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Language Academy in Tarragona Brit English School

Idiom of the week: Out of the blue

Definition: Suddenly or unexpectedly. This is an informal expression used to describe something that happens unexpectedly, without any preparation or warning.

Example: Tim was driving back home when, out of the blue, a deer came in front of his car and he had to push the brake pedal down.


It is claimed that “Out of the blue” has evolved from an older idiom “a bolt out of the blue” which was also used to talk about something which occurred unexpectedly. The origin of this meaning seems to be pretty clear.

On the one hand, the “blue” would be representing a blue sky.

On the other hand, a “bolt”, which is a projectile fired from a crossbow (these are called “bolts”, not arrows), would be likely representing a thunderbolt (lightning accompanied by thunder).

So, who would expect a thunderbolt out of a clear blue sky?

What it is for sure is that if something like that happened we would not believe our eyes! It would come completely out of the blue!!

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