Billy-be-damned n Also Billy Bedam chiefly Nth Cf Billy Hell n
Used in var intensive comparisons; see quots.
1837 (1851) Burts Scourge Ocean 143 NEng, They knocked off their deviltries, and became all on a sudden as sanctified as Billy Be-damned. 1851 Burke Polly Peablossom 70 MS, I pledge you my word he was as dead as Billy-be-d—d! 1914 DN 4.71 ME, nNH, Dead as Billy-be-damned. . . Very dead. 1938 AmSp 13.74 cwOH, ‘It was as cold as Billy Bedam’ (accent on the dam). 1958 VT Hist. 26.260, Colder than Billy be damned. (Billy hell, Billy Thunder.) Hotter than Billy be damned. 1968 DARE (Qu. U41b, . . “He’s poor as _____.”) Inf ND3, Billy-be-damned; (Qu. HH22b, . . “He’s meaner than _____.”) Inf OH77, Billy-be-damned. 1991 King Needful Things 74 ME, Just as big as billy-be-damned.