blew
Old English bleow, past tense of blow (v.1).
blight (n.)
1610s, origin obscure; according to OED it emerged into literary speech from the talk of gardeners and farmers, perhaps ultimately from Old English blæce, blæcðu, a scrofulous skin condition and/or from Old Norse blikna "become pale." Used in a general way of agricultural diseases, sometimes with suggestion of "invisible baleful influence;" hence figurative sense of "anything which withers hopes or prospects or checks prosperity" (1828). Compare slang blighter. Urban blight attested by 1935.
blight (v.)
"afflict with blight," 1660s (implied in blighted), from blight (n.). Figurative use by 1712. Related: Blighted; blighting.
blighter (n.)
1822, "thing which blights," agent noun from blight (v.). British colloquial sense of "contemptible person" (often jocular) is recorded from 1896.
blimey
by 1889, probably a corruption of (God) blind me! First attested in a slang dictionary which defines it as "an apparently meaningless, abusive term."
blimp (n.)
1916, of obscure origin, many claimants. "One of the weird coinages of the airmen" [Weekley]. Common theory is that it is from designers' prototype nickname Type B-limp, in the sense of "without internal framework," as opposed to Type A-rigid; thus see limp (adj.).
blind (adj.)
Old English blind "blind," also "dark, enveloped in darkness, obscure; unintelligent, lacking mental perception," probably from Proto-Germanic *blinda- "blind" (cognates: Dutch and German blind, Old Norse blindr, Gothic blinds "blind"), perhaps, via notion of "to make cloudy, deceive," from an extended Germanic form of the PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn" (see bleach (v.)). Compare Lithuanian blendzas "blind," blesti "to become dark." The original sense would be not "sightless" but rather "confused," which perhaps underlies such phrases as blind alley (Chaucer's lanes blynde), which is older than the sense of "closed at one end" (1610s).
The twilight, or rather the hour between the time when one can no longer see to read and the lighting of the candles, is commonly called blindman's holiday. [Grose, 1796]
In reference to doing something without seeing it first, by 1840. Of aviators flying without instruments or without clear observation, from 1919. Related: Blinded; blinding. Blindman's bluff is from 1580s.
blind (v.)
"deprive of sight," early 13c., from Old English blendan "to blind, deprive of sight; deceive," from Proto-Germanic *blandjan (see blind (adj.)); form influenced in Middle English by the adjective. Related: Blinded; blinding.
blind (n.)
"a blind person; blind persons collectively," late Old Engish, from blind (adj.). Meaning "place of concealment" is from 1640s. Meaning "anything that obstructs sight" is from 1702.
blind date (n.)
by 1921, U.S. college student slang, from blind (adj.) + date (n.3). Earliest attested use is in reference to the person.
blind side (n.)
"unguarded aspect," c.1600; see blind (adj.). As a verb, also blind-side, blindside, "to hit from the blind side," first attested 1968, American English, in reference to U.S. football tackles.
blind spot (n.)
1864, "spot within one's range of vision where yet one cannot see." Of flaws in the eye, from 1872; figurative sense in use by 1907.
blinded (adj.)
1590s, past participle adjective from blind (v.). Figurative sense is earlier (1530s).
blinder (n.)
1580s, agent noun from blind (v.). Especially of blinkers for horses from c.1800, often figurative. Related: Blinders.
blindfold (v.)
1520s, alteration, by similarity to fold, of blindfelled (early 14c.), past participle of blindfellan "blindfold, cover the eyes (with a bandage, etc.)," also "to strike blind" (c.1200), from Old English (ge)blindfellian "to strike blind," from blind (adj.) + Anglian gefeollan "to strike down," as in to fell a tree (see fell (v.)). Related: Blindfolded; blindfolding.
blindfold (n.)
1880, from blindfold (v.).
blinding (adj.)
1784, past participle adjective from blind (v.). Related: Blindingly.
blindly (adv.)
Old English blindlice; see blind (adj.) + -ly (2).
blindness (n.)
Old English blindnysse, blendes, from blind + -ness. Figurative sense was in Old English.
blinds (n.)
"window screens," 1771, from blind (singular blind in this sense is recorded from 1731).
bling (n.)
also bling-bling, by 1997, U.S. rap slang, "wealth, expensive accessories," a sound suggestive of the glitter of jewels and precious metals (compare German blinken "to gleam, sparkle").
blink (v.)
1580s, perhaps from Middle Dutch blinken "to glitter," of uncertain origin, possibly, with German blinken "to gleam, sparkle, twinkle," from a nasalized form of base found in Old English blican "to shine, glitter" (see bleach (v.)).

Middle English had blynke (c.1300) in the sense "a brief gleam or spark," perhaps a variant of blench "to move suddenly or sharply; to raise one's eyelids" (c.1200), perhaps from the rare Old English blencan "deceive." Related: Blinked; blinking. The last, as a euphemism for a stronger word, is attested by 1914.
blink (n.)
1590s, "a glance;" see blink (v.). As is the case with the verb, there is a similar word in Middle English, in use from c.1300, that might represent a native form of the same root.
blinkard (n.)
a mocking term for a person with bad eyesight, c.1500, from blink (v.) + -ard. Figuratively, "one who lacks intellectual perception" (1520s).
blinker (n.)
1630s, "one who blinks," agent noun from blink (v.). As a type of horse eye screen to keep the animal looking straight ahead, from 1789. Slang meaning "the eye" is from 1816. Meaning "intermittent flashing light" is from 1923.
blinkered (adj.)
in the figurative sense, 1867, from horses wearing blinkers to limit the range of their vision (see blinker).
blintz (n.)
1903, from Yiddish blintze, from Russian blinyets, diminutive of blin "pancake," from Old Russian blinu.
blip (n.)
1894, in reference to a kind of popping sound, of echoic origin. Radar screen sense is from 1945. As a verb from 1924. Related: Blipped; blipping.
bliss (n.)
Old English blis, also bliðs "bliss, merriment, happiness, grace, favor," from Proto-Germanic *blithsjo (cognates: Old Saxon blidsea, blizza), from *blithiz "gentle, kind" + *-tjo noun suffix. Originally mostly of earthly happiness; influenced by association with bless and blithe.
bliss (v.)
often with out, by 1973, U.S. colloquial, from bliss (n.).
blissful (adj.)
late 12c., blisfulle, from bliss + -ful. Related: Blissfully; blissfulness.
blister (n.)
c.1300, perhaps via Old French blestre "blister, lump, bump," from a Scandinavian source (compare Old Norse blastr "a blowing," dative blæstri "swelling"), or from Middle Dutch blyster "swelling;" perhaps from PIE *bhlei- "to blow, swell," extension of root *bhel- (2) "to blow, inflate, swell;" see bole.
blister (v.)
"to become covered in blisters," late 15c.; "to raise blisters on," 1540s, from blister (n.). Related: Blistered; blistering.
blite (n.)
spinach, or plants like it, early 15c., from Latin blitum, from Greek bliton, of unknown origin.
blithe (adj.)
Old English bliþe "joyous, kind, cheerful, pleasant," from Proto-Germanic *blithiz "gentle, kind" (cognates: Old Saxon bliði "bright, happy," Middle Dutch blide, Dutch blijde, Old Norse bliðr "mild, gentle," Old High German blidi "gay, friendly," Gothic bleiþs "kind, friendly, merciful").

Rare since 16c. No cognates outside Germanic. "The earlier application was to the outward expression of kindly feeling, sympathy, affection to others, as in Gothic and ON.; but in OE. the word had come more usually to be applied to the external manifestation of one's own pleased or happy frame of mind, and hence even to the state itself." [OED]
blither (v.)
1868, variant of blether "talk nonsense," 1520s, a northern British and Scottish word, from Middle English blather (see blather (v.)). Related: Blithered; blithering.
blithering (adj.)
1880, present participle adjective (from the first typically with idiot) from blither (v.) "to talk nonsense." From 1872 as a verbal noun.
blithesome (adj.)
1724, from blithe + -some (1). An adjective from an adjective. Related: Blithesomely; blithesomeness.
blitz (n.)
"sudden overwhelming attack," 1940, shortening of blitzkrieg (1939). The use in U.S. football is from 1959. As a verb, 1940, from the noun. Related: Blitzed; blitzing.
blitzkrieg (n.)
"rapid attack," 1939, from German Blitzkrieg, from Blitz "lightning" (from Middle High German blicze, back-formation from bliczen "to flash," from Old High German blecchazzen "to flash, lighten" (8c.), from Proto-Germanic *blikkatjan, from PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn;" see bleach (v.)) + Krieg "war" (see kriegspiel).
blizzard (n.)
"strong, sustained snowstorm," 1859, origin obscure (perhaps somehow connected with blaze (n.1)); it came into general use in the U.S. in this sense the hard winter 1880-81. OED says it probably is "more or less onomatopœic," and adds "there is nothing to indicate a French origin." Before that it typically meant "violent blow," also "hail of gunfire" in American English from 1829, and blizz "violent rainstorm" is attested from 1770. The winter storm sense perhaps is originally a colloquial figurative use in the Upper Midwest of the U.S.
bloat (v.)
1670s, "to cause to swell" (earlier, in reference to cured fish, "to cause to be soft," 1610s), from now obsolete bloat (adj.), attested from c.1300 as "soft, flabby, flexible, pliable," but by 17c. meaning "puffed up, swollen." Perhaps from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse blautr "soaked, soft from being cooked in liquid" (compare Swedish blöt fisk "soaked fish"), possibly from Proto-Germanic *blaut-, from PIE *bhleu- "to swell, well up, overflow," an extension of root *bhel- (2) "to blow, inflate, swell" (see bole).

Influenced by or combined with Old English blawan "blow, puff." Figurative use by 1711. Intransitive meaning "to swell, to become swollen" is from 1735. Related: Bloated; bloating.
bloat (n.)
1860 as a disease of livestock, from bloat (v.). Meaning "bloatedness" is from 1905.
bloated (adj.)
"overgrown," 1660s, past participle adjective from bloat (v.). Figurative sense by 1711.
blob (n.)
"drop, globule," 1725, from a verb meaning "to make or mark with blobs" (early 15c.), perhaps related to bubble. The same word was used 16c. in a sense "bubble, blister."
bloc (n.)
1903, in reference to alliances in Continental politics, from French bloc "group, block," from Old French bloc "piece of wood" (see block (n.)).
block (n.)
"solid piece," c.1300, from Old French bloc "log, block" of wood (13c.), via Middle Dutch bloc "trunk of a tree" or Old High German bloh, from a common Germanic source, from PIE *bhlugo-, from *bhelg- "a thick plank, beam" (see balk).

Meaning "mould for a hat" is from 1570s. Slang sense of "head" is from 1630s. Extended sense of "obstruction" is first recorded 1640s. In cricket from 1825; in U.S. football from 1912. The meaning in city block is 1796, from the notion of a "compact mass" of buildings; slang meaning "fashionable promenade" is 1869.
BLOCK. A term applied in America to a square mass of houses included between four streets. It is a very useful one. [Bartlett]
block (v.)
"obstruct," 1590s, from French bloquer "to block, stop up," from Old French bloc (see block (n.)). Meaning "to make smooth or to give shape on a block" is from 1620s. Stage and theater sense is from 1961. Sense in cricket is from 1772; in U.S. football from 1889. Related: Blocked; blocking.
blockade (n.)
mid-17c., from block (v.) + -ade, false French ending (the French word is blocus, 18c. in this sense, which seems to be in part a back-formation from the verb bloquer and in part influenced by Middle Dutch blokhuus "blockhouse").
blockade (v.)
late 17c., from blockade (n.). Related: Blockaded; blockading.