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
- ‘He noticed several bluebottle flies gathering in a panel at the side of the bath.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘‘There used to be halves of bacon hanging outside, whole half pigs, with lots of flies and bluebottles buzzing around,’ she recalls.’
- ‘I even open windows for bluebottles and talk them out.’
- ‘So I was strolling down the hall when I saw a bluebottle flying towards me at something approaching waist height.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Would we do the same for baby rats, or baby cockroaches or baby bluebottles?’
- ‘In the background, cameras whirred like demented bluebottles, adding their drone to the low buzz of conversation.’
- ‘It sits, not quite dead, but buzzing like a bluebottle under a pint glass, its battery acid eating away the carpet.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘On the shag, a halo of bluebottle flies buzzing above, lay a great steaming pile.’
- ‘Hundreds of açaí fruits dangle from branches in clusters that look like nests of bluebottles.’
- ‘Smashing their way in, officers were met with a sickening stench and dead bluebottles covering the stairs.’
- ‘To the others in the car she could have been following a circling bluebottle.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Last year the residents living nearest to the field complained of bluebottles getting into their homes.’
- ‘Apart from the threat of sharks, the biggest problem for competitors has been rough seas and bluebottles.’
- ‘He said the seven-day collection timetable, introduced in the 1930s, was brought in because the life cycle of the bluebottle was ten days.’
2South African Australian The Portuguese man-of-war.
- ‘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.’
- ‘If you go in there, there are always dangers in the sea - bluebottles, whatever.’
- ‘At midday I took myself off to Coogee but the cold water and the beached bluebottles put me off the idea of swimming.’
3British The wild cornflower.
- ‘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.’
- ‘But this place being open was full of flowers, such lovely azure cornflowers which the people call 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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