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. (also bloodyful) a general negative intensifier, very, exceedingly, abominably or desperately.

[UK]Etherege Man of Mode I i: dor.: Give him half a Crown. med.: Not without he will promise to be bloody Drunk.
Dryden Prologue Southerne’s Disappointment 59: The doughty bullies enter bloody drunk [F&H].
[UK]Farquhar Recruiting Officer IV i: Thou art a bloody impudent fellow.
[Scot]J. Arbuthnot Hist. of John Bull 69: and I, not being used to such heady stuff, got bloody drunk.
[UK]C. Coffey Devil to Pay I iii: By the Mackin, she’s drunk, bloody drunk.
Fielding Wedding-Day III vi: This is a bloody positive old Fellow.
[UK]Foote Englishman in Paris in Works (1799) I 44: She’s a bloody fine girl.
[UK]Bloody Register III 95: You bloody murdering bitch you, says I.
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 98: Then Greece and Troy [...] May soberly both drink and funk, / And soberly get bloody drunk.
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (4th edn) I 123: And noise proclaims ’em bloody stout.
[US]G. Thompson Jack Harold 31: Aye, a bloody cool game, dom’d if it wasn’t.
[US]W.H. Thomes Slaver’s Adventures 52: Where is that bloody old Englishman?
[UK]Proc. Old Bailey 14 Nov. 96: The prisoner Lee came to me and asked what the b——hell I was waiting there for.
[UK]Proc. Old Bailey 8 Jan. 327: I arrested prisoner at a lodging-house in Tooley Street. He said, ‘Who the b——h—has put me away; I suppose that old cow who lives with my father; I suppose I shall get three stretch for this; I don't care’.
G.B. Shaw Pygmalion Act III: Walk! Not bloody likely. I am going to take a taxi.
[NZ]Truth (Wellington) 22 May 7: She coyly replied [...] ‘If you don’t like it you can --- well lump it,’ and then invited him to ‘git’.
[UK]E. Cross Tailor and Ansty 49: ‘Do you know the beehive dwelling up in the hills from Cahirdaniel, Tailor?’ ‘Cahirdaniel? You may be bloodyful sure that I do.’.
[UK]A. Sillitoe ‘The Match’ Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner (1960) 111: I knew they’d bleddy-well lose.
[Aus]‘David Forrest’ Hollow Woodheap 78: ‘Don’t be bloody silly,’ said Miss Dibbs and chewed into a sandwich.
[UK]A. Burgess 1985 (1980) 157: Now you know who’s bloody well in charge.
[UK]Reeves & Mortimer Vic Reeves Big Night Out n.p.: Of course it bloody is, of course it bloody is.
[UK]A. Sillitoe Birthday 32: That bleddy miserable husband she’s got to look after. A right bleddy burden he is.
[UK]Sun. Times Mag. 19 Dec. 62/1: Who’s going to bloody use this place?
[SA]Mail & Guardian (SA) 12 July 🌐 Bloody hear me [...] Please hear me! Buy this ruddy book I spent years writing.

2. as infix, e.g. absobloodylutely adv., not bloody likely etc.

[UK]R. Tressell Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (1955) 103: Between me an’ you an’ the gatepost, as the sayin’ is, I don’t think Mr. bloody Owen will be ’ere much longer.
[Aus]C.J. Dennis ‘The Australaise’ Backblock Ballads 110: Learn the — art of / Self de- — -fence.
[UK]E. Pound letter 22 Nov. in Read Letters to James Joyce (1968) 146: The owner of the Manchester guardian admits the stuff is ‘brilliantly written’ but shows no disposition to have it in his own better paid cols. et bloody coetera.
[Aus]K.S. Prichard Working Bullocks 54: We’ll learn Mr. Leslie de-bloody-Gaze how to catch brumbies.
[UK](con. 1916) F. Manning Her Privates We (1986) 29: When he got on his feet again, he went abso-bloody-lutely fanti.
[Aus]X. Herbert Capricornia (1939) 390: Not so pre-blunny-posterous as what yous mob puts over us.
[UK]G. Kersh They Die with Their Boots Clean 74: Are you sure you don’t mean Water-bloody-loo?
[UK]R. Llewellyn None But the Lonely Heart 116: What the bloody hell is okeebloodydoke when it’s let out for a run?
[UK]J. Maclaren-Ross Of Love and Hunger 24: What’s the time? God save us. Three o-bloody-clock.
[UK]G. Kersh Fowlers End (2001) 252: But the hu-bloody-miliation of it!
[Aus]B. Humphries Barry McKenzie [comic strip] in Complete Barry McKenzie (1988) 17: That’s fan-bloody-tastic.
[NZ]G. Slatter Pagan Game (1969) 162: Off down the road like a cut cat. Pandebloodymonium.
[UK]R. Rendell Best Man To Die (1981) 114: What did he want it for, Charlie-bloody-Haton?
[UK]A. Sillitoe Start in Life (1979) 273: Michael bloody who?
[Aus]J. O’Grady It’s Your Shout, Mate! 61: I reckon one sip’s more that e-bloody-nough.
[UK](con. 1961) J. Rosenthal Spend, Spend, Spend Scene 81: Hip, hip, hoo-bloody-ray.
[Aus]D. Maitland Breaking Out 65: Keep the buggers out [...] You let one in, you’ve gotta take every-bloody-body and his dog.
[UK]M. Read Scouting for Boys in Best Radio Plays (1984) 146: georgina: Well, it’s a hot day. Could have been a mirage. miles: Ha bloody ha.
[UK]J. Osborne Déjàvu Act I: Hoo-bloody-ray.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. Travel 14 May 1: After that nasty business with Euphragia Wynn-bloody-Begbie.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Leaving Bondi (2013) [ebook] Jesus bloody Christ!
[UK]H. Mantel Beyond Black 70: I’m not on it [phone] all night, blah-bloody-blah to some bint.