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What is the origin of the term blighter as in "you little blighter"? Was it originally more or less "rude/abusive" than now when it is a fairly mild term?

Question #105582. Asked by Rowena8482.
Last updated Dec 04 2016.

Related Trivia Topics: Linguistics  
Answer has 3 votes
16 year member
28 replies

Answer has 3 votes.

May 15 2009, 5:33 AM
demurechicky star
Answer has 5 votes
demurechicky star
17 year member
121 replies avatar

Answer has 5 votes.
The term 'Blighter', was first used in English Literature, sometime before 1913...

link says 1822 (satguru)

It was said by a Junior Officer on the Titanic, Hsrold Godfery Lowe.."One of the sailors near to him was so tired that he could hardly pull his oar. The Japanese bustled over, pushed him from his seat, took the oar and worked like a hero until we were finally picked up. I saw Mr Lowe watching him in open-mouthed surprise.
"By Jove!" muttered the officer. "I'm ashamed of what I said about the little blighter. I'd save the likes o' him six times over, if I got the chance."

The origin according to was in 1815- 25, from the word 'blight'


Response last updated by satguru on Dec 04 2016.
May 15 2009, 6:08 AM
zbeckabee star
Answer has 6 votes
Currently Best Answer
zbeckabee star
18 year member
11752 replies avatar

Answer has 6 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.
CHEEKY: adj risqué; just short of rude. You’re being cheeky if you make a joke that you can only just barely get away with without getting into trouble.

BLIGHTER: adj guy (or, rather, a more refined, more upper-class version thereof). Usually used in a slightly critical tone: Just wait until I get my hands on the blighter who steals my newspaper every morning.


This states, that the origin of blighter, lies in the late 19th century.


May 15 2009, 6:14 AM
Baloo55th star
Answer has 3 votes
Baloo55th star
21 year member
4545 replies avatar

Answer has 3 votes.
'The Spaniard that blighted my life' was recorded in 1911 by Billy Merson -
"If I catch Alphonso Spagoni, the Toreador
With a mighty swipe I will dislocate his bally jaw!
I'll find this bullfighter, I will
And when I catch the bounder
The blighter I'll kill
He shall die! He shall die!
He shall die tiddly-i-ti-ti-ti-ti-ti-ti!
He shall die! He shall die!
For I'll raise a bunion on his Spanish onion
If I catch him bending tonight!"

May 15 2009, 10:43 AM
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