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Blue ruin is an old-fashioned slang term for gin, appearing c. 1820 and used throughout the 1800s, being less common but still in use today. It appears to have come about as a play on the term blue ribbon or blue ribband, used to refer to gin in general, and refering to the blue ribbon that adorned higher-quality bottles of gin. Blue ruin, in turn, probably influenced the adoption of the term mother's ruin to refer to gin.

In modern usage, blue ruin may mean completely ruined, broke, or completely devastated, perhaps due to a misunderstanding of the term somewhere along the line.

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