blue-arsed fly noun earlier than 1970

blue-arsed fly noun earlier than 1970

Michael Finney submitted verifiable evidence from 1936.

The first evidence for the metaphorical blue-arsed fly in the OED entry comes from a 1970 quote attributed to the Duke of Edinburgh:

1970 Times 22 Apr. 7/3 The Duke of Edinburgh‥asked a photographer if he was getting enough pictures…  ‘You have been running around like a blue-arsed fly.’

The r-less blue-assed fly, however, is attested from at least 1932.  Why such a discrepancy? Since our original OED entry was published in 2005, we’ve discovered an earlier example of blue-arsed fly in a dictionary of slang from 1949, but we suspect there may be evidence out there that is earlier still. Can you help us find it? Real-life examples dating from before 1970 and dictionary examples from before 1949 would both be welcome.

For reference, here are the entries as currently published in OED Online:

OED Editor Fiona McPherson talks about this appeal in the video below:

Posted by OED_Editor on 27 September 2012 19.40
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