Word Origin & History
c.1200, a northern word, from O.N. blomi "flower, blossom," also collectively "flowers and foliage on trees;" from P.Gmc. *blomon (cf. O.S. blomo, Du. bloem, Ger. Blume, Goth. bloma), from PIE *bhle- (cf. O.Ir. blath "blossom, flower," L. flos "flower," florere "to blossom, flourish"), extended form
of *bhel- "to thrive, bloom, sprout" (see bole
). O.E. had cognate bloma, but only in the figurative sense of "state of greatest beauty;" the main word in O.E. for "flower" was blostm (see blossom
). Related to O.E. blowan "to flower" (see blow
late 14c., prp. adj. from bloom
. Meaning "full-blown" (often a euphemism for bloody
) is attested from 1882.
"rough mass of wrought iron," from O.E. bloma, of unknown origin.