Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
1916, of obscure origin, many claimants. "One of the weird coinages of the airmen" [Weekley]. Common theory is that it is from designers' prototype nickname Type B-limp, in the sense of "without internal framework," as opposed to Type A-rigid; thus see limp (adj.).
An obese person
[1940s+; fr the WWI term for a nonrigid dirigible, based on limp]
nonrigid or semirigid airship dependent on internal gas pressure to maintain its form. The origin of the name blimp is uncertain, but the most common explanation is that it derives from "British Class B airship" plus "limp"-i.e., nonrigid. Blimps were used by navies during World War I in convoy and antisubmarine patrol duty, became attractions at fairs and expositions, and later carried advertising messages.