1. a general negative adj., abominable or terrible; esp. in the UK and Aus., where it is so widespread as to be termed ‘the great Australian adjective’.
|Old Law (1656) IV i: Bloody theefe, Come out from that place.|
|Abuses of Justice 30: Damn your eyes, you bloody thief.|
|Lex. Balatronicum n.p.: The favourite oaths of the thieves of the present day are, [...] ‘I wish my bloody eyes may drop out if it is not true!’ [...] ‘Bloody end to me!’.|
|London Guide 10: The great man threatened to kick him [...] and applied to him the words — ‘fool, rascal, and b— theif’ .|
|Man o’ War’s Man (1843) 72: Besides, what is the use of making such a bloody nitty about nothing?|
|Navy at Home I 8: My eyes, not so fast — don’t gammon a fellow — here's a lad wants something as well as yourselves — you've no ’casion to be in such a b—y hurry.|
|Kentuckian in N.Y. I 20: I reckon I did take a hand or so aginst the bloody Injins.|
|Satirist & Sporting Chron. (Sydney) 4 Feb. 2/1: D—n your eyes if you don’t pack that wood I’ll break your b—y neck.|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 20 Sept. 2/4: The ruffian saying all the time ‘you bl—dy wretch I’ll learn you to take my character away’.|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 30 Jan. 2/1: She called me a b—y free immigrant and said [...] she would jump my b—y guts out.|
|Travels in New South Wales 58: A bushranger will call out, ‘Stop, or I’ll blow your bloody brains out.’.|
|Yorks. Gaz. 24 June 6/6: He then doubled up his shirtsleeves and said [...] ‘I have come for a b—y row, and a b—y row I will have’.|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 24 July 2/6: Och, yer b— murherin villyan!|
|Chester Chron. 25 June 6/5: To hell with the b— Pope, and down with all Papists.|
|(con. 1840s–50s) London Labour and London Poor III 306/1: By G--! if you ain’t soon mizzled, I’ll crack your b----y skull open for you!|
|Golden Age (Queanbeyan, NSW) 4 Sept. 3/2: [A]bout every fourth word Master TOM turns out being that sanguineous oath that throws such a crimson glow over the conversation of young gentlemen of his stamp [...] Does a man ask TOM if that filly can race? TOM’S oath, ‘she can race a — hurricane’.|
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 6/1: Blasting her bloody eyes for such luck, she would call for the ‘max,’ and say that was all the ‘flat’ had in his ‘poke’ or ‘kick’.|
|Portland Guardian & Normanby Gen. Advertiser (Vic.) 27 Oct. n.p.: I register a dark and bloody oath that you shan’t sing.|
|‘Momus’ Misc. 67: I like to sing of bloody work, / Of dismal war and wrack.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 28 Feb. 11/2: When we get over our axels in a bog an’ start fair an’ square on the cussin’ racket, I guess the recordin’ angel can’t go loafing round with his hands in his breeches pockets then, you bet. Whoa-up, yer b— Strawberry, where y’ goin’ t’ now?|
|Forty Years a Gambler 247: The lad has lost his gun, lads, and we must get the bloody thing for ’im.|
|My Secret Life (1966) II 305: If ever you tell I’ll cut your bloody throat.|
|Bulletin 11 Dec. 26: He jumped across the ---- horse / And cantered off, of ---- course!‘The Great Australian Adjective’ in|
|Sun. Times (Perth) 26 July 4/7: Mr Gardiner then replied in these words— ‘We don’t want any more of your b—y technicalities’.|
|Proc. Old Bailey 2 Apr. 287: You are a b— fine fellow; you had better look after yourself or you’ll go home with your b—head under your arm tied with a bit of string.|
|Everlasting Mercy 28: I’ll bloody him a bloody fix, / I’ll bloody burn his bloody ricks.|
|parlty report in Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW) 22 July 1/2: Mr. Laffer: You said more. You said: ‘What did you want to kiss that damned book for?’ The whole thing is a bloody farce.|
|Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man 228: A flaming bloody sugar, that’s what he is!|
|New York Day By Day 5 Sept. [synd. col.] He was asked what impressed him most [about New York] and the bloody bounder replied: ‘Fat!’.|
|Three Soldiers 279: ‘But what do you have to do?’ ‘Do? Nothing,’ cried Henslowe. ‘Not a blooming bloody goddam thing!’.|
|Ulysses 91: What? Mr Dedalus asked. That confirmed bloody hobbledyhoy is it?|
|Tropic Death (1972) 56: How de bleedy hell dem heckspeck a man fi’ trabble tree days an’ tree whole a nights beout giv’ him any hot watah.|
|Look Homeward, Angel (1930) 344: In three days more we’ll be out of the bloody show and back home on leave.|
|Gun for Sale (1973) 16: ‘A bloody bully,’ the girl said.|
|Mass-Observation Report on Juvenile Drinking 11: Look at those bloody little bitches over there, they want their bloody arses smacked.|
|Letter in Charters (1993) 211: I got to work now on script so I can pay Uncle Sam his bloody tax.|
|On The Road (1972) 25: I was in such a bloody hurry to get to the gang in Denver.|
|Picture Palace 69: Then where’s your bloody camera?|
|Skin Tight 34: First the Mafia hitman . . . now a bloody TV crew.|
|Guardian G2 15 Mar. 4: Have bloody cod and chips darlin’.|
|Turning (2005) 295: My father said I was a bloody sook.‘Immunity’|
2. usu. of a person or experience, unpleasant.
|John Bull in America 123: For my part, I am [...] ready to say, or swear to anything, to be revenged on these bloody Yankees.|
|B.E.F. Times 15 Aug. (2006) 212/1: C.O. – ‘Some life, isn’t it?’ Adj. ‘B----y.’.|
|Mufti 149: Have you ever sat down to a more perfectly bloody tea?|
|(con. WWI) Gloss. of Sl. [...] in the A.I.F. 1921–1924 (rev. t/s) n.p.: bloody. [...] (2) unpleasant.|
|Well of Loneliness (1976) 231: Damn the thing, it’s too utterly bloody! It’s ruined my gloves, and now look at the table!|
|Death in Ecstasy 285: ‘You’re looking ill.’ ‘I’m feeling bloody.’.|
|in Mass-Observation War Factory: A Report 1: When they send you somewhere quite bloody they usually try to keep you there.|
|Sel. Letters (1992) 164: I shouldn’t mind leaving England, only Belfast is equally bloody, I believe.Letter 20 May in Thwaite|
|Wake in Fright [ebook] ‘How do you feel after last night?’ said Joe, startling Grant a little. ‘Bloody’.|
|Owning Up (1974) 66: The students, like most French students, were conceited and bloody.|
|Current Sl. V:4 8: Bloody, adj. Disgusting; provoking (an emotional term used to show anger, impatience, or indignation (Canadian).|
|(con. 1920s) Emerald Square 31: The Granny couldn’t stand him and made no bones about it. ‘That’s a bloddy get, if ever I saw one.’.|
|Rebelliad 76: They roar’d and bawl’d, and were so bloody, / As to besiege Lord Bibo’s study.|
|College Words (rev. edn) 29: bloody. Formerly a college term for daring, rowdy, impudent.|
4. as infix.
|Jubb (1966) 62: You peeping bloody Tom!|
|Real Thing 80: He could be up to any-bloody-thing.|
|Observer (London) Mag. 16 Oct. 55/2: Isn’t my money as good as Giles bloody Coren’s?|
see fucking Ada! under fucking adj.
see fucking Nora! under fucking adj.
see my bloody oath! under my oath! excl.
SE in slang uses
a soldier; also attrib.
|Mass. Gazette Extraordinary 21 June n.p.: Come you Rascals, you bloody Backs, you Lobster Scoundrels; fire if you dare, G-d damn you [R].|
|Stamford mercury 27 Mar. 1/2: [from N.Y. Gazette] SDamn you, Randall, will you take quarters from such a bloody-back scoundrel?|
|, ,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|Life and Travels 21: The bakers very boldly answered: ‘this bread is for gentlemen and not for you d----d bloody backs’.|
|Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|Lancaster Gaz. 22 May 8/3: I really believe that the author merely wished for notoriety. If so, these ‘bloody backs’ have serve his purpose.|
|Amer. Hist. 188: They dared the bloody back to fire, and pressed closer and closer upon him.|
1. a notably tough saloon or bar.
|How the Other Half Lives 212: The Fourth Ward points with pride to the honorable record of the conductors of its ‘Tub of Blood,’ and a dozen bar-rooms with less startling titles.|
|[instrumental title] Bucket of Blood.|
|(con. 1870s) A. Carey Memoirs of a Murder Man 7: The Burnt Rag, Satan’s Circus, Hell’s Kitchen, Cockran’s Roost, McGuirk’s Suicide Hall, the Bucket of Blood, Billy McGlory’s Place, the Slide, and other notorious rendezvous.|
|This Place on Third Avenue (2001) 3: This place is a saloon [...] It isn’t tough like some of the buckets-of-blood along the avenue.‘This Place on Third Avenue’ in|
|‘Badman Dan and Two-Gun Green’ in Life (1976) 127: I was tending bar, I’ll never forget. / It was the Bucket of Blood where the two first met.et al.|
|Lively Commerce 175: Many servicemen prefer the quieter spots but others are attracted to the ‘tubs of blood’.|
|After Hours 219: Lloyd told me you runnin’ a bucket of blood.|
|(con. 1940s–60s) Eve. Sun Turned Crimson (1998) 123: At the corner of Eighth Avenue and Forty-second Street there used to be a notorious bar [...] known as the Bucket of Blood — although that wasn’t the real name.‘Ed Leary’ in|
|Under A Hoodoo Moon 220: He worked the other joints, the buckets-of-blood.|
|Night Gardener 20: The was [...] neither a bucket of blood nor a home for gentrifiers.|
2. attrib. use of sense 1.
|In For Life 147: High jinks in some frontier town bucket-of-blood saloon.|
|in Hellhole 171: They sit with you [...] around a scarred wooden table in one of their own Bloody Bucket bars on the Bowery.|
|Ringolevio 99: This dislike [of strangers] gave the store a bucket-of-blood reputation.|
3. a tough area of a town or city, orig. that which surrounded a local rough tavern.
|[||diary 26 June [Internet] The British call our camp site ‘The Bucket of Blood’ because we are under shell fire & many men have been killed here].|
|Rage in Harlem (1969) 93: It is a truck rutted street of violence and danger, known in the underworld as the Bucket-of-Blood.|
an uncooked sheep’s head.
|Vocab. of the Flash Lang.|
|Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc.|
|Norfolk Chron. 22 Feb. 4/2: He was told when he stood for Norwich that he had voted for the Anatomy Bill *which he did not) and they said he was a ‘bloody jemmy’ (Laughter).|
|Bell’s Life in London 22 Apr. 4/5: He contrived to hit Donovan heavily [...] damaging his nut so materially as to give it all the appearance, as Sir Robert Peel would say, of ‘a sanguinary James’, or, as the defunct Scorggins would have vulgarly expressed it, ‘a bloody jemmy’.|
|,||Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.|
|N. Devon Jrnl 23 Jan. 6/2: Brown, who was shouting ‘Beef!’ and said something about a ‘bloody Jemmy’.|
(US) a menstruating woman, used by a woman of herself, e.g. I’m bloody mary today; thus the menstrual period itself.
|Word 4 183: Female anthropomorphisms [...] are numerous [...] others make direct references to blood, like I’m Bloody Mary today . . The use of red or blood in speaking of menstruation is more often found in male speech than in female: the Red Sea’s out, she’s got the bloody monthlies, and blood and sand.|
|CUSS 82: Bloody Mary be menstruating.et al.|
|AS XLVI:1/2 82: Menstrual period [...] bloody Mary.‘Urban Word Geog.’|
|‘The Art of the Menstrual Cycle’ [Internet] Throughout the years, the woman’s menstrual cycle has been looked upon as something of great negativity. In fact, common words for referring to the female function have included ‘the curse’, ‘Bloody Mary’, ‘Big Red’, and ‘Being on the rag’, just to name a few.|
the last day of the school term, on which holidays begin and on which punishments are trad. given out.
|letter to Father Winchester College 18 May n.p.: We shall breack up on the Whensday before holy Thursday: And Sr. I would desire you to let your horses be here on the Satterday following that I may be going on Bloddy Munday, upon which day all the Children [...] Goe home & after that day noebody stays but some of the Children which the Warden makes stay here for some notorious action they have committed [OED].|
|Prologue spoke to Much Ado about Nothing’ in Annual Register (1766) 286: I, like a boy who long has truant play’d [...] On bloody Monday take my fearful stand / And often eye the birchen-scepter’d hand .‘|
a phr. signifying that a person is drunk.
|, ,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: The flag of defiance or bloody flag is out, sea phrase signifying the man is drunk and alluding to the redness of his face.|
see my bloody oath! under my oath! excl.