scream blue murder
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scream blue murder
1. To scream or shout very loudly. Enid screamed blue murder when she noticed the snake in the rocks next to her. Please stop screaming blue murder across the house. If you want to talk, go to the same room.
2. To forcefully complain, especially loudly and/or in a public manner. When they refused to give me a refund, I screamed blue murder until the manager came out. Our customers will scream blue murder if we raise the prices again.
scream blue murderBRITISH, INFORMAL or
scream bloody murderAMERICAN, INFORMAL
1. If someone screams blue murder, they complain a lot about something. Unions accept free accommodation and travel, yet they would scream blue murder if the same was received by politicians. `If the FBI was doing this, people would be screaming bloody murder,' says Richard Taylor, a security and privacy expert.
2. If someone screams blue murder, they scream and shout very loudly. She screamed blue murder as he came at her. She ran from the building, screaming bloody murder. Note: The expression `blue murder' is perhaps derived from the French oath `morbleu', which is a variation of `mort Dieu'. `Bleu' or blue is used in French as a euphemism for `Dieu' or God, so `morbleu' literally means `blue death'.
scream (or yell) blue murdermake an extravagant and noisy protest. informal
A North American variant of this phrase is scream bloody murder .
1995 Iain 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.
scream blue ˈmurder(British English) (American English scream bloody ˈmurder) (informal) shout, scream, etc. very loudly and for a long time; make a lot of noise or fuss because you disagree very strongly with something: Jill will scream blue murder if Ann gets promoted and she doesn’t.
scream bloody/blue murder, to
To shout loudly in pain, fear, or anger. The second term appears to have originated as a play on the French expletive morbleu (mort bleu translates as “blue murder”). The Hotten Dictionary of Slang (1859) defined it as a desperate or alarming cry. The term was used by Dion Boucicault about 1874: “They were standing by and trying to screech blue murder” (quoted in M. R. Booth, English Plays of the Nineteenth Century; cited by OED). It is heard less often, at least in America, than the more graphic bloody murder, dating from the first half of the 1900s. For example, “The one-year-old who has yelled bloody murder during his physical . . .” (B. Spock, Problems of Parents, 1962).