I was watching Emmys when I heard the phrase "go blue" from Darren Criss who won the award for the lead actor in a limited series. He said:

Congratulations to all of you. Thank you to the television academy. Go blue.

You can find his speech here and this phrase at 1:29.

I googled go blue and I found this:

This is in reference to a 'blue movie', a euphemistic term for a pornographic film.

going a bit blue then would mean that the programme/character in question is normally 'clean' but has begun to include more adult themes.

and this one:

to turn blue from being cold or not breathing

But I think none of them makes sense in this context. So what does "go blue" mean here?

  • I'd never heard "go blue" said to mean a reference to "blue movies" as in pornographic films until now. Wikipedia traces the term's origin (in the context of something "adult" or "risque") to the 1890's at the earliest, and even the answer you linked admits the usage goes back to "the early 1800's", which excludes the possibility that its etymological origins are in such a reference. Regardless, it's not the phrase used here; Laurel's answer below is likely correct that this usage is completely irrelevant to the speech in question. – Darren Ringer Sep 24 at 13:44
up vote 68 down vote accepted

"Go Blue" is similar to "Go Wildcats", where the second word refers to a school or sports team.

In this particular case, blue is one of the colors of the University of Michigan, which is where Criss went to school. If you went to one of their sports games, you might hear the song Let's Go Blue.

  • Go Blue! Hail! to the victors valiant... "Let's Go Blue" is a very short piece and not as well known as Michigan's original and main fight song, "The Victors": en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Victors – ttbek Sep 21 at 21:02
  • @ttbek True, but "The Victors" does not contain the word "blue". – aschepler Sep 21 at 21:51

The phrase Go X is a generic cheer of support for or solidarity with X in a competition, or more broadly used to express encouragement or admiration.

Let's go Red Sox!

I went to high school in White Bear Lake. Go Bears!

Go on, girl! (nowadays, more commonly You go, girl!)

Context is highly important as there are hundreds and hundreds of things blue could refer to; it could be cheering on police (in parallel with firefighter red), it could be cheering on the US Democratic Party (since the 2000 election; Republicans became identified with red at the same time for the same reason), it could be cheering on the Los Angeles Dodgers (Dodger blue has even become an X11 color). Darren Criss is a graduate of the University of Michigan, whose colors are maize and blue but whose football team is cheered on simply as the "Blue," so that is as likely the intended meaning as any other, having no other context to go on.

  • 3
    Not just the football team, "Go Blue!," is in reference to the entire university, all it's students, staff, and graduates in all their endeavors. – ttbek Sep 21 at 21:05

Go Blue = Go Michigan. He was referring to the Michigan football team.

"Go Blue" flag with a Michigan "M"

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    Please do not claim that your answer is the "correct answer" and please write objective answers. Please use grammar or other supporting evidence to explain your answers and provide an explanation with every answer. – Em. Sep 22 at 3:35
  • @Em. Please have a sense of humor. The Ohio State / Michigan football rivalry has been going since 1897. – Ray Koren Sep 24 at 21:02
  • Sorry. Maybe I acted hastily, but I felt justified as it didn't read like a joke to me, nor was it likely to read as such to non-native speakers and those who aren't familiar with school and sports rivalries. It can easily be read as a boast or a put-down, which isn't really welcome. Since the majority of your written answer consisted of that "joke", I was tempted to delete it outright. So editing it and adding some more context was the compromise I came up with. – Em. Sep 24 at 22:11
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    Had it been clearer, especially to learners, that it was a joke, or had your answer been a bit more substantive, then I would've been inclined to let it slide. So my advice is to keep your audience in mind when answering here. Try to provide explanations they'll understand. :) – Em. Sep 24 at 22:12

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