"Bloods"

"My bedroom overlooks the main street of our district. Though it was a fine afternoon, the paving blocks were black and glistening. What few people were about seemed in an absurd hurry. First of all there came a family going for their Sunday-afternoon walk; two small boys in sailor suits, with short trousers hardly down to their knees, and looking rather uneasy in their Sunday best; then a little girl with a big pink bow and black patent-leather shoes. Behind them was their mother, an enormously fat woman in a brown silk dress, and their father, a dapper little man, whom I knew by sight. He had a straw hat, a walking stick, and a butterfly tie. Seeing him beside his wife, I understood why people said he came of a good family and had married beneath him.

1940s Laurence Fellows illustration.
Dapper man, although here with more
formal hat (too British?)
Pinched from here.

Next came a group of young fellows, the local 'bloods,' with sleek oiled hair, red ties, coats cut very tight at the waist, braided pockets, and square-toed shoes. I guessed they were going to one of the big theaters in the center of town. That was why they had started out so early and were hurrying to the streetcar stop, laughing and talking at the top of their voices." (26)


Street scenes by Camus, in his famous book, The Stranger. My copy has a great 40s sketch on the front, was translated by Stuart Gilbert, and published in New York by Vintage Books (Random House) in 1946.

Wish I knew more about his use of the word "bloods" here! I don't have the original French, but how interesting that they wear red ties? Google is giving me nothing, anyone here an etymologist?