A public-house sign; the cognisance of Richard III. In
Leicester is a lane in the parish of St. Nicholas, called the Blue
Boar Lane, because Richard slept there the night before the battle
of Bosworth Field.
The bristly boar, in infant gore,
Wallows beneath the thorny shade.
Gray: The Bard.
(The). The Scotch Highlanders; the Scotch generally. So called from
the blue woollen cap at one time in very general use in Scotland, and
still far from uncommon.
England shall many a day
Tell of the bloody fray,
When the blue bonnets came over the border.
Sir W. Scott.
In England, parliamentary reports and official publications
presented by the Crown to both Houses of Parliament. Each volume is in
folio, and is covered with a blue wrapper.
Short Acts of Parliament, etc., even without a wrapper, come under
the same designation. In America, the “Blue Books” (like our “Red
Books”) contain lists of those persons who hold government
appointments. The official colour of Spain is red, of Italy
green, of France yellow, of Germany and Portugal white.
A beadsman, a policeman; so called from the colour of his dress.
Shakespeare makes Doll Tearsheet denounce the beadle as a “blue-bottle rogue.”
“You proud varlets, you need not be ashamed to wear blue, when your
master is one of your fellows.” —Dekker: The Honest Whore
“I'll have you soundly swinged for this, you blue-bottle rogue.”—Shakespeare: 2 Hen. IV., act v. 4.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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