Origin unknown; the following borrowings have been hypothesized:
- From a modern Celtic language, such as Irish bloc (“block”) or Scottish Gaelic ploc (“large, stubborn person”, literally “block of wood”), themselves borrowings from English block
- From Hindustani لوک (lok) / लोक (lok, “people, folk”) or Shelta loke (“man”).
- (Received Pronunciation) enPR: blōk, IPA(key): /bləʊk/
Audio (RP) (file)
- (General American) IPA(key): /bloʊk/
Audio (GA) (file) Audio (AU) (file)
- Rhymes: -əʊk
bloke (plural blokes)
- (Australia, New Zealand, UK, Ireland) An exemplar of a certain masculine, independent male archetype.
- 2000 May 5, Belinda Luscombe, “Cinema: Of Mad Max and Madder Maximus”, in Time, New York, N.Y.: Time Warner Publishing, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 27 November 2010:
- ‘The Bloke’ is a certain kind of Australian or New Zealand male. [...] The Classic Bloke is not a voluble beast. His speech patterns are best described as infrequent but colorful. [...] The Bloke is pragmatic rather than classy. [...] Most of all, the Bloke does not whinge.
- 2012, Ben Pobjie, “Bloke’s Blokes”, in The Book of Bloke, Sydney, N.S.W.: Pan Macmillan, →ISBN:
- Strong, bronzed, attractive, and, above all, incredibly Australian, Bloke’s Blokes bestride the world like colossi, less men than living gods, stepping from the pages of mythology into our hearts, and guiding us like mighty beacons upon the right and proper path of Blokedom.
- 2019, Charles Staunton, “Cop this Bloke”, in The Good Bloke: An Incredible True Story, Sydney, N.S.W.: Pan Macmillan Australia, →ISBN:
- My name is Charlie Staunton. I'm a bloke. [...] In Australia, a bloke is the masculine archetype, associated with the country's national identity. [...] And if you're a good bloke, you'll understand what sportsmanship, and life, should be about. A sense of fair play. For me, it's not a prerequisite to be a law-abiding citizen to be a good bloke. It's about social qualities. It's about being reliable, trustworthy, loyal and true to your beliefs.
- (Australia, Britain, New Zealand, Ireland, informal) A man who behaves in a particularly laddish or overtly heterosexual manner.
- 1996, Nick Earls, chapter 31, in After January (UQP Young Adult Fiction), St. Lucia, Qld.: University of Queensland Press, published 2006, →ISBN, page 127:
- Even now he's like this weird guy who comes into my life occasionally and asks me bloke questions. Sport, girls, your future. Even superannuation. Once he even started telling me how important superannuation was. What a dickhead.
- 1999, Malcolm MacLean, “Of Warriors and Blokes: The Problem of Maori Rugby for Pakeha Masculinity in New Zealand”, in Timothy J[ohn] L[indsay] Chandler, John Nauright, editors, Making the Rugby World: Race, Gender, Commerce (Sport in the Global Society; no. 10), London, Portland, Or.: Frank Cass, published 2005, →ISBN, page 2:
- [...] Pakeha, and colonial, masculinity is situated in a homosocial environment. This homosociality is both gendered and ethnicized. The kiwi bloke is a Pakeha working man, at home on the football field, in the sands of North Africa, at the pub (but in the public bar). He is a loner, hard, resolute, tall, strong but comradely and supports other men in their toils.
- 2001, Rita Golden Gelman, “New Zealand via Bali”, in Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World, 1st paperback edition, New York, N.Y.: Three Rivers Press, →ISBN, page 273:
- One week I ask everyone I meet what defines a "bloke." Some of the answers are: Blokes drink beer, not wine. They wear black wool singlets (sleeveless shirts) and dark green shirt-jackets, gum boots, and rugby jerseys with sleeves cut off. They eat stews made with carrots and onions and potatoes and dumplings.
- 2012, Sue Abel, “Postfeminism Meets Hegemonic Masculinities: Young People Read the ‘Knowing Wink’ in Advertising”, in Karen Ross, editor, The Handbook of Gender, Sex, and Media (Handbooks in Communication and Media), paperback edition, Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, published 2014, →ISBN, part III (Queering the Pitch), page 405:
- It [a television advertisement] opens with a young man lounging on a sofa watching television. The television soundtrack suggests he is watching sport (of course). He wears the standard checked shirt of the Kiwi bloke over a T-shirt and jeans, his hair is longish and unkempt, and he is generally a bit scruffy.
- 2012, Jim O’Connor, “Brilliant Cooking”, in The Bloke’s Guide to Brilliant Cooking: And How to Impress Women, [Bloomington, Ind.]: Xlibris, published 29 September 2018, →ISBN, page 22:
- Now we don't want you thinking I'm someone who isn't a chef pretending to be a chef. That'll just end in a train wreck. No, we want you to trust your bloke DNA and start thinking the way a bloke naturally thinks, and that is like a bloke!
- 2014, Jessica Jean Keppel, “Masculinities and Mental Health: Geographies of Hope ‘Down Under’”, in Andrew Gorman-Murray, Peter Hopkins, editors, Masculinities and Place (Gender, Space and Society), Farnham, Surrey, Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate Publishing, →ISBN, page 367:
- The ‘kiwi bloke’ is often represented as a stubbie-wearing, beer-drinking, sheep-shearing, ‘do-it-yourself’ heteronormative masculinity [...] This hypermasculinisation is well-recognised in New Zealand culture. The ‘kiwi bloke’ is celebrated by the nation which leaves little room for the emergence and acceptance of alternative gender identities [...].
- (Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, informal) A fellow, a man; especially an ordinary man, a man on the street. [From 1847]
- 1847, George W[illiam] M[acArthur] Reynolds, “Old Death”, in The Mysteries of London, volume III (volume I, Second Series), London: G. Vickers, […], →OCLC, page 66, column 1:
- He accordingly opened it [a letter], and read as follows:– / "Tim put on the tats yesterday and went out a durry-nakin on the shadows, gadding a hoof. He buzzed a bloak and a shakester of a yack and a skin. [..."] [W]e will lay before our readers a translation of the slang document:– / "Tim dressed himself in rags yesterday, and went out disguised as a beggar half-naked and without shoes or stockings. He robbed a gentleman and a lady of a watch and a purse. [..."]
- 1892, John Pennington Marsden, “A Professional Secret”, in Job Lot: Sketches and Stories, Philadelphia, Pa.: Hallowell & Co., […], →OCLC, page 177:
- Now I tell yer straight, I don't call it square for two big bloaks like us to tackle [i.e., steal from] one poor woman, and she a widder, and p'raps as 'ard up as us; it isn't English.
- 1923, D[avid] H[erbert] Lawrence, “Torestin”, in Kangaroo, London: Martin Secker […], →OCLC, page 1:
- Half-sheepishly, the mechanic had eased round to nudge his mate to look also at the comical-looking bloke. And the bloke caught them both. They wiped the grin off their faces. Because the little bloke looked at them quite straight, so observant, and so indifferent.
- 1930 February, P[elham] G[renville] Wodehouse, “Jeeves and the Old School Chum”, in Very Good, Jeeves!, London: Herbert Jenkins Limited […], published 20 June 1930, →OCLC, pages 247–248:
- The door flew open, and there was a bloke with spectacles on his face and all round the spectacles an expression of strained anguish. A bloke with a secret sorrow.
- 1995, Nick Hornby, “Sarah Kendrew (1984–1986)”, in High Fidelity, London: Victor Gollancz, →ISBN, page 30:
- [L]ots of blokes have impeccable music taste but don't read, lots of blokes read but are really fat, lots of blokes are sympathetic to feminism but have stupid beards, lots of blokes have a Woody Allen sense of humor but look like Woody Allen. Lots of blokes drink too much, lots of blokes behave stupidly when they drive cars, lots of blokes get into fights, or show off about money, or take drugs. I don't do any of these things, really; if I do OK with women, it's not because of the virtues I have, but because of the shadows I don't have.
- 2003, Stuart Maconie, “Hocus Pocus”, in Cider with Roadies, London: Ebury Press, →ISBN, page 43:
- It was a concert of some sort. Five or so blokes were on stage in a TV studio; [...] The blokes didn't look like any pop group as I knew them. They were multiracial, knotted of brow, their garb was distinctive, involving a lot of what I later found out to be cheesecloth and kaftans along with ripped, faded denims.
- (Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, naval slang) (A lower deck term for) the captain or executive officer of a warship, especially one regarded as tough on discipline and punishment.
- (chiefly Quebec, colloquial) An anglophone (English-speaking) man.
- 2017, Dany Fougères, Valérie Shaffer, “An Undivided Island: Domination at the Dawn of a New Era”, in Dany Fougères, Roderick MacLeod, editors, Montreal: The History of a North American City, volume I, Montreal, Que., Kingston, Ont.: McGill–Queen's University Press, →ISBN, part 2 (Formation of a Region and Birth of a Metropolis: 1796–1930), page 465:
- [A]n organization called "Bloke Quebecois" ("bloke" being a French slang term for Anglophone as well as a reference to the newly formed federal political party, the Bloc Québécois) sold T-shirts that sported the phrase "It's Hip to be Square" (derived from the popular term for an Anglophone, "tête-carrée" or "square head") and a sign with "401" crossed out. The implication was that hitting the 401 was no longer an option; Anglophones were here to stay – and to contribute.
- 2017, Jeffery Vacante, “War and Manhood”, in National Manhood and the Creation of Modern Quebec, Vancouver, B.C., Toronto, Ont.: UBC Press, →ISBN, page 107:
- One cartoon from the period depicted a muscular French Canadian worker being replaced by an effeminate looking English Canadian man on the job. The caption warned, "When we are gone their blokes will come to take our place, to take our homes, and to take our women."
- 2020 May, Walter Manuel, “A New Language Study (Franglais)”, in The Kid with the Broken Glasses: A Memoir of Dissolving Innocence, [Canada; U.S.A.]: Walter Manuel, →ISBN:
- Try as I might, my broken French is not passing muster. [...] I am also called a bloke, or, when the students are pissed at me, maudit bloke or damn bloke, or a tête carrée, which means square head.
- bloak (archaic)
- (Australia, New Zealand): sheila
- ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “bloke”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
- ^ MacBain, Alexander; Mackay, Eneas (1911), “bloke”, in An Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language, Stirling, →ISBN, page ploc
- ^ “bloke, n.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1887; “bloke, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
- "bloke" in Euskaltzaindiaren Hiztegia [Dictionary of the Basque Academy], euskaltzaindia.eus
- “bloke” in Orotariko Euskal Hiztegia [General Basque Dictionary], euskaltzaindia.eus
Borrowed from Spanish bloque, from French bloc, from Middle French bloc (“a considerable piece of something heavy, block”), from Old French bloc (“log, block”), from Middle Dutch blok (“treetrunk”), from Old Saxon *blok (“log”), from Proto-Germanic *blukką (“beam, log”), from Proto-Indo-European *bhulg'-, from *bhelg'- (“thick plank, beam, pile, prop”).
- block; solid piece (of wood, stone, etc.)
- city block
- faction; bloc; group