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Difference between Blue boys and Boys in blue

blue boys

1. (coll.) the police:

  • Four blue boys held me while a fifth slipped the cuffs on me.

2. (UK hist.) schoolboys of a charity school who wear blue coats (also: bluecoat boys):

  • The school whose boys were known as “blue boys,” was dissolved in the nineteenth century.

boys in blue — = blue boys 1:

  • How do you manage between clients who call the police “pigs” and your professional peers who regard them as upright boys in blue.