Blue-noses The Nova Scotians.

“Pray, sir,' said one of my fellow-passengers, `can you tell me the reason why the Nova Scotians are called “Blue-noses”?'

“ `It is the name of a potato,' said I, `which they produce in the greatest perfection, and boast to be the best in the world. The Americans have, in consequence, given them the nickname of Blue Noses. ' ”- Haliburton: Sam Slick.
Blue Peter A flag with a blue ground and white square in the centre, hoisted as a signal that the ship is about to sail. Peter is a corruption of the French partir (leave or notice of departure). The flag is hoisted to give notice to the town that any person having a money-claim may make it before the ship starts, and that all about to sail are to come on board.
   According to Falconer, it is a corruption of the “blue repeater.”
   In whist, it is a “call for trumps”; that is, laying on your partner's card a higher one than is required.
   To hoist the blue Peter. To leave.

“ `When are you going to sail?'

“ `I cannot justly say. Our ship's bound for America next voyage ... but I've got to go to the Isle of Man first ... And I may have to hoist the blue Peter any day.' ”- Mrs. Gaskell: Mary Barton, chap. xiii.
Blue- pigeon Flyer A man who steals the lead off of a house or church. “Bluey” is slang for lead, so called from its colour. To “pigeon” is to gull, cheat, or fub. Hence, blue-pigeon, one who cheats another of his lead, or fubs his lead. “Flyer,” of course, is one who flies off with the stolen lead.

Blue Ribbon (The). “To be adorned with the blue ribbon,” to be made knight of the garter, or adorned with a blue ribbon at the knee. Blue ribbon is also a temperance badge. (See Cordon Bleu .)

“Lord Lansdown is to be made Knight of the Garter ... though there is no vacancy. Lord Derby received the Blue Ribbon in 1859, although there was no vacancy.”- Truth: March, 1894.
   The Blue Ribbon of the Turf. The Derby. Lord George Bentinck sold his stud, and found to his vexation that one of the horses sold won the Derby a few months afterwards. Bewailing his ill-luck, he said to Disraeli, “Ah! you don't know what the Derby is.” “Yes, I do,” replied Disraeli; “it is the blue ribbon of the turf,” alluding to the term cordon bleu (q.v.); or else to the blue garter, the highest of all orders.
    “The blue ribbon of the profession” is the highest point of honour attainable therein. The blue ribbon of the Church is the Archbishopric of Canterbury, that in law is the office of Lord Chancellor.

Blue Ribbon (A). A wale from a blow. A bruise turns the skin blue.

“ `Do you want a blue ribbon round those white sides of yours, you monkey?' answered Orestes; `because, if you do, the hippopotamus hide hangs ready outside.' ”- Wingsley: Hypatia, chap. iv.
Blue Ruin Gin. Called blue from its tint, and ruin from its effects.

Blue Squadron (The). One of the three divisions of the British Fleet in the seventeenth century. (See Admiral Of The Blue .)

Blue Stocking A female pedant. In 1400 a society of ladies and gentlemen was formed at Venice, distinguished by the colour of their stockings, and called della calza. It lasted till 1590, when it appeared in Paris and was the rage among the lady savantes. From France it came to England in 1780, when Mrs. Montague displayed the badge of the Bas-bleu club at her evening assemblies. Mr. Benjamin Stillingfleet was a constant attendant of the soirées. The last of the clique was Miss Monckton, afterwards Countess of Cork, who died 1840.

“ `You used to be fond enough of books ... a regular blue-stocking Mr. Bland called you.' ”- E. S. Phelps: The Gates Ajar, chap. iv.
Blue Talk Indecent conversation, from the French, Bibliothèque Bleu. (Harlots are called “Blues” from the blue gown they were once compelled to wear in the House of Correction.)

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter/page Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission.
See our FAQ for more details.