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Thread: I could talk a blue streak...

  1. #1
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    I could talk a blue streak...

    Hello,
    here we go: "I could talk a blue streak about how idiotic school is"

    what is that? blue what?
    I guess it means something like "I could talk extensively about how.."

    what do you guys think?
    do you say that?..


    thanks!

    Roi
    I quit. Thanks for all your support! Roi

  2. #2
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    Re: I could talk a blue streak...

    Hi Roi,

    You're right! "talk a blue streak" means to talk extensively about something, although it should not intimate that one necessarily has a great deal of knowledge about that subject.

    It's real meaning is to "talk quickly and at an interminable length" about something.

    Another expression is to "curse a blue streak," which means to swear, or use an endless streak of profane words.

    I'm not certain of its exact etymology, but believe it somehow was related to a blue "streak of lightning" in the sense that someone who "talks a blue streak" is usually speaking on and on at a very fast rate.

    Edit: My source for definition and possible etymology is Am. Heritage Dictionary of English Language, 4th ed.
    Last edited by GenJen54; 23rd September 2005 at 10:04 PM.

    "Sometimes the worst evil is done by good people who do not know that they are not good." - Reinhold Niebuhr

  3. #3
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    Re: I could talk a blue streak...

    To talk a blue streak = to use foul language (edit: probably not a correct definition)

    "Blue" in this sense refers to something taboo. (source)

    edit: I've never understood this term to mean "talking quickly." After being corrected by other foreros and subsequently consulting my sources, I believe I misunderstood the term (the one or two times it was used around me during my lifetime) -- possibly because the quick-talkers that talked a blue streak were also foul-mouthed?

    Anyway, I stand corrected.
    Last edited by fenixpollo; 26th September 2005 at 11:08 PM.
    Ignorance --> fear --> anger --> hate --> violence. || Knowledge => tolerance => acceptance => love => peace.

  4. #4
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    Re: I could talk a blue streak...

    Umm.
    I'll tell you this if you promise not to talk too much about the British Space Effort.
    Blue Streak is the name of a British designed and built ballistic missile. Although it never went wrong, the Blue Streak programme fizzled out some time in the late 1950s.

    Click here for more.

  5. #5
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    Re: I could talk a blue streak...

    Quote Originally Posted by fenixpollo
    To talk a blue streak = to use foul language. "Blue" in this sense refers to something taboo. (source) P.S. I've never heard this term to mean "talking quickly."
    I disagree on all counts! Calling a movie "a little blue" does mean it's somewhat pornographic, and the entry about "blue laws" was correct. But you'll notice your source didn't mention the idiomatic "talk a blue streak," and I wouldn't recommend conflating "blue laws" and "blue streak" simply because they contain the same word.

    Yes, talking a blue streak means "fast and furious," and implies a certain rabid enthusiasm, or perhaps a manic personality. It's true you can "curse a blue streak," but that doesn't give the more general expression "dirty" implications.

    Maybe you're thinking of "purple prose?"

  6. #6
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    Re: I could talk a blue streak...

    I agree that a blue streak isn't necessarily vulgar, just fast, prolonged, and maybe a little loud.

    Purple prose isn't necessarily vulgar, either, but absurdly flowery. It's used in romance novels, yes, but is more likely to use euphemisms for body parts rather than coarse language. (Heaving bronzed décolletage comes to mind after a recent discussion over in Fr-Eng.)

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