blizzard (n.)
"strong, sustained storm of wind and cold, and dry, driving snow," 1859, origin obscure (perhaps somehow connected with blaze (n.1), and compare blazer); it came into general use in the U.S. in this sense in the hard winter of 1880-81. OED says it probably is "more or less onomatopœic," and adds "there is nothing to indicate a French origin." Before that it typically meant "a violent blow," also "hail of gunfire" in American English from 1829, and blizz "violent rainstorm" is attested from 1770. The winter storm sense perhaps is originally a colloquial figurative use in the Upper Midwest of the U.S.
bloat (v.)
1660s, "to cause to swell" (earlier, in reference to cured fish, "to cause to be soft," 1610s), from now obsolete bloat (adj.), attested from c. 1300 as "soft, flabby, flexible, pliable," but by 17c. meaning "puffed up, swollen." It is perhaps from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse blautr "soaked, soft from being cooked in liquid" (compare Swedish blöt fisk "soaked fish"), possibly from Proto-Germanic *blaut-, from PIE *bhleu- "to swell, well up," extended form of root *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell."

Influenced by or combined with Old English blawan "blow, puff." Figurative use by 1711. Intransitive meaning "to swell, to become swollen" is from 1735. Related: Bloated; bloating.
bloat (n.)
1860, "a contemptible person" (perhaps with notions of being bloated by indulgence in alcohol, etc.), from bloat (v.). By 1878 as a disease of livestock; meaning "bloatedness" is from 1905.
bloated (adj.)
"overgrown, unwieldy," especially from too much eating and drinking, 1660s, past participle adjective from bloat (v.). Figurative sense "puffed up" with pride, wealth, etc., is by 1711.
blob (n.)
"drop, globule," 1725, from a verb meaning "to make or mark with blobs" (early 15c.), which is perhaps related to bubble. The same noun was used 16c. in senses of "a bubble, a blister." Related: Blobby.
bloc (n.)
1903, in reference to alliances in Continental politics, from French bloc "group, block," from Old French bloc "piece of wood" (see block (n.1)).
block (v.1)
"obstruct, hinder passage from or to," 1590s, from French bloquer "to block, stop up," from Old French bloc "log, block of wood" (see block (n.1)). Compare Dutch blokkeren, German blockieren "to blockade." Sense in cricket is from 1772; in U.S. football, "stop or obstruct another player," from 1889. Related: Blocked; blocking.
block (n.2)
"obstruction," 1831, from block (v.1), also in part perhaps an extended sense of block (n.1). As a type of defensive shot in cricket, from 1825; in U.S. football, the act of obstructing another player, from 1912.
block (n.1)
"solid piece," early 14c., blok, blokke, "large solid piece of wood," usually with one or more plane faces, from Old French bloc "log, block" of wood (13c.), which is from a Germanic source such as Middle Dutch bloc "trunk of a tree," Old High German bloh, from PIE *bhlugo-, from *bhelg- "a thick plank, beam" (see balk (n.)).

Generalized by late 15c. to any solid piece. Meaning "solid mass of wood, the upper surface of which is used for some purpose" is from late 15c., originally the executioner's block where the condemned were beheaded. Meaning "stump where a slave stood to be sold at auction" is from 1842. Meaning "mold on which something is shaped, or placed to keep its shape," typically a hat or wig, is from 1570s; sense of "head" (generally disparaging) is from 1630s, perhaps an extension of this. To knock (someone's) block off "thrash, beat" is by 1923.

Meaning "grooved pulley in a wooden case" (used to transmit power and change the direction of motion by means of a rope) is from c. 1400. Hence block and tackle (1825; see tackle (n.)).

The meaning in city block is 1796, from the notion of a "compact mass" of buildings.
BLOCK. A term applied in America to a square mass of houses included between four streets. It is a very useful one. [Bartlett]
Later of a portion of a city enclosed by streets, whether built up or not.
block (v.2)
"make smooth or to give shape on a block," 1620s, from block (n.1). Meaning "form into a block" is by 1863; that of "strengthen or support by blocks" is from 1881. Theater sense "designate the position on stage of each actor in a scene" is by 1961. Sense in cricket is from 1772; in U.S. football from 1889. Related: Blocked; blocking.
blockade (n.)
"the shutting up of a place by hostile ships or troops," 1690s, from block (v.1) + -ade, false French ending (the French word is blocus, 18c. in this sense, which seems to be in part a back-formation from the verb bloquer and in part influenced by Middle Dutch blokhuus; see blockhouse). Blockade-runner is from 1863.
blockade (v.)
"prevent ingress and egress from by warlike means," 1670s, from blockade (n.). Related: Blockaded; blockading.
blockage (n.)
"obstruction," 1827, from block (v.1) + -age.
blockbuster (n.)
also block-buster, 1942, "large bomb" (4,000 pounds or larger, according to some sources), from block (n.1) in the "built-up city square" sense, on the notion of the widespread destruction they could cause. Entertainment sense "spectacularly successful production" is attested by 1952. U.S. sense of "real estate broker who sells a house to a black family on an all-white neighborhood," thus sparking an exodus, is from 1955.
blocker (n.)
c. 1400 of a tool, c. 1600 of a person, agent noun from block (v.1). U.S. football sense from 1914.
blockhead (n.)
also block-head, "stupid person," 1540s (implied in blockheaded), from block (n.1) + head (n.); probably originally an image of the head-shaped oaken block used by hat-makers, though the insulting sense is equally old.
blockhouse (n.)
"detached fort blocking a landing, mountain pass, etc., 1510s, of uncertain origin; perhaps from Middle Dutch blokhuis, German Blockhaus, French blockhaus (from one of the German words), all from 16c.; see block (v.1). Later "building with an overhanging upper story with loopholes for firing through" (often a square of logs serving as a fort in rough country), which seems to connect to block (n.1). For second element, see house (n.).
blocking (n.)
1630s, verbal noun from present participle of block (v.2). By 1891 in U.S. football; by 1961 in theater.
blocks (n.)
children's wooden building toys, 1821, from block (n.1).
blocky (adj.)
1879, "solidly built, stocky," from block (n.1) + -y (2). Related: Blockily; blockiness.
blog (n.)
1998, short for weblog (which is attested from 1994, though not in the sense "online journal"), from (World Wide) Web (n.) + log (n.2). Joe Bloggs (c. 1969) was British slang for "any hypothetical person" (compare U.S. equivalent Joe Blow); earlier blog meant "a servant boy" in one of the college houses (c. 1860, see Partridge, who describes this use as a "perversion of bloke"), and, as a verb, "to defeat" in schoolboy slang. The Blogger online publishing service was launched in 1999.
bloke (n.)
"fellow," 1851, also bloak, London slang, of unknown origin, perhaps from Celtic ploc "large, stubborn person;" another suggestion is Romany (Gypsy) and Hindi loke "a man."
blond (adj.)
of hair, "of a golden or light golden-brown color," late 15c., from Old French blont "fair, blond" (12c.), from the same source as Medieval Latin blundus "yellow," but of uncertain origin. Perhaps from Frankish *blund or another Germanic source (compare Dutch, German, Danish blond).

If it is a Germanic word, it is possibly related to Old English blonden-feax "gray-haired," from blondan, blandan "to mix" (see blend (v.)). According to Littré, the original sense of the French word was "a colour midway between golden and light chestnut," which might account for the notion of "mixed." [But Century Dictionary finds this "hardly probable."]

Old English beblonden meant "dyed," so it is also possible that the root meaning of blonde, if it is Germanic, may be "dyed," as ancient Teutonic warriors were noted for dying their hair. Du Cange, however, writes that blundus was a vulgar pronunciation of Latin flavus "yellow." Another guess (discounted by German etymologists), is that it represents a Vulgar Latin *albundus, from alba "white."

The word was reintroduced into English 17c. from French, and was until recently still felt as French, hence blonde (with French feminine ending) for females. Italian biondo, Spanish blondo, Old Provençal blon are said to be ultimately of Germanic origin.
Fair hair was much esteemed by both the Greeks and Romans, and so they not only dyed and gold-dusted theirs ..., but also went so far as to gild the hair of their statues, as notably those of Venus de Medici and Apollo. In the time of Ovid (A.U.C. 711) much fair hair was imported from Germany, by the Romans, as it was considered quite the fashionable color. Those Roman ladies who did not choose to wear wigs of this hue, were accustomed to powder theirs freely with gold dust, so as to give it the fashionable yellow tint. [C. Henry Leonard, "The Hair," 1879]
blond (n.)
c. 1755 of a type of lace (originally unbleached silk, hence the name); 1822 of persons with blond hair and fair complexions; from blond (adj.).
blonde
French fem. of blond (n. and adj.).
blondish (adj.)
"somewhat blonde," 1857, from blond (adj.) + -ish.
blondness (n.)
"state or quality of being blond," 1842, from blond (adj.) + -ness.
blood (n.)
Old English blod "blood, fluid which circulates in the arteries and veins," from Proto-Germanic *blodam "blood" (source also of Old Frisian blod, Old Saxon blôd, Old Norse bloð, Middle Dutch bloet, Dutch bloed, Old High German bluot, German Blut, Gothic bloþ), from PIE *bhlo-to-, perhaps meaning "to swell, gush, spurt," or "that which bursts out" (compare Gothic bloþ "blood," bloma "flower"), from suffixed form of root *bhel- (3) "to thrive, bloom."

There seems to have been an avoidance in Germanic, perhaps from taboo, of other PIE words for "blood," such as *esen- (source of poetic Greek ear, Old Latin aser, Sanskrit asrk, Hittite eshar); also *krew-, which seems to have had a sense of "blood outside the body, gore from a wound" (source of Latin cruour "blood from a wound," Greek kreas "meat"), but which came to mean simply "blood" in the Balto-Slavic group and some other languages.

Inheritance and relationship senses (also found in Latin sanguis, Greek haima) emerged in English by mid-13c. Meanings "person of one's family, race, kindred; offspring, one who inherits the blood of another" are late 14c. As the fluid of life (and the presumed seat of the passions), blood has stood for "temper of mind, natural disposition" since c. 1300 and been given many figurative extensions. Slang meaning "hot spark, a man of fire" [Johnson] is from 1560s. Blood pressure attested from 1862. Blood money is from 1530s; originally money paid for causing the death of another.

Blood type is from 1928. That there were different types of human blood was discovered c. 1900 during early experiments in transfusion. To get blood from a stone "do the impossible" is from 1660s. Expression blood is thicker than water attested by 1803, in reference to family ties of those separated by distance. New (or fresh) blood, in reference to new members of an organization or group, especially ones bringing new ideas and fresh vigor or strength, is from 1880.
blood (v.)
1590s, "to smear or stain with blood;" 1620s, "to cause to bleed," from blood (n.). Meaning "to give (a hunting animal) its first taste of blood" is from 1781. Related: Blooded; blooding.
blood-bank (n.)
1938, from blood (n.) + bank (n.1).
blood-curdling (adj.)
also bloodcurdling, 1817, from blood (n.) + present participle of curdle. Also formerly with a noun form, bloodcurdler "incident which freezes the blood," especially "sensational story," 1877, slang; also in use in this sense was blood-freezer (1886).
blood-letting (n.)
also bloodletting, early 13c., blod letunge, from blood (n.) + letting. Hyphenated from 17c., one word from mid-19c. Old English had blodlæte "blood-letting," from blodlætan "to bleed, let blood."
blood-lust (n.)
also bloodlust, "eagerness to shed blood," 1847 (Bulwer Lytton), from blood (n.) + lust (n.).
blood-red (adj.)
"blood-colored," Old English blodread; see blood (n.) + red (adj.1). Compare Dutch bloedrood, German blutroth, Old Norse bloðrauðr.
blood-root (n.)
1570s as the name of a European plant with red-colored roots; later transferred to an early-flowering North American herb with the same property, from blood (n.) + root (n.).
blood-stained (adj.)
"stained with blood; guilty of slaughter," 1590s, from blood (n.) + past participle of stain (v.).
blood-stream (n.)
also bloodstream, 1847, from blood (n.) + stream (n.).
bloodhound (n.)
also blood-hound, type of large dog used in hunting, c. 1300, from blood (n.) + hound (n.). It traces wounded prey by the scent of the blood it has spilled, or any other trace. Similar formation in Dutch bloedhond, German Bluthund.
bloodily (adv.)
"in a bloody manner," 1560s, from bloody + -ly (2).
bloodiness (n.)
1590s, "state of being bloody;" 1610s, "disposition to shed blood;" from bloody (adj.) + -ness.
bloodless (adj.)
Old English blodleas, "drained of blood;" see blood (n.) + -less. The figurative sense in Middle English was "powerless, without spirit or energy." Meaning "free from bloodshed" is from c. 1600; that of "cold-hearted" is from 1881. Related: Bloodlessly.
bloodshed (n.)
also blood-shed, c. 1500, "the shedding of (one's) blood," from verbal phrase (attested in late Old English) -- e.g. "there was much blood shed" -- from blood (n.) + past participle of shed (v.). The sense of "slaughter" is much older (early 13c., implied in bloodshedding).
bloodshot (adj.)
also blood-shot, of the eye, "red and inflamed by swelling of blood vessels," 1550s, short for bloodshotten (c. 1500), from blood (n.) + old past participle of shoot (v.).
bloodsucker (n.)
also blood-sucker, late 14c., of animals (leeches, mosquitoes, etc.), from blood (n.) + sucker (n.); in the figurative sense, of persons, it is attested from 1660s. Related: Bloodsucking.
bloodthirsty (adj.)
also blood-thirsty, "eager to shed blood," 1530s (Coverdale, Psalms xxv.9), from blood (n.) + thirsty (adj.). Ancient Greek had a similar image in haimodipsos. Related: Bloodthirstiness.
bloody (adj.)
"of the nature of blood, pertaining to blood, bleeding, covered in blood," Old English blodig, adjective from blod (see blood). Common Germanic, compare Old Frisian blodich, Old Saxon blôdag, Dutch bloedig, Old High German bluotag, German blutig. From late 14c. as "involving bloodshed;" 1560s as "bloodthirsty, cruel, tainted with blood-crimes."

It has been a British intensive swear word at least since 1676. Weekley relates it to the purely intensive use of the cognate Dutch bloed, German Blut. But perhaps it ultimately is connected with bloods in the slang sense of "rowdy young aristocrats" (see blood (n.)) via expressions such as bloody drunk "as drunk as a blood."

Partridge reports that it was "respectable" before c. 1750, and it was used by Fielding and Swift, but heavily tabooed c. 1750-c. 1920, perhaps from imagined association with menstruation; Johnson calls it "very vulgar," and OED writes of it, "now constantly in the mouths of the lowest classes, but by respectable people considered 'a horrid word', on par with obscene or profane language."
The onset of the taboo against bloody coincides with the increase in linguistic prudery that presaged the Victorian Era but it is hard to say what the precise cause was in the case of this specific word. Attempts have been made to explain the term's extraordinary shock power by invoking etymology. Theories that derive it from such oaths as "By our Lady" or "God's blood" seem farfetched, however. More likely, the taboo stemmed from the fear that many people have of blood and, in the minds of some, from an association with menstrual bleeding. Whatever, the term was debarred from polite society during the whole of the nineteenth century. [Rawson]
Shaw shocked theatergoers when he put it in the mouth of Eliza Doolittle in "Pygmalion" (1914), and for a time the word was known euphemistically as "the Shavian adjective." It was avoided in print as late as 1936. Bloody Sunday, Jan. 30, 1972, was when 13 civilians were killed by British troops at protest in Londonderry, Northern Ireland.
bloody (v.)
"to stain with blood," 1520s, from bloody (adj.). Related: Bloodied; bloodying. Old English had blodigan "to make bloody," but the modern word seems to be a later formation.
Bloody Mary
the cocktail, attested from 1953 (originally touted in part as a hangover cure), said to be named for Mary Tudor, queen of England 1553-58, who earned her epithet for vigorous prosecution of Protestants. The drink earned its, apparently, simply for being red from tomato juice. The cocktail's popularity also concided with that of the musical "South Pacific," which has a character named "Bloody Mary."
blooey (n.)
"ruin, smash," 1915, U.S. slang, probably imitative.
bloom (n.2)
"rough mass of wrought iron," from Old English bloma "lump of metal; mass," which is of unknown origin. Identical in form to bloom (n.1), and sometimes regarded as a secondary sense of it, but evidence of a connection is wanting.