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be blue

Description used in German for one intoxication - "someone is blue", that means he is drunk. "To be blue" is the neglect of a Yiddish-Hebrew expression for "to be in nothing". According to another version, this is due to a work-related break in the wool dyers. The wool was dyed with an air-blue dye (indigo) and left in the dye bath on Sunday to let it dry on Monday. On Mondays, the journeyman could "turn blue" (indulge in idleness). According to the old craft rule, urine was added to the color broth for better color development, whereby the coloring was supposed to be even better if the dyers had drunk plenty of alcohol. See also under alcoholism,

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