E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
or a staunch blue, descriptive of political opinions, for the most part means a Tory, for in most counties the Conservative colour is blue. (See TRUE BLUE.)
This was a blue demonstration, a gathering of the Conservative clans.Holme Lee.
A blue. (See BLUE STOCKING.)
A dark blue. An Oxford man or Harrow boy.
A light blue. A Cambridge man or Eton boy.
An old blue. One who has pulled in a University boat-race, or taken part in any of their athletic contests.
There were five old blues playing.Standard, May 8th, 1883.
True blue. This is a Spanish phrase, and refers to the notion that the veins shown in the skin of aristocratic families are more blue than that of inferior persons. (See SANG.)
True blue will never stain. A really noble heart will never disgrace itself. The reference is to blue aprons and blouses worn by butchers, which do not show blood-stains.
True as Coventry blue. The reference is to a blue cloth and blue thread made at Coventry, noted for its permanent dye.
Twas Presbyterian true blue (Hudibras, i. 1). The allusion is to the blue apron
which some of the Presbyterian preachers used to throw over their preaching-tub before they began to address the people. In one of the Rump songs we read of a person going to hear a lecture, and the song says
Where I a tub did view,
Hung with an apron blue;
Twas the preachers, I conjecture.
To look blue. To be disconcerted. He was blue in the face. Aghast with wonder. The effect of fear and wonder is to drive the colour from the cheeks, and give them a pale-bluish tinge.