blue around the gills

blue around the gills

1. Nauseated. After all that drinking last night, I sure am blue around the gills today. The steady rocking of the boat caused Colleen to be blue around the gills.
2. Drunk. Do you remember last night at the bar at all? You were really blue around the gills!
See also: around, blue, gill

blue around the gills

and green around the gills
1. mod. ill; nauseated. How about a little air? I feel a little green around the gills.
2. mod. alcohol intoxicated. Marty—now thoroughly green around the gills—slid neatly under the table, and everyone pretended not to notice.
See also: around, blue, gill
References in classic literature ?
My heart fell down amongst my lungs and livers and things, and a hard piece of corn-crust started down my throat after it and got met on the road with a cough, and was shot across the table, and took one of the children in the eye and curled him up like a fishing-worm, and let a cry out of him the size of a warwhoop, and Tom he turned kinder blue around the gills, and it all amounted to a considerable state of things for about a quarter of a minute or as much as that, and I would a sold out for half price if there was a bidder.
You could scan the national newspapers until you're blue around the gills but be hard-pressed indeed to find a quote from a major administration official acknowledging a particular death of a U.