bolt from the blue, a

Also, a bolt out of the blue. A sudden, unexpected event. For example, Bill's dropping his life insurance was a bolt from the blue for his wife. This metaphoric term alludes to totally unforeseen lightning or thunder from a cloudless (blue) sky. [First half of 1800s]


Nearby words

  1. bolson,
  2. bolster,
  3. bolt,
  4. bolt boat,
  5. bolt from (out of) the blue,
  6. bolt hole,
  7. bolt upright,
  8. bolt-action,
  9. bolt-hole,
  10. bolt-on

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.