Green’s Dictionary of Slang

blister n.1

[SE blister]

1. from the unpleasantness of the physical blister.

(a) an offensive or argumentative person; usu. old blister; also used affectionately.

[UK]J. Beresford Miseries of Human Life (1826) 133: A perpetual blister; – alias, a sociable next-door-neighbour, who has taken a violent affection for you.
[US]Life in Boston & N.Y. (Boston, MA) 23 Aug. n.p.: Why does that old blister, Nell Williams [...] try to go with another woman’s man?
[US]Ashtabula Wkly Teleg. (OH) 28 Jan. 1/4: The young man with an air of bravado [...] said, ‘Per-haps I do: won’t you change them, old blister?’.
[US]Idaho World (Idaho City, ID) 29 July 3/3: The old scoundrel talks lovingly of ‘Tom’ [but] Tom will refuse to again allow the contaminating embraces of the discarded ‘old blister’.
[UK]Dly Gaz. for Middlesborough 12 Oct. 2/3: The old blister had got to be unbearable.
[US]Sacramento Dly Record-Union (CA) 8 Jan. 3/4: She keeps that old blister of a mother of hers in clover. I wouldn’t.
[US](con. c.1840) ‘Mark Twain’ Huckleberry Finn 256: Well, I never see anything like that old blister for clean out-and-out cheek.
Meridional (Abbeville, LA) 7 Mar. 2/1: I am a Pharr, / A jolly tar, / A rare and ripe old blister.
[UK]A. Binstead Houndsditch Day by Day 135: Ben Simmons was a real social blister. Ben was a real bad egg.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 18 Dec. 4/7: [to a dog] Stop that (missing words) yelping, you blister!
[Scot]‘Ian Hay’ Lighter Side of School Life 81: Mr. Wellings’ reputation throughout the school [...] was that of a ‘chronic blister’.
[UK]Wodehouse Inimitable Jeeves 30: If only Aunt Agatha and the other blisters had been elsewhere.
[US]J. Lait Gangster Girl 24: Downstairs is a dress joint—it’s run by a blister named Imogene.
[Aus]K. Tennant Foveaux 249: That beastly old blister had the hide to button-hole him in the street.
[US]J. Archibald ‘Klump a la Carte’ Popular Det. July 🌐 The blonde blister also recovered surprisingly fast and threw the big wordy tome at the Klump coco.
[UK]C. Day Lewis Otterbury Incident 15: I’d better try to describe this pair of blisters.
[UK]Wodehouse Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit 46: I didn’t like the look of the old blister at all.
[UK]Wodehouse Jeeves in the Offing 6: Describing this young blister as a one-girl beauty chorus.
[UK]Wodehouse Much Obliged, Jeeves 77: Do you know a local blister of the name of Mrs McCorkadale?
[Ire]Share Slanguage.

(b) an unattractive or promiscuous woman.

[US]J.W. Carr ‘Words from Northwest Arkansas’ in DN III:i 70: blister, n. An immoral woman. ‘She’s a blister.’.
[US]‘Dean Stiff’ Milk and Honey Route 201: Broad or brod – A woman, generally young and opposite of bat or blister, which means an old woman.
[US]‘Mae West in “The Hip Flipper”’ [comic strip] in B. Adelman Tijuana Bibles (1997) : 93: He had caught up with lots of these movie-struck blisters in Sillywood.
[US]D. Maurer ‘Prostitutes and Criminal Argots’ in Lang. Und. (1981) 117/1: bladder. An unattractive prostitute. Also beetle, blister, boat-and-oar, [...] each expressing varying degrees of unattractiveness.
[US]J. Archibald ‘Dead Letter Officer’ in 10-Story Detective Jan. 🌐 He met her at a murder, and if you could see this blond blister, you would believe it .
[US]Randolph & Wilson Down in the Holler 109: Carr reports that blister is ‘not uncommon’ in Washington County, Arkansas, as a term for an ‘immoral woman’.
[US]G. Radano Walking the Beat 15: ‘[W]e get a radio run. Family trouble [...] this blister and her husband. She’s waving a kitchen knife.
[US]R.A. Wilson Playboy’s Book of Forbidden Words 41: Blister. A prostitute.
[US]Maledicta IX 148: The compilers ought to have looked farther afield and found: […] blister.

2. the role of the blister in adhering to the skin.

(a) a legal summons; a warrant [the summons results from scorching, i.e. exceeding the speed limit (see scorch v. (2))].

[UK] ‘Handy Andy’ in Bentley’s Misc. Feb. 173: Just send me the blister for him, and I’ll engage I’ll stick it on him.
[UK]Sessions Papers 17 Nov. 33: I was served with four blisters yesterday .
[Aus]Townsville Daily Bulletin (Aus.) 14 June 13: A ‘blister’ means a summons.
[UK]J. Curtis They Drive by Night 168: He drove carefully through Chesterfield. He couldn’t afford another blister.
[UK]Thieves Slang ms list from District Police Training Centre, Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Warwicks 2: Blister: Warrant or summons.
[UK]P. Hoskins No Hiding Place! 189/2: Blister. Summons.

(b) (Aus.) a mortgage.

[Aus]Gadfly (Adelaide) 14 Mar. 9/1: I said I’d put his pot on, and so I up and told the filly about his finances. ‘He’s dead broke,’ says I. ‘He’s got a house,’ says she. ‘With a big blister,’ says I.’ / ‘A blister?’ I queried again. / ‘A mortgage, if you like,’ said the sportsman.
[UK] in Vance Palmer Legend for Sanderson in DSUE (1984).
[UK]E. Hill Territory 431: Never carry a ‘blister’, a bill or an account.

(c) (Aus./N.Z.) a written official reprimand.

[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 27 Apr. 3/6: His Whiskers [...] gave the honest , old chap a ‘blister,’ charging him with ‘hawking green bushes’ with out a license.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 25: blister [...] Official reprimand in writing. Originally a court summons. From 1920s. ANZ.

3. (US) a fast racehorse; a good boxer.

[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 9 Aug. 4/7: Yankees call a speedy nag or boxer a ‘blister’.

4. (US Und.) a tramp who deliberately creates scars and sores on the limbs by the application of acid or alkalis.

[US]‘Boxcar Bertha’ Sister of the Road (1975) 301: blisters (Those who put acids or alkalis on the limbs to create the impression of ugly sores.

5. (US) in pl., the female breasts.

[US]H.M. Anderson Strip Tease 44: ‘Pinknose’ is breast. ‘Blisters’ is another synonym for the same...‘Oh what blisters she’s got!’.

In phrases