Green’s Dictionary of Slang

blooming adj.1

[popularized by the music-hall star Alfred ‘The Great’ Vance in the 1880s]

1. a euph. for bloody adj., e.g. blooming error, a major mistake; also as adv.

[UK]Rev. J. Glanvil Sadducismus Triumphatus [Under the head of ‘The Demon of Tedworth’] in Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues I (1890–1904) 244/2: Glanvil makes mention that on one occasion the spirit came into a room panting like a dog, and company coming up, the room was presently filled with a blooming noisome smell .
[UK]A. Douglas ‘Hard Times’ Poems in Scot. Dialect 41: O waes me! for our bloomin’ tots! / I ken na how we will, man, / Get hose an’ shoon, an’ sarks an’ coats, / To hap, an’ keep them hale, man.
[UK]‘Noses to Faces’ in Flash Minstrel! in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) I 109: No neighbour’s wife there could show / Soch [sic] a blooming handsom [sic] face, sir.
[UK]J. Lindridge Sixteen-String Jack 153: Farewell my blooming cauliflower!
[UK] ‘Bates’ Farm’ in Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues I (1890) 141/2: I’m up to every little fake, / But in me there’s no harm, / For it was this blooming morning / That I left Old Bates’ Farm.
[UK]Five Years’ Penal Servitude 222: I worked in the galleries a making casemates for the guns, and blooming hard work it was.
‘O’Reilly’ [US army poem] O’Reilly was a soldier, the pride of battery B, / In all the bloomin’ regiment, no better man than he.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 5 Mar. 8/4: The Town Hall ‘can give Charity 50 points out of a hundred, and trounce her blooming head off’.
[UK]E.V. Page ‘The Magistrate’ [lyrics] It’s nice to be called by him in the dock, / ‘A blooming old geezer’, or perhaps it’s ‘old cock’.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 14 Jan. 2/6: Feed ’im up, sir, or his blooming neck might bust with the drop, and they’ll blame me.
[NZ]‘The “Ringer” of the Shed’ in N.Z. Observer 3 Feb. 17: Squatters pass me wide enough, / And mutter ‘Bloomin’ shearer that, and blanky, bloomin’ rough.
[UK]Binstead & Wells Pink ’Un and Pelican 209: What price the bloominger Blue Book.
[US]H.E. Hamblen Yarn of Bucko Mate 105: After watching them awhile, he said the ‘bloomin’ dagoes’ didn't understand it [i.e. faro] a little bit, and he knew he could bust their bank before daylight.
[UK]R. Whiteing No. 5 John Street 37: Mind your own bloomin’ business, or I’ll give yer a shove in the eye.
[UK]Marvel 12 Dec. 2: The bloomin’ money’s mine!
[UK]T. & G. LeBrunn [perf. Marie Lloyd] Come Along, Let’s Make Up [lyrics] ‘Straight, you are a blooming “slap-up” little donah’.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 27 Mar. 6/1: ‘Kicker’ became a blooming toff, member of the V.K.C. and owned racehorses.
[US]S. Ford Shorty McCabe 103: ‘Hi’ll write to the bloomin’ pypers habout it if you do,’ says I.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 1 Jan. 8/3: ‘Oh, strike me, / But this are a blooming stall’.
[UK]Honk! 30 Sept. 1/1: They don’t know what they’re gassin’ of, / No more’n me bloomin ’at.
[US]Rising Sun 25 Dec. 8/1: I ain’t a bloomin’ navvy, and I ain’t a bloomin’ mule, / But I’m just a blessed soldier, what ’as been a bloomin’ fool.
[US]Wash. Times (DC) 10 Sept. 22/7: I say — here comes another one, and dressed so bloomin’ neat.
[Aus]T.E. Spencer ‘Liza’ Budgeree Ballads 85: I’ll work me bloomin’ eye-balls out to please yer.
[UK]E. Waugh Vile Bodies 97: Blooming shame that they’re so religious ... wasting the best years of their lives.
[UK]Rover 18 Feb. 6: But Hopalong isn’t going to spend his life as a blooming totem pole.
[UK]K. Amis letter 30 Jan. in Leader (2000) 111: In this blooming awful weather it is not so bad a deprecation.
[UK]I. & P. Opie Lore and Lang. of Schoolchildren (1977) 58: There was a bloomin’ spider, / Climbed up a bloomin’ spout.
[SA]R. Rive ‘Rain’ in Malan (1994) 10: Don’t you blooming well swear at me.
[Aus] in K. Gilbert Living Black 144: The mad house where the bloomin’ mental people are, I’ve been there.
[UK]S. Berkoff West in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 102: Oh come on Mike and bloody phone you bloomin’ bore.
[Ire]P. McCabe Breakfast on Pluto 60: Which is a darned blooming cheek when you think about it.
[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read Chopper 4 29: I’m only a bloomin’ spectator.
[US]N. Bird ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ in Pulp Ink [ebook] ‘Blooming poser,’ Rose says.
[Aus]T. Spicer Good Girl Stripped Bare 41: ‘Bloomin’ ’ell! Oi fink she wants ta turn me inta a lay-dee!’ says the Eliza Doolittle voice in my head.

2. as infix.

[UK]B. Pain De Omnibus 72: Thenk you kindly, mister bloomin’ ’Ankin.
[UK]E. Pugh City Of The World 172: ‘Tea! Hoo-bloomin’-ray!’ the children shout back.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 26 Nov. 44/2: ‘Hoo-bloomin’-ray!’ I yells, bustin’ in on the gay throng.
[Aus]R.D. Doughty diary 13 Nov. [Internet] Huh-bloomin-ray. [...] we’ve just got orders to shift to the other side .
[Aus]Aussie (France) VIII Oct. 14: A man could multiply instances where bluff failed to work abso-bloomin’-lutely.
[UK]‘Sapper’ Bulldog Drummond 76: You’ll consider a thick ear, Mr. Blooming Knowall.
[UK]E. Raymond Tell England (1965) 153: Hoo-Ray, hoo-Ray, hoo-blooming-Ray!

In compounds

In phrases

In exclamations