Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue – Day Thirty-One

The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue was first published at the end of the eighteenth century, and given that the Coronavirus crisis is giving too much time to read books, I thought I’d pick a daily word from it until I got bored…..

Blue Devils

The dictionary defined this as “low spirits”, although it’s today more commonly used in reference to military regiments and sporting teams which have taken on the nickname. However, its original meaning of depression and feeling down is still in usage, more commonly today just as ‘the blues’ and is where the term ‘blues music’ came from. There’s a theory that the original ‘blue devils’ came about from the hallucinations which came after withdrawing from alcohol, although that isn’t entirely certain.