blue in the face, to be/until one is

(redirected from to be/until one is blue in the face)

be blue in the face

To show signs of exhaustion or strain from lengthy or repetitive speech. Often used in the phrase "till/until one is blue in the face." She was blue in the face from complaining about our decision. They are such strange friends. They'll argue till they're blue in the face, then they'll go out to eat and be the best of pals.
See also: blue, face

talk until (one) is blue in the face

To speak (about something) repeatedly and at length, used especially when one is not being heeded or listened to. You can talk until you are blue in the face, but nothing you say will convince Terry to change his mind. I talked until I was blue in the face, but everything I said just seemed to be going over everyone's heads.
See also: blue, face, talk, until
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

blue in the face, to be/until one is

To have made a great effort. The literal significance of being blue in the face is lack of oxygen, and indeed, this expression sometimes indicates that one has talked until one is breathless. But it also has been extended to other kinds of effort, as in “I tried to open that sardine can until I was blue in the face.” It was current in the mid-nineteenth century, when Anthony Trollope wrote, “You may talk to her till you’re both blue in the face” (The Small House at Allington, 1864).
See also: blue, one, to, until
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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