To Blodly Go . . .

Our series on the origins of common phrases continues with a look at “to blodly go . . “.

What do we mean when we say “to blodly go . . .”? It is superficially similar to “to boldly go”, a phrase commonly used when describing the forward motion of the USS Enterprise, a spaceship on a five-year mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, far in the future and, I have to tell you, wholly fictional in nature. By contrast, “to blodly go” is a way of describing the forward motion of one whose progress is accompanied by a soundtrack of tunes by the beat group Blodwyn Pig.

Unlike boldly going, there are various circumstances in which one may be blodly going, and these can be both fictional and non-fictional, that is, real, dammit, as real as the large stone kicked by Dr Johnson in order to refute Bishop Berkeley. But to consider fictional blodly going first, we might imagine a cinematheque film or television programme in which a character is seen in forward motion, from point A to point B, while on the soundtrack we hear, say, “The Modern Alchemist” or “Backwash” from Blodwyn Pig’s debut album Ahead Rings Out (1969).

In terms of all-too-real blodly going, this would be seen when a person is lolloping along the street with, inserted into their lugholes, the pods attached to a digital musical reproduction device such as an mp3 player. Unless they have the volume turned up to a barbarous pitch, we would not necessarily know they were listening to, for example, “The Squirrelling Must Go On” from Blodwyn Pig’s second album Getting To This (1970). We may therefore not know blodly going when we see it.

Similarly, a person may be driving a car or coach and be listening to a Blodwyn Pig recording on their on-board sound system. If the volume is not too loud, and they whizz past us as we stand at a bus stop awaiting hopelessly the 666, then we will be all unawares that such whizzing is blodly. But it is, it is.

One of the main differences between boldly going and blodly going is, of course, that in the former case Captain Kirk and his crew are zipping across galaxies with an attitude of boldness. These people are not shrinking violets who would hardly dare say “Boo!” to a goose, or indeed a space-goose. Wherever they go, at whatever warp factor, they go there boldly. But with blodly going, the goer has much more latitude. Going blodly might mean creeping, gadding, prancing, zooming, limping, skulking, zipping, careering, stalking, plodding, staggering or any number of other forms of locomotion. The blodliness of the act lies in the accompanying soundtrack.

Was this article helpful? Choose the statement below which best describes your response:

■ Yes, very helpful

■ No, not very helpful

■ I have no idea what you are talking about

■ I have always been a great fan of Blodwyn Pig and think the best move Mick Abrahams ever made was to leave Jethro Tull

■ I am Ian Anderson, and I stand on one leg to play my flute. What can Mick Abrahams do to compare with that, eh?

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