The idiom “out of the blue” is used by nearly every native English speaker to describe certain situations. If you have heard someone mention this phrase and didn’t understand it, that is most likely what bought you to this page. Thank goodness it did because here you will find all you need to know. Below you will see the meaning of this phrase, information about its origin, and some example sentences and conversations to help you better understand the phrase seeing it used in context. Lastly, you will also discover some words or phrases that can be used instead of using the phrase “out of the blue.”
Out Of The Blue
Out Of The Blue Meaning
The idiom “out of the blue” means that something happens when you are not expecting it to or something happens suddenly.
Origin of this idiomatic phrase
The idiom “out of the blue” evolved from an older idiom. The older idiom used was “a bolt from the blue” or “a bolt out of the blue.” This phrase related a situation to a lightning bolt appearing suddenly from a clear blue sunny sky when it was not expected. Over time and usage, the old idiom was shortened to the phrase “out of the blue” that we use today.
“Out Of The Blue” Examples
- The idea came from her out of the blue and she put it to good use.
- Like a bolt of lightning from an otherwise clear sky, the stranger appeared out of the blue.
- Completely out of the blue, she got a letter from her long-lost cousin in New York.
- Symptoms of the disease often appear out of the blue.
- They just came around, out of the blue, to try and hurt me.
- The Guardian, in its wisdom, plucks out of the blue a figure of ￡200 million.
- She told me, out of the blue, that she was going to live in New York.
A discussion between father and son.
- Father: I think I should take your mother on a vacation.
- Son: What made you think of that out of the blue.
- Father: I don’t know. It just seems like she could use a break.
- Son: I agree. She works too hard.
A conversation between two co-workers.
- Co-worker 1: We need to come up with a plan and quick.
- Co-worker 2: Agreed. Unless someone comes up with a good idea out of the blue we are screwed.
- Co-worker 1: Well, let’s put our heads together and I am sure we can come up with something.
Alternatives to “Out Of The Blue”
There are several words and phrases that you can use that would be synonymous with the idiom “out of the blue.” Some of the alternatives that you could use to replace this phrase include:
- All of a sudden