One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A common blowfly with a metallic-blue body, the female of which often comes into houses searching for a suitable food source on which to lay her eggs.
Calliphora vomitoria, family Calliphoridae
- ‘Apart from the threat of sharks, the biggest problem for competitors has been rough seas and bluebottles.’
- ‘So I was strolling down the hall when I saw a bluebottle flying towards me at something approaching waist height.’
- ‘‘There used to be halves of bacon hanging outside, whole half pigs, with lots of flies and bluebottles buzzing around,’ she recalls.’
- ‘Smashing their way in, officers were met with a sickening stench and dead bluebottles covering the stairs.’
- ‘Hundreds of açaí fruits dangle from branches in clusters that look like nests of bluebottles.’
- ‘On her right wrist she wore a light bracelet of a similar design, but this had a large blue stone imbedded in it: a single bluebottle trapped in a silver filigree web.’
- ‘Last year the residents living nearest to the field complained of bluebottles getting into their homes.’
- ‘It sits, not quite dead, but buzzing like a bluebottle under a pint glass, its battery acid eating away the carpet.’
- ‘He noticed several bluebottle flies gathering in a panel at the side of the bath.’
- ‘Would we do the same for baby rats, or baby cockroaches or baby bluebottles?’
- ‘Blowflies, such as greenbottles and bluebottles, are attracted to your rabbit and its housing by the presence of faeces, urine, rotting vegetables and open wounds.’
- ‘I even open windows for bluebottles and talk them out.’
- ‘My kitchen window is at the back of the house and if I leave it open the house is filled with brown flies - they are not the normal bluebottles but flies which feed on sewage.’
- ‘In the background, cameras whirred like demented bluebottles, adding their drone to the low buzz of conversation.’
- ‘To the others in the car she could have been following a circling bluebottle.’
- ‘In fact, the possibility of being savaged seemed so low on her sense of possibilities that she was almost instantly distracted by a bluebottle banging against the window.’
- ‘On the shag, a halo of bluebottle flies buzzing above, lay a great steaming pile.’
- ‘For all that, though, there was a certain amusing surreality to the show, with jabbering rats, crazed socks and giant bluebottles all regularly putting in appearances.’
- ‘He said the seven-day collection timetable, introduced in the 1930s, was brought in because the life cycle of the bluebottle was ten days.’
- ‘We had to continually step over it and we had to keep our mouths shut in case we swallowed some of the hundreds of bluebottles swarming around the dirt.’
2South African Australian The Portuguese man-of-war.
- ‘At midday I took myself off to Coogee but the cold water and the beached bluebottles put me off the idea of swimming.’
- ‘If you go in there, there are always dangers in the sea - bluebottles, whatever.’
- ‘I list it along with bluebottles, broken glass, backwash and muggers - the last-mentioned not actually in the surf but lurking in the nearby sanddunes, waiting for an opportune moment to interface with you and your valuables.’
3British The wild cornflower.
- ‘But this place being open was full of flowers, such lovely azure cornflowers which the people call bluebottles.’
- ‘As a bonus, here are some wildflowers growing next to a field. The red one is a poppy, and the blue ones are cornflowers or bluebottles.’
4British dated, informal A police officer.
- ‘When the bluebottles arrested him it was found that he had a bucket under his chair...’
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