April 1st, 2004

(no subject)

Today’s WotD is that quintessential Cockney expression:

• exclamation Brit. Informal expressing surprise, excitement, or alarm.
— ORIGIN altered form of God blind (or blame) me!, 19th Century

Contrary to public opinion, Dick van Dyke did not say ‘Cor blimey! Luv a duck’ in Mary Poppins … although most people use that particular phrase when demonstrating just how awful his Cockney accent really was!

Blimey dates from a time when blasphemy was still frowned upon. People found ways of swearing without actually using God’s name in vain. It occurs in various formats including:

Cor blimey Cor being a contraction of God
Gawd (or Gor) blimey Gawd/Gor=God


Blimey O’Reilly … although why poor O’Reilly needs to be blinded I haven’t been able to establish!

Most dictionaries still list blimey as a expletive, albeit it a minor one. Nowdays, it actually equates to wow or ‘my goodness!
… All together now … ‘Eets a jolly horlyday wiv Meery’