Somehow I was in the knowledge of the fact that the phrasal verb "to blip off" could be used to convey the idea of "to bump off", "to kill", "to knock off" and so on.

But on Ngram I found that the frequency of the phrase's usage was holding out for 0%.

At the same time on that very site there was one among the examples: "Not a button man by trade, nonetheless I'd heard he'd blipped off at least two men and left their remains in the high timber west of town." ("Hand of Glory" by Laird Barron, page 385)

Is "to blip off" used, after all, in the meaning of "to kill", "to finish off", "to bump off" etc (maybe at certain localities)?

  • There are a lot of metaphors sometimes used for killing in various ways, eg snuff out, take out, wipe out, blow away, knock off, pull the plug. Some become common enough to make dictionaries, but I don't think "blip off" is there yet. NB Please cite quotations, post links, and give sources.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 8:34
  • @Stuart F My quotation is from "Hand of Glory" by Laird Barron, page 385. If you happen to look it up, please, render me your oppinion. (to me, a non-native speaker, "to blip off" seems well-taken and deserving to take on as an idiom)
    – Eugene
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 9:08
  • Any causative verb involving rapid movement of the object can be used in a pejorative phrasal verb, many with off. But it's just one more oddity of phrasal verbs, not anything special with a special term for it. Commented Jan 30, 2023 at 19:06

1 Answer 1


Blip off is a euphemism for 'to kill' used and originated in hardboiled slang. Hardboiled fiction is a American crime fiction with tough, unsentimantel, violent style of writing; and used slangy dialogue. It started in mid-1920s, was popular in pulp magazines between 1930s-1950s.

Blip off: To kill

Twists, Slugs and Roscoes: A Glossary of Hardboiled Slang - miskatonic.org

It appears to be a metaphor for monitoring device blips where they vanish when the machine stops working. It is also an analogy to an electrocardiogram heart monitor where it flatlines (the blips stop) when the heart stops working (no electrical activity: asystole).

blip off American to kill
Blips indicate that an oscilloscope or other monitoring equipment is working. They vanish if the instrument malfunctions and switched off.

Dictionary of Euphemisms By R. W. Holder

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