I’ve got a collection of random information in my brain that makes me an awesome Trivial Pursuit partner, but is completely useless when it comes to real world application. Like say, job applications.
I thought I’d share some of this random crap with you in the form of another acronym-ific series. I give you – Word Origins from Left Field – that’s right, the WOLF. Er… ignore the fact that the “from” doesn’t fit.
Are you familiar with blue laws? It’s a holdover from the Puritans that still exist “on the books” in some places, although they are rarely enforced. Puritans had very strict rules about what should and shouldn’t be done on a Sunday, and so many blue laws came about as a result.
Just FYI – this is why in many states you can’t buy liquor on a Sunday.
And while that one is familiar to most of us, in Texas you couldn’t purchase washing machines, pots and pans and many other housewares on Sundays until the mid 1980’s, presumably to enforce the “no work on Sunday” rule.
But why are they called blue?
The word blue, in the 18th century could be used to mean “rigidly moral” – and it wasn’t said nicely. It would be the equivalent of calling a female an “ice queen.”
So this made me wonder… is there a connection to blue meant as a disparaging way to comment upon someone’s Puritanical manner, and the phrase “swearing a blue streak?”
I looked, but couldn’t find any known reference between the two.