A Reddit 'Shower thoughts' post:

If you borrow someone's newly bought blue cheese, you would have something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue all in one item.

You could go to a wedding with that one item!

I'm guessing there's some pun or other non-obvious meaning behind 'blue' here, likely some contrast to 'borrowed' but I don't think I've ever encountered it in such context. What's so special about 'blue' that it got included here that the post raked up 17,500 upvotes?


2 Answers 2


The Reddit poster refers to a British custom, in which a bride is sometimes presented with "Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue." These are carried by the bride as good luck charms.

The custom is said to have its origin in a nursery rhyme:

Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe

Tradition holds that the "Something blue" represents fidelity, purity, and love. "Something old" represents tradition. "Something new" augurs a prosperous future. "Something borrowed" is taken to represent happiness. The "Sixpence in your shoe" is meant to ensure prosperity.

I imagine that the post garnered an extravagent vote total simply because it is a clever play on the wording of the custom and the rhyme.

A more scholarly digression on the custom and the rhyme can be found in this Wikipedia article.

  • 1
    @RossPresser Well, blue cheese is aged to a degree. And we should be thankful that the Reddit poster did not endeavor to satisfy the sixpence in your shoe argument; I think we can all agree that blue cheese borne in one's shoe conjures a distinctly odoriferous image. Jun 19, 2017 at 4:28
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    To be pedantic, you don't actually answer the question. In fact, you just repeat the exact same words which the OP is asking about, "something blue". You've explained what "something blue" represents and where the saying comes from, but not the intended meaning of "blue". You don't actually state that both uses of the word "blue" are intended to mean the color blue.
    – Makyen
    Jun 19, 2017 at 4:38
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    @Makyen The OP is asking about the second blue explicitly.
    – jaxad0127
    Jun 19, 2017 at 6:07
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    It's a very widespread US custom, too. Even the sixpence in the shoe—sometimes a silver dollar or other US coin here, but some brides go so far as to get an antique British sixpence. I wouldn't suggest putting blue cheese in a bridal shoe, though.
    – 1006a
    Jun 19, 2017 at 6:18
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    @Makyen Well, the answer does state: Tradition holds that the "Something blue" represents fidelity, purity, and love. This seems to me an answer to the question posed in the title. I assume that by "second meaning", the OP connotes the meaning of the word in the originating rhyme. Do you think the OP intends something else? Surely the OP already understands what imparts the color to the veins in blue cheese. Jun 19, 2017 at 8:24

I'm guessing there's some pun or other non-obvious meaning behind 'blue' here


The veins in blue cheese are actually blue in color, so that's "something blue".

Cheese has to be aged before being sold or consumed, so it's also "something old".

However, for someone buying the cheese, it's "something new", at least on the day it's bought.

And finally, if someone takes it temporarily and gives it back later, it becomes "something borrowed".

So yeah, it's a clever way to tick off all the boxes for "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue".

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