|A rather dashing bloke holidaying in Ireland|
(photo by Swire Chin)
Noun. Colloquial. Mid-19th century.
A man, a fellow.
Also: blokey, blokeish adjective M20
Bloke is a refreshingly neutral word, and really gives no indication of a man's age, background, status or demeanour. "He's a funny old bloke, isn't he?" sits just as well as "I got jumped by a couple of drunk blokes in town last night." Most references suggest that this is a chiefly British colloquialism, though it is used in other parts of the world too, including Australia (perhaps with more emphasis on a bloke's masculinity there). What's particularly interesting about bloke, however, is its origin, which the OED unequivocally gives as Shelta, the ancient secret language of Irish Travellers. In tracing bloke back through its Traveller roots, its ultimate origin may be the Celtic ploc, meaning a stubborn person, or even Romany or Hindi loke, meaning a man. Despite its modern Britishness, therefore, bloke seems to be a rather well-travelled chap indeed.
Do you use bloke?
Have you met any nice blokes recently?
Do please comment below.