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See also: Ruddy



From Middle English ruddy, rody, rudi, from Old English rudiġ (reddish; ruddy), from rudu (redness), equivalent to rud (redness) +‎ -y. Compare Icelandic roði (redness).

The British slang sense expressing irritation is presumably a euphemism for bloody.


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈɹʌdi/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌdi


ruddy (comparative ruddier, superlative ruddiest)

  1. Reddish in color, especially of the face, fire, or sky.
  2. (Britain, slang, not comparable) A mild intensifier, expressing irritation.
    • 1960, P[elham] G[renville] Wodehouse, “XVIII and XX”, in Jeeves in the Offing, London: Herbert Jenkins, OCLC 1227855:
      “Of all the damn silly fatheaded things!” she vociferated, if that's the word. “With a million ruddy names to choose from, these ruddy Creams call one ruddy son Wilbert and the other ruddy son Wilfred, and both these ruddy sons are known as Willie. Just going out of their way to mislead the innocent bystander. You'd think people would have more consideration.”
    • 1999, J. K. Rowling, chapter 2, in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Bloomsbury:
      I shall monitor your behaviour carefully during Marge’s visit. If, at the end of it, you’ve toed the line and kept to the story, I’ll sign your ruddy form.


Derived terms[edit]



ruddy (not comparable)

  1. (Britain, slang) A mild intensifier, expressing irritation.
    • 2017, June Francis, When the Clouds Go Rolling By
      'You're not ruddy going anywhere,' he said, slamming the door behind him.


ruddy (plural ruddies)

  1. (informal) ruddy duck
    • 2007 November 4, Deborah Baldwin, “Close to Nature, and the Airport”, in New York Times[1]:
      In winter, snow geese land at West Pond, a Robert Moses legacy that ought to be called Duck Soup: at this time of year look for ruddies, greater scaups, Northern pintails, American widgeons and gadwalls.


ruddy (third-person singular simple present ruddies, present participle ruddying, simple past and past participle ruddied)

  1. (transitive) To make reddish in colour.
    The sunset ruddied our faces.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Sir Walter Scott to this entry?)

See also[edit]