Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bloody adv.

also bleddy, blunny
[SE blood. As Partridge states: ‘There is no need for ingenious etymologies, the idea of blood suffices.’ There are also no links to theology, nor to the term ’sblood (God’s blood). In addition, declare F&H in their definition: ‘In passing it may be mentioned that there is no ground for attributing its derivation to “By’r Our Lady”.’ Like other so-called ‘obscenities’ or ‘Anglo-Saxon words’, bloody has experienced a fluctuating position as regards usage. As OED put it in 1887, it has been ‘in general colloquial use from the Restoration to c.175? Now constantly in the mouths of the lowest classes, but by respectable people considered “a horrid word”, on a par with obscene or profane language, and usually printed in the newspapers as b--y.’ The latter proscription has largely vanished. When bloody does appear in the press it tends to be in direct, quoted speech and is printed in full, but the term, in the UK at least, has yet to enter ‘polite’ society. As to its etymology, the OED links it to the preoccupations of the ‘bloods’ or aristocratic rowdies of the end of the 17C and beginning of the 18C. Thus the phr. ‘bloody drunk’ meant ‘as drunk as a blood’. Its associations with bloodshed and murder (typically a bloody battle) ‘have recommended it to the rough classes as a word that appeals to their imagination’ and the OED goes on to compare its late 19C popularity with other ‘impressive or graphic intensives, seen in the use of jolly, awfully, terribly, devilish, deuced, damned, ripping, rattling, thumping, stunning, thundering etc’]

1. [late 17C+] (also bloodyful) a general negative intensifier, very, exceedingly, abominably or desperately.

2. [20C+] as infix, e.g. absobloodylutely adv., not bloody likely etc.