Green’s Dictionary of Slang

blimey! excl.

also bligh! bli’ me! blime! bli me! blime me! blimy! bloomey! bloomy! blue bli’ me!
[oath ‘God blind me!’]

an excl. denoting surprise or disbelief.

[UK]Barrère & Leland Dict. of Sl., Jargon and Cant.
[UK]F.W. Carew Autobiog. of a Gipsey 413: Blimy! we’d most bust ourselves a-larfin’.
[UK]J.R. Couper Mixed Humanity 26: As the dice were being thrown, he kept exclaiming, in a meaningless way, ‘O bli’ me! O bli’ me!’.
[UK]A. Morrison Tales of Mean Streets (1983) 55: An’ Skulky . . . blimy . . . ’e’s done me too!
[UK]A. Morrison Child of the Jago (1982) 46: O wot ’orrid langwidge! It’s shocking, blimey.
[UK]E. Pugh Man of Straw 286: Blime! I’ll give evidence again him, sowelpme I will!
[UK]E. Pugh Tony Drum 46: ‘Bli’ me!’ cried Simmy.
[UK]Marvel XIV:348 July 2: ‘Bloomey!’ he cried.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 274: Blime, if it’s not our little pal from the burlesque show.
[Aus]E. Dyson Fact’ry ’Ands 89: ’Twas Hoggy’s [...] roun’-th’-’ouses, but, blue bli’ me, who was ther man in ’em?
[UK]Sporting Times 27 June 1/4: All they [three Sydney larrikins] could say was ‘Ryebuck!’ (when they wor pleased), ‘Straight wire?’ (when they wor doubtful), and ‘Blimy!’ (when they wor disgusted).
[Aus]E.G. Murphy ‘Them was the Days’ in Jarrahland Jingles 168: I’ll never leave yer, strike me blue, I won’t so ’elp me, bli me!
[UK]A. Wright A Rogue’s Luck (1931) 161: Blime, it was dead crook ter leave th’ moll in th’ lurch.
[UK]Honk! 18 Jan. 7/2: ‘Bli’me, guv’ner!’ said the would-be soldier with a look of disgust.
[US]‘A-No. 1’ Snare of the Road 101: Blimey, fellow, this ain’t nothing to what we expects right after Christmas.
[UK]Union Jack 5 May 1: Blime me, no!
[UK]‘Sapper’ Black Gang 273: ‘Blimey!’ muttered Flash Jim; ‘is it the police?’.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 30 Dec. 45/7: ‘Bli’ me!’ he ejaculated, ‘screw the old pot with the crook minces!’.
[Aus]Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld) 3 June 9/4: ‘Blime,’ said Hogan.
[UK]J. Curtis There Ain’t No Justice 10: ‘Got Tommy’s tea yet?’ ‘Blimey, watchew expect?’.
[UK]G. Kersh Night and the City 73: You tells anybody you just wants any sort of job, blimey that means nuffink.
[UK]G. Kersh They Die with Their Boots Clean 2: We rounds the bend and Sergeant Tuck says ‘Blimey’.
[UK]C. Harris Three-Ha’Pence to the Angel 18: Bloomy, there it comes.
[US]Kerouac letter 8 Jan. in Charters I (1995) 279: Blimey, ’e was a ’eartless one!
[UK]J. Franklyn Cockney 268: Bligh! That’s it!
[UK]E. Bond Saved Scene i: Bligh! yer ain’ better ’ave.
[UK]P. Willmott Adolescent Boys of East London (1969) 65: But I don’t argue with him. Blimey, he’s my dad.
[UK]P. Theroux Family Arsenal 118: Blimey, they even put garlic in the cornflakes.
[UK]A. Sayle Train to Hell 54: After the game we were kept in the ground for an hour. Blimey! No wonder football fans riot.
[UK]Guardian 24 Feb. 3: Blimey, this is getting complicated.
[UK]J. Joso Soothing Music for Stray Cats 79: I thought, blimey, this bleeder’s older than me.
[UK]Sun. Times Mag. 19 Dec. 10/2: Blimey, there’s Robert.

In exclamations

blimey Charlie! (also blimey Joe!)

(Aus./N.Z.) a general excl., used as a sign of the relief of nervous tension.

[Aus]Baker N.Z. Sl.
[Aus]N. Pulliam I Travelled a Lonely Land (1957) 230/2: blimey charley! (blimey Joe! or blimey practically anyone) an exclamation of no particular meaning.
[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 15/2: blimey, Charlie! indicating friendly relief; obs.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].