have the blues

Also, feel blue. Feel depressed or sad, as in After seeing the old house in such bad shape, I had the blues for weeks, or Patricia tends to feel blue around the holidays. The noun blues, meaning “low spirits,” was first recorded in 1741 and may come from blue devil, a 17th-century term for a baleful demon, or from the adjective blue meaning “sad,” a usage first recorded in Chaucer's Complaint of Mars (c. 1385). The idiom may have been reinforced by the notion that anxiety produces a livid skin color. Also see blue funk.


Nearby words

  1. have something coming,
  2. have something going,
  3. have something on,
  4. have something to show for,
  5. have the better of,
  6. have the courage of one's convictions,
  7. have the edge on,
  8. have the feel of,
  9. have the goods on,
  10. have the guts

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