true blue

From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: true-blue



From true (adjective) +‎ blue (steadfastly faithful or loyal, adjective).[1] The symbolism of the colour blue as representing constancy, faithfulness, loyalty, and truth may derive from the constant colour of the sky, or the tendency of certain blue dyes to resist fading.[2][3]

Adjective senses 1.1.2 (“of or pertaining to the Tory, and now the Conservative, political party”) and 1.1.3 (“of or pertaining to the Scottish Presbyterian or Whig political party in the 17th century”) probably both allude to sense 1 (“steadfastly faithful or loyal”). Sense 1.1.2 may also allude to sense 1.1.3 which is older, and sense 1.1.3 may partly allude to the blue colour of the flag of Scotland.[2]



true blue (not comparable)

  1. Steadfastly faithful or loyal; unwavering in loyalty; staunch, true.
    He was a true blue supporter, and would not listen to what he supposed to be the lies of the opposition.
    • 1876, Mark Twain [pseudonym; Samuel Langhorne Clemens], chapter XV, in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Hartford, Conn.: The American Publishing Company, →OCLC, page 133:
      No, Tom's true-blue, Huck, and he'll come back. He won't desert.
    • 1986 June 30, Stephen Bray, Madonna (lyrics and music), “True Blue”, in True Blue, performed by Madonna:
      True love / You're the one I'm dreaming of / Your heart fits me like a glove / And I'm gonna be true blue, baby, I love you
    • 2007, Lainie Speiser, “Alternative Lifestyles”, in Threesomes: For Couples Who Want to Know More, Beverly, Mass.: Quiver, →ISBN, page 158, column 1:
      On the other hand, their swing/three-way practices have made Tony one of the most true-blue mates one could have, an absolute dream for women, in fact.
    • 2010, Garrett Peck, “BLUE LAWS”, in Rachel Black, editor, Alcohol in Popular Culture: An Encyclopedia, Santa Barbara, Calif.: Greenwood, →ISBN, page 34:
      The origin of the term "blue law" is somewhat murky. It may have referred to the laws printed on blue paper for the New Haven colony in 1665. Or it may refer to "true blue" principles of Puritans—that is, unyielding and dogmatic.
    1. Patriotic.
    2. (UK) Of or pertaining to the (historical) Tory, and now the Conservative, political party; hence, steadfastly conservative.
      • 1847 January – 1848 July, William Makepeace Thackeray, “In which a Charade is Acted which May or May Not Puzzle the Reader”, in Vanity Fair [], London: Bradbury and Evans [], published 1848, →OCLC, page 455:
        [] Mr. Wenham himself was a staunch old True Blue Tory, and his father a small coal-merchant in the north of England []
      • 1860 January – 1861 April, Anthony Trollope, “The Framley Set, and the Chaldicotes Set”, in Framley Parsonage. [] (Collection of British Authors; 551), copyright edition, volume I, Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, published April 1861, →OCLC, pages 17–18:
        Not that he is a violent Whig, or perhaps that he is a Whig at all. But he jeers and sneers at the old county doings; [] All this is deeply regretted, for, in the old days, there was no portion of the county more decidedly true blue than that Framley district; []
    3. (Scotland, historical) Of or pertaining to the Scottish Presbyterian or Whig political party in the 17th century; hence, steadfastly Presbyterian.
  2. Representing the true essence of something; authentic, genuine, honest.
    Synonyms: archetypal, quintessential
    • 1985 May 27, Steven Burke, “Retailing: Dealers Install Non-IBM Parts”, in J. Michael Lowe, editor, InfoWorld, volume 7, number 21, San Mateo, Calif.: Popular Computing, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 20, column 1:
      Some upscale, service-oriented dealers say competitors are installing the third-party disk drives in PC XTs and passing them off as true blue PC XTs.
    • 2001 October 23, Ted Johnson, “Reader Forum: The Ellen Show”, in The Advocate, Los Angeles, Calif.: Liberation Publications, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 4, column 1:
      Ellen [DeGeneres]'s honesty and true-blue down-to-earthness were riveting.
    • 2004, Paul Delany, “In Pursuit of the English”, in Bill Brandt: A Life, Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, →ISBN, page 99:
      That [Stefan] Lorant was Hungarian might have made [Bill] Brandt even more wary, since he was in the process of being re-born as a true-blue Englishman and leaving the Hungarians of Montparnasse behind him.
    1. (specifically, Australia, informal) Representing authentic Australian culture, values, etc.
      Synonyms: dinkum, dinky-di
  3. (UK) Aristocratic by birth.
  4. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see true,‎ blue.
    • 1996, R[ichard] D. Bartlett, Patricia P[ope] Bartlet, “Arboreal Favorites: Family Hylidae”, in Frogs, Toads, and Treefrogs: Everything about Selection, Care, Nutrition, Breeding, and Behavior, Hauppauge, N.Y.: Barron’s Educational Series, →ISBN, page 78, column 2:
      Second, some living caerulea are blue: A few display attractive shades of blue green or, more rarely, true blue.
    • 2010, Patti Polk, “Collectible Materials for Lapidary Use and Display”, in Collecting Rocks, Gems and Minerals: Identification, Values, Lapidary Uses, Iola, Wis.: Krause Publications, →ISBN, page 48:
      True blue chalcedony is uncommon and highly desirable as a lapidary material.

Alternative forms[edit]

Coordinate terms[edit]



true blue (countable and uncountable, plural true blues)

  1. (countable) A faithful partisan or supporter of a cause, person, political party, etc.
    • 1939, Flora Thompson, “At the ‘Wagon and Horses’”, in Lark Rise to Candleford: A Trilogy, London: Penguin Books, published 1973, →ISBN, pages 65–66:
      A mild Liberalism prevailed, a Liberalism that would be regarded as hide-bound Toryism now, but was daring enough in those days. One man who had been to work in Northampton proclaimed himself a Radical; but he was cancelled out by the landlord, who called himself a ‘true blue’.
      Originally published in Lark Rise (1939).
  2. (uncountable, historical) A blue dye from Coventry, England, famous for not washing out.
  3. (color models and color spaces) A precisely defined pure blue, as for example web color #0000FF = RGB(0,0,255).

Alternative forms[edit]



  1. ^ true blue, adj. and n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2022.
  2. 2.0 2.1 blue, adj. and n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, September 2022.
  3. ^ true blue”, in Unabridged,, LLC, 1995–present, reproduced from Christine Ammer, The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms, Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin, 2003, →ISBN.

Further reading[edit]