Posted by: Author | January 6, 2012

Friday Facts- January 6, 2012- Old Blighty

A nickname for England is Old Blighty. The term has been around since the British held India as a colony. Blighty is derived from an Indian word that means Britain- bilāyatī.

The soldiers slurred the word into Blighty. Kind of like the area of London known as Elephant and Castle which was a corruption of Eleanor of Castile’s name. She was the queen of Edward I.

The term became popular during WWI when men would hope for an “old Blighty” wound- one not bad enough to kill you, but bad enough to be sent back home to get well. A number of songs were written with the term in the lyrics.




  1. Thanks for the new info, Jillian. Edward and Eleanor was one of the few real love stories of English monarchs. Rita

    • They were indeed. Her cousin made the match when she was 10, I believe. But even though it was a dynastic match, they fell in love. Had quite a few children as well. She died after trying to travel to aid him after the birth/death of # 15.

  2. I’d never heard this before. I love Friday Facts and learning new stuff. THANKS

  3. Another new piece of information for me, too. Old Blighty, huh? That sounds like a name England might try to tamp down and not use much. Sort of like our football stadium here. It was Qwest Field until Century Link bought quest. Some sports guy shortened the name and, much to Century Link’s dislike, I’m guessing, it caught on. It’s now quite often called the “Clink”. lol

    • Hehehe. I love the Clink. FUN! Actually, one of my British friends says Old Blighty quite often. They don’t seem to mind it.

  4. That is fascinating. I never knew where that term came from.

    • I looked it up a few years ago when I was curious.

  5. Love these facts. I can’t say I particularly the term though. Old Blighty sounds like something that has a blight. Sort of an ugly visual.

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