A minced oath derived from (God) blind me (either concurrent with or from a clipping of cor blimey or gorblimey), or blame me. Compare crivvens, drat, etc.
- (Received Pronunciation, General American) IPA(key): /ˈblaɪmi/
Audio (GA) (file) Audio (AU) (file)
- Rhymes: -aɪmi
- Hyphenation: bli‧mey
- (Australia, Britain, New Zealand, Ireland) Used to express anger, excitement, surprise, etc. [From late 19th c.]
- 1897, H[erbert] G[eorge] Wells, “At Port Stowe”, in The Invisible Man: A Grotesque Romance, New York, N.Y.; London: Harper & Brothers Publishers, →OCLC, page 120:
- I know the chap that started the lie. There ain't no Invisible Man whatsoever—Blimey.
- 1897 September, Richard Marsh [pseudonym; Richard Bernard Heldmann], “Outside”, in The Beetle: A Mystery, London: T[homas] Fisher Unwin […], published August 1907, →OCLC, book I (The House with the Open Window), page 4:
- 'But, if there's room, aren't they bound to take me in?' / 'Course they are,—and, blimey, if I was you I'd make 'em. Blimey I would!'
- 1908 September, Jerome K[lapka] Jerome, “Passing of the Third Floor Back”, in Passing of the Third Floor Back, New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead and Company, →OCLC, page 2:
- Blimy if I don't believe 'e's taking 'ome 'is washing up his back.
- 1915, Harry S. Miller (lyrics and music), “Blime Me, O’Reilly (You’re Doing Quite Well) [cover title: Blime Me Mr. O’Reilly but You’re Looking Mighty Well]”, New York, N.Y.: The Cadillac Music; Springfield, Mass.; Chicago, Ill.: A. H. Goetting, →OCLC, page 5:
- If you're the O'Reilly, they speak of so highly, / Why blime me, O'Reilly, you're doing quite well.
- 1919, The Windsor Magazine: An Illustrated Monthly for Men and Women, volume IV, London: Ward, Lock and Bowden, →OCLC, page 99, column 1:
- "Blimey," he said, "this is a bit er orl roight! Never thought yer'd be ible to tork our lingo like a blinkin' nitive. Cahm orn—let's 'op it to the kerridge!"
- 1935, Kenneth [Lewis] Roberts, “For Authors Only”, in For Authors Only: And Other Gloomy Essays, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Doran & Company, →OCLC, page 11:
- "Blimey!" he says in his rough, shepherd's voice, "blimey, but it's cruel 'ard to be chucked out of one's digs wivout a blarsted word! [...]"
- 1988, Alan Hollinghurst, The Swimming-Pool Library, New York, N.Y.: Random House, published 2010, →ISBN:
- ‘Blimy, Will,’ he said confidentially.
- 1996, Penny Vincenzi, The Dilemma, London: Headline Review, published 2007, →ISBN, page 311:
- ‘Blimey,’ said Barnaby. ‘Come on, Jack, quick as you can.’ / ‘Blimey,’ said Jack. ‘Blimey blimey blimey.’
- 2009, Duncan Campbell, chapter 5, in If It Bleeds, London: Headline Publishing Group, published 2011, →ISBN:
- ‘Blimey,’ said Laurie. ‘Is she serious? Was it something I said?’
- 2013, Mark Johnston, “Introduction”, in Anzacs in the Middle East: Australian Soldiers, Their Allies and the Local People in World War II, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire; Port Melbourne, Vic.: Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, page 1:
- According to an Australian gunner, 'a nostalgic little new-arrival' among the Tommies asked: 'Is it true all you Aussies are volunteers?' When told that it was, '… he hesitated a moment. Then he blurted out: "Blime, choom, y' must 've 'ad a fair ——— of a 'ome-life!"'
used to express anger, excitement, surprise, etc.
- ^ “blimey, int.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1933; “blimey, excl.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.