Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: to feel blue

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    17
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default to feel blue

    I would like to know what does this idiom mean. To feel blue. Thank you. MZ

  2. #2
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,556
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: to feel blue

    Quote Originally Posted by zilak34 View Post
    I would like to know what does this idiom mean. To feel blue. Thank you. MZ
    To feel sad, often (though not always) for romantic/sexual reasons. I think the romantic link came about because blue rhymes with lots of useful words for popular songwriters (you, too, two, through...).

    b

  3. #3
    AlainK Guest

    Wink Re: to feel blue

    Apparently, the adjective is much older than the songs blues singers sing:
    meaning "depression, low spirits" goes back to 1741, from adj. blue "low-spirited," c.1385.
    (Online Etymology Dictionary)
    And from the Dictionary of Americanisms, by John Russell Bartlett (1848)
    (Dictionary of Americanisms, by John Russell Bartlett (1848))
    BLUE. Gloomy, severe; extreme, ultra.
    In the former sense it is applied especially to the Presbyterians, to denote their severe and mortified appearance. Thus, beneath an old portrait of the seventeenth century, in the Woodburn Gallery, is the following inscription:
    A true blue Priest, a Lincey Woolsey Brother,
    One legg a pulpit, holds a tub the other;
    An Orthodox grave, moderate Presbyterian,
    Half surplice cloake, half Priest, half Puritan.
    Made up of all these halfes, hee cannot pass
    For anything entirely but an ass.
    In the latter sense it is used particularly in politics.
    The bluest description of old Van Rensselaer Federalists have followed Col. Prentiss (in Otsego county).--N. Y. Tribune.
    ...not to forget Wikipedia that gives this etymology:

    The phrase the blues is a reference to having a fit of the blue devils, meaning 'down' spirits, depression and sadness. An early reference to "the blues" can be found in George Colman's farce Blue devils, a farce in one act (1798).
    I hope our Usonian friends will forgive my talking a blue streak, ahem...
    Last edited by AlainK; 03-Feb-2007 at 23:01. Reason: Addition

  4. #4
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,556
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: to feel blue

    Quote Originally Posted by AlainK View Post
    Apparently, the adjective is much older than the songs blues singers sing...
    Yes, the sexual/romantic overtones have only been added in the last century or so. But I think someone who says 'I'm feeling blue' nowadays is probably talking about emotions. Someone who's just sad says 'I'm feeling down/depressed/glum'... ( maybe that last one is strictly BE.)

    Referring to that N.Y. Tribune piece, is it just in BE that 'true blue' often means '[politically] conservative'?

    b

  5. #5
    AlainK Guest

    Default Re: to feel blue

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post

    Referring to that N.Y. Tribune piece, is it just in BE that 'true blue' often means '[politically] conservative'?

    b
    Apparently, this is (used to be,) the same in the US, for when JRB wrote "In the latter sense it is used particularly in politics.", he probably meant the last word in the list given at the beginning of the definition: "Gloomy, severe; extreme, ultra."

    Not being a native speaker, I have no doubt that you understand nuances, or even just can feel without always being to explain them.
    Thanks for your input.

  6. #6
    AlainK Guest

    Default Re: to feel blue

    Quote Originally Posted by AlainK View Post
    "In the latter sense it is used particularly in politics."
    ...which, incidently, is a good example of a comparative where we French people would use a superlative.
    Not to mention "late, later, latter, latest, and last" (but not least :))

    I suddenly feel dizzy...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    36
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: to feel blue

    Also have the blues:

    to feel blue - to feel sad and depressed.

    "I'm feeling blue because I haven't had any mail except bills for a long, long time."

    "After seeing the old house in such bad shape, I had the blues for weeks"

    The noun blues, meaning "low spirits," was first recorded in 1741 and may come from blue devil, a 17th-century term for a baleful demon, or from the adjective blue meaning "sad," a usage first recorded in Chaucer's Complaint of Mars (c. 1385). The idiom may have been reinforced by the notion that anxiety produces a livid skin color.

    Colour psychology says that Blue can create feelings of sadness or aloofness. Colour Blue can also lower the pulse rate and body temperature.

    The blues, (used with a plural verb) depressed spirits; despondency; melancholy; depression.

    "This rainy spell is giving me the blues."

    Blue Monday:

    a Monday regarded as a depressing workday in contrast to the pleasant relaxation of the weekend.

Similar Threads

  1. Feel bad feel badly
    By thebossfan in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 15-May-2009, 13:25
  2. The Blue Paintings
    By cutemina1211 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 17-Aug-2006, 08:30
  3. to feel + adjective/adverb
    By Lenka in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 16-Nov-2005, 17:40
  4. have a good feel?
    By peppy_man in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 15-Oct-2005, 13:06
  5. Idiom: Red, White and Blue
    By bmo in forum English Idioms and Sayings
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-Nov-2004, 08:19

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •