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Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English blee, ble (colour, hue), from Old English blēo, bleoh (colour, hue; complexion, form), from Proto-Germanic *blīwą (colour, blee; glad, light), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰley-, *bʰlew- (light, pleasant; fair (of weather)). Cognate with Scots ble, blee, blie (colour, complexion), Old Frisian blī, blie (colour, hue; complexion) (whence North Frisian bläy), Old Saxon blī (colour, hue; complexion), Old High German blīo(h) (colour, hue), blīo (metallic lead) (modern German Blei), Danish bly (lead), Icelandic blý (lead). Perhaps related to Old English blīþe (joyous) (whence blithe). See also bly.


blee (countable and uncountable, plural blees)

  1. (rare, chiefly poetic) Colour, hue. [from 9th to early 17th c.]
  2. (archaic) Colour of the face, complexion. [from 9th to early 17th c.]
  3. Consistency, form, texture. [from 9th to early 17th c.]
    • 1880, Algernon Charles Swinburne, “The Poet and the Woodlouse”, in The Heptalogia, or, The Seven against Sense: A Cap with Seven Bells (Specimens of Modern Poets), London: Chatto & Windus, Piccadilly, OCLC 70377726, page 46:
      I am thrilled half cosmically through by cryptophantic surgings / Till the rhythmic hills roar silent through a spongious kind of blee: / And earth's soul yawns disembowelled of her pancreatic organs, / Like a madrepore if mesmerized, in rapt catalepsy.
  4. (East Anglia) General resemblance, likeness; appearance, aspect, look.
    • [1830, Robert Forby, “BLEE”, in The Vocabulary of East Anglia; an Attempt to Record the Vulgar Tongue of the Twin Sister Counties, Norfolk and Suffolk, as It Existed in the Last Twenty Years of the Eighteenth Century, and still Exists; with Proof of Its Antiquity from Etymology and Authority. [...] In Two Volumes, volume I, London: Printed by and for J[ohn] B[oyer] Nichols and Son, 25, Parliament Street, OCLC 156094369, pages 27–28:
      BLEE, s[ubstantive] general resemblance, not "colour and complexion," as the dictt. [dictionaries in general] give it; Mr. Nares asserts that it was obsolete in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. If so, we have a very extraordinary instance of the renascence of a word; for it is in use every day in the sense here given to it. Ex. "That boy has a strong blee of his father." br. [Brockett's Glossary] in the sense of complexion. ch. p. g. [Chaucer; Percy's Glossary]]
Related termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Associated with Smash Hits magazine, where it may have originated.



  1. (informal) Expressing disgust or trepidation.
    • 1988, Sinclair User (issue 79)
      Bikers [] tend to appear at the edges of the road and then zoom in front of your car. [] As you have probably found out already, one touch of these and it's time to order the wooden box. (Blee!)
    • 1991, Nick Roberts, Cavemania (video game review) in Crash (issue 87, page 47)
      It's a boring life being a cave man. No telly, no video and not even a Spectrum! Blee! All you can do is eat, but Brontosaurus steaks can be very tough.





  1. night
    Aŋge blee ndaa fuŋu ta.
    Last night I had a house guest.