a bolt from the blue

a bolt from the blue :

between the devil and the deep blue sea

caught in a dilemma

trapped between two equally dangerous alternatives

a bolt from the blue

a sudden and unexpected event or piece of news

This phrase refers to the unlikelihood of a thunderbolt coming out of a clear blue sky.

do something until you are blue in the face

persist in trying your hardest at an activity but without success – informal

once in a blue moon

very rarely

practically never – informal

The colour blue was an arbitrary choice in this phrase. To say that the moon is blue is recorded in the 16th century as a way of indicating that something could not be true.

out of the blue

without warning

very unexpectedly – informal

This phrase refers to a blue (i.e. clear) sky, from which nothing unusual is expected.

scream blue murder = yell blue murder

make an extravagant and noisy protest – informal

A North American variant of this phrase is scream bloody murder.

1995 - lain Banks - Whit I was now left with the ticklish problem of how to let my great-aunt know there was somebody there in the room with her without... causing her to scream blue murder.

talk a blue streak

speak continuously and at great length - North American informal

A blue streak refers to something like a flash of lightning in its speed and vividness.

true blue


The sense of someone being true blue may derive from the idea of someone being genuinely aristocratic or having blue blood.

In recent times, the term true blue has become particularly associated with loyal supporters of the British Conservative party.

the wide blue yonder = the wild blue yonder

the sky or sea

the far or unknown distance

The phrase comes from Army Air Corps (1939), a song by Robert Crawford : Off we go into the wild blue yonder, Climbing high into the sun.

a bolt from the blue :

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