c. in New Haven, Connecticut; of uncertain origin, perhaps from one of the ground senses behind blues, or from notion of coldness. Or perhaps connected to bluestocking in the sense of "puritanically plain or mean" (see bluestocking, which is a different application of the same term; the parliament of 1653 was derisively called the bluestocking parliament). The common explanation that they were written on blue paper is not considered valid; pale blue paper was used for many old U.S. legal documents and there would have been nothing notable about its use in this case.
blue moon (n.) Look up blue moon at Dictionary.com
1821 as a specific term in the sense "very rarely," perhaps suggesting something that, in fact, never happens (compare at the Greek calends, and the native in the reign of Queen Dick and Saint Geoffrey's Day "Never, there being no saint of that name," reported in Grose (1788)); suggested earliest in this couplet from 1528:
Yf they say the mone is blewe,
We must beleve that it is true.
Though this might refer to calendrical calculations by the Church. Thus the general "rareness" sense of the term is difficult to disentangle from the specific calendrical one (commonly misinterpreted as "second full moon in a calendar month," but actually a quarterly calculation). In either case, the sense of blue here is obscure. Literal blue moons do sometimes occur under extreme atmospheric conditions.
blueberry (n.) Look up blueberry at Dictionary.com
c. 1775, from blue (1) + berry.
bluebird (n.) Look up bluebird at Dictionary.com
also blue-bird, North American warbler-like bird, 1680s, from blue (1) in reference to its plumage + bird (n.1). Figurative use in bluebird of happiness is from 1909 play romance "l'Oiseau bleu," literally "The Blue Bird," by Belgian dramatist and poet Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949).
bluegrass (n.) Look up bluegrass at Dictionary.com
also blue-grass, music style, 1958, in reference to the Blue Grass Boys, country music band 1940s-'50s, from the "blue" grass (Poa pratensis) characteristic of Kentucky, the grass so called from 1751. Kentucky has been called the Bluegrass State since at least 1872; see blue (n.) + grass.
blueing (n.) Look up blueing at Dictionary.com
"substance which makes (something) blue," 1660s, verbal noun from blue (v.).
blueprint (n.) Look up blueprint at Dictionary.com
also blue-print, 1882, from blue (1) + print (n.). The process uses blue on white, or white on blue. Figurative sense of "detailed plan" is attested from 1926. As a verb by 1939.
blues (n.) Look up blues at Dictionary.com
as a music form featuring flatted thirds and sevenths, possibly c. 1895 (though officially 1912, in W.C. Handy's "Memphis Blues"); meaning "depression, low spirits" goes back to 1741, from adjectival blue "low-spirited," late 14c.
bluestocking (n.) Look up bluestocking at Dictionary.com
also blue-stocking, 1790, derisive word for a woman considered too learned, traces to a London literary salon founded c. 1750 by Elizabeth Montagu on the Parisian model, featuring intellectual discussion instead of card games, and in place of ostentatious evening attire, simple dress, including Benjamin Stillingfleet's blue-gray tradesman's hose which he wore in place of gentleman's black silk, hence the term, first applied in derision to the whole set by Admiral Boscawen. None of the ladies wore blue stockings. Borrowed by the neighbors in loan-translations, such as French bas-bleu, Dutch blauwkous, German Blaustrumpf.
bluesy (adj.) Look up bluesy at Dictionary.com
1946, from blues + -y (2).
bluff (n.2) Look up bluff at Dictionary.com
1844 as an alternative name for poker; from bluff (v.). As "an act of bluffing" by 1864. Blind man's bluff formerly was called hoodman-blind (1560s).
bluff (v.) Look up bluff at Dictionary.com
1839, American English, poker term, perhaps from Dutch bluffen "to brag, boast," or verbluffen "to baffle, mislead." An identical word meant "blindfold, hoodwink" in 1670s, but the sense evolution and connection are unclear; OED calls it "one of the numerous cant terms ... which arose between the Restoration and the reign of Queen Anne." Extended or figurative sense by 1854. Related: Bluffed; bluffing.
bluff (n.1) Look up bluff at Dictionary.com
"broad, vertical cliff," 1680s, from bluff (adj.) "with a broad, flat front" (1620s), a sailors' word, probably from Dutch blaf "flat, broad." Apparently a North Sea nautical term for ships with flat vertical bows, later extended to landscape features.
bluffing (n.) Look up bluffing at Dictionary.com
1845, in the poker sense, verbal noun from bluff (v.).
bluffs (n.) Look up bluffs at Dictionary.com
see bluff (n.1).
bluish (adj.) Look up bluish at Dictionary.com
late 14c., blewysh; see blue + -ish.
blunder (n.) Look up blunder at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., apparently from blunder (v.), though of about the same age.
blunder (v.) Look up blunder at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "to stumble about blindly," from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse blundra "shut one's eyes," from PIE root *bhlendh- (see blind). Meaning "make a stupid mistake" is first recorded 1711. Related: Blundered; blundering.
blunderbuss (n.) Look up blunderbuss at Dictionary.com
1650s, from Dutch donderbus, from donder "thunder" (Middle Dutch doner, donder, from Proto-Germanic *thunaraz; see thunder (n.)) + bus "gun" (originally "box, tube"); altered by resemblance to blunder.
blunderful (adj.) Look up blunderful at Dictionary.com
1881, jocular blend of blunder and wonderful.
blundering Look up blundering at Dictionary.com
mid-14c. as a present participle adjective; mid-15c. as a verbal noun, from blunder (v.). Related: Blunderingly.
blunt (v.) Look up blunt at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from blunt (adj.). Related: Blunted; blunting.