I was astonished, ladies and gentlemen, to learn of the investigation by the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) into the origin of the idiom — to run around like a blue-arsed fly; an idiom that means to be very busy. In particular, I was surprised by the OED’s initial proposition that the origin of the phrase could be traced to a 1970 quote by HRH Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh. As many older Aussies can tell you, the phrase has been around at least as far back as the 1950s and probably longer. I was also surprised to learn that the phrase may actually have its genesis in another country – America. I’ll be blowed! (Word nerds can read about it here and here.)
Well, what got me thinking about this idiom? It was my Philotheca myoporoides. It is flowering profusely at the moment and the bees and flies love it. I’ve never seen a blue-arsed fly before, but now I have. Technically though, it is a blue-abdomened fly. Now now, no need to split hairs. So the thought process was inevitable. Wanna see the fly? Ta da.
I can’t stop at just one fly photo. Check out this gorgeous little hoverfly.
As the Minnie Riperton song goes:
“No one else can make me feel
The colors that you bring
Stay with me while we grow old
And we will live each day in springtime.”
Coincidentally, or maybe not, it is that time again. Time for another song. Because it is Friday. You guessed it. Sing it with me.