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until you’re blue in the face

Click below to listen to the phrase.

Choose the correct definition a, b or c.

a) until you’re completely ready

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b) until you’re freezing cold

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c) until you’re exhausted

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Until you are blue in the face means that you argue or shout to someone, trying to persuade them to do something… until full exasperation. The phrase is generally used to mean you’re wasting your efforts, because you will get no results.

French translation

jusqu’à en perdre haleine, jusqu’à plus soif

How NOT to translate : *jusqu’à avoir le visage bleu

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Examples in context

‘Basketball player Larry Nance Jr. loving his ‘new’ position, worked on outside shot until he was blue in the face

Cleveland.com, 6 Oct., 2109

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‘Disabled mum says she was banned from nail salon because she has ’twisted hands’ "I hadn’t even had chance to speak before they said no.

"I mentioned that it was fine and I’d just book for another day, but she said she couldn’t do that either. She keep just saying no.

"I could have argued until I was blue in the face but I left. It was humiliating."

Mirror, 14 Oct., 2019

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Everyday usage

Jimmy explained how to build the furniture until he was blue in the face.

He can talk until he is blue in the face, mum will never change her mind.


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