Middle English Dictionary Entry

blō adj.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

Note: Cp. bleu.
(a) Of the body: dark, discolored, black-and-blue, livid; fig. livid with anger; ~ stroke, a bruise; (b) as ~ as (eni) led, as livid as lead; blak and ~, ~ and wan, black-and-blue, livid; ~ and blodi, bruised and bloody; ~ and red, livid and red, bruised and bloody; pale and ~, pale and wan; (c) pale, ashen.
(a) Of objects: bluish grey, lead- or ash-colored; dark (reflecting little light); also fig.; blak & blo, utterly dark; (b) tawny; of hair: blond; (c) blo erthe, potter's clay.
Of persons: black or blackish in color, dark-skinned; blak & ~, very black, quite black.
In surnames: blo-berd; blo-fot.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1400 Trin-C O.9.39 Recipes (Trin-C O.9.39) 50/2 : Medle hem al togidres with þe juysse of a turnesole or ells with the juysse of blo flour in corn, and..put hem in..a gode large jurdan of glas.
  • a1500 Trin-C.R.14.45 Recipes (Trin-C R.14.45) 133/1 : Take þe pouder of lyme..and grynde hit with þe juse of the blo flourys on a stone, þanne drye hit up and grynde hit ageyn.
  • Note: ?New cpd. ~ flour prob. = 'cornflower Centaurea cyanus'. Cf. OED corn-flower, n.
  • ?c1450 Iff a man (Stockh 10.90)317/395 : Parwynke is an erbe grene of colour, In tyme of may he beryth blo flour.
  • Note: ?New sense = 'blue', or ?modify sense 2.(a) to include 'blue'.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • ?c1400(1379) *Treat.Uroscopy (Roy 17.D.1)f.25vb (2.2) : When blak vryn seiþ mortificacioun, þan went blo vryn byforne þat blak vryn.
  • ?c1400(1379) *Treat.Uroscopy (Roy 17.D.1)f.29va (2.3) : Blo colour in vryn is moste betwene white colour and blak colour, hauand vnneþes more of blak þan of white vppon ymaginacioun.
  • ?c1400(1379) *Treat.Uroscopy (Roy 17.D.1)f.33rb (2.3) : Somtyme þe vryn is blo mykel like a draght of lede wiþ a plum in papir or in a perchemyne lef, and swich blohed euermor seiþ mortificacioun.
  • Note: ?New sense. Editor's gloss: 'of urine: lead-coloured'.
  • ?c1400(1379) *Treat.Uroscopy (Roy 17.D.1)f.28vb (2.2) : If þe ey-liddes wax blo; and his nose waxe scharp & þenne & wronge..if his ey wax holwe and derk and dym and gastly lokand: alle þise ar tokenes of deþ.
  • Note: Need date, sense 1.(a). Editor's gloss: 'of the body or parts of the body: bruise-coloured, livid, black-and-blue'.