bloody adv. although a single example vilifiying a ‘bloody thief’ has been found for 1599, thus predating the adv.; Grose wrote in 1796 of how popular bloody was among the contemporary London underworld. There is no doubt that, along with the transported felons of the period, it made its way to the penal colonies of Botany Bay. Fifty years later it was well-established. In his book Travels in New South Wales (1847), Alexander Marjoribanks noted the prevalence of the word, claiming that he had heard a bullock-driver use it 27 times in 15 minutes, a rate of speech, he then calculated, that over a 50-year period would produce some 18,200,000 repetitions of the ‘disgusting word’. The Sydney Bulletin called it ‘the Australian adjective’ in its edition of 18 August 1894, explaining that ‘it is more used, and used more exclusively by Australians, than by any other allegedly civilized nation’. The term gained its final sanctification as the ‘Great Australian Adjective’ when W.T. Goodge used it as the title for one of the poems he included in his Hits! Skits! and Jingles! (1899)]
[late 16C; 19C+] 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’.
[early 19C+] usu. of a person or experience, unpleasant.
[his scarlet jacket; ? extra ref. to the frequent floggings of army discipline]
[late 18C–mid-19C] a soldier; also attrib.
(alsobucket of blood, tub of blood) [the original 19C Bucket of Blood, Shorty Young’s tavern in Havre, Montana; its reputation spread and the term became generic for similar establishments; but note ref. to 18C ‘a dwelling in Water Lane, off Fleet Street, known as “Blood Bowl house” [...] where there seldom passed a month without the commission of a murder’ (in Peter Ackroyd’s London, 2000); this public house, properly known as the Red Lion, is pictured in plate IX of Hogarth’s Industry & Idleness] (US)
[late 19C+] a notably tough saloon or bar.
2. attrib. use of sense 1.
[1960s] a tough area of a town or city, orig. that which surrounded a local rough tavern.