on the blink

Idioms & Phrases

on the blink

Also, on the bum or fritz. Malfunctioning, out of order, broken, as in The TV is on the blink again, or You driveour car's on the bum. The first of these slangy expressions dates from the late 1800s and possibly alludes to an electric light that flickers on and off ("blinks"); the second, from the same period, possibly is derived from bum in the sense of "a contemptible person"; the third, fritz, dating from about 1900, is of unknown origin.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: on the bench
Next Definition: on the block
Words Near: on the blink
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for on the blink
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing on the blink
More from Dictionary.com Translator
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature