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A Blue Million

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Ian in Clyde, North Carolina, is puzzled when a colleague uses the term blue million, meaning “a large amount.” Along with words like zillion and gazillion, this expression functions as an indefinite hyperbolic numeral. Sometimes the word blue serves as an intensifier, as in true blue, meaning “steadfastly loyal” and blue streak, which, when used in reference to cursing, suggests a large quantity of coarse language. Similarly, the blue fires of hell intensifies the expression the fires of hell. This is part of a complete episode.

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