Idioms

Origin of blow

2
before 1000; Middle English blowen (v.), Old English blāwan; cognate with Latin flāre to blow
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for blow hot and cold (1 of 3)

blow

1
/ (bləʊ) /

verb blows, blowing, blew or blown

noun

Word Origin for blow

Old English blāwan, related to Old Norse blǣr gust of wind, Old High German blāen, Latin flāre

British Dictionary definitions for blow hot and cold (2 of 3)

blow

2
/ (bləʊ) /

noun

a powerful or heavy stroke with the fist, a weapon, etc
at one blow or at a blow by or with only one action; all at one time
a sudden setback; unfortunate eventto come as a blow
come to blows
  1. to fight
  2. to result in a fight
an attacking actiona blow for freedom
Australian and NZ a stroke of the shears in sheep-shearing

Word Origin for blow

C15: probably of Germanic origin; compare Old High German bliuwan to beat

British Dictionary definitions for blow hot and cold (3 of 3)

blow

3
/ (bləʊ) /

verb blows, blowing, blew or blown

(intr) (of a plant or flower) to blossom or open out
(tr) to produce (flowers)

noun

a mass of blossoms
the state or period of blossoming (esp in the phrase in full blow)

Word Origin for blow

Old English blōwan; related to Old Frisian blōia to bloom, Old High German bluoen, Latin flōs flower; see bloom 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Culture definitions for blow hot and cold

blow hot and cold


To change one's mind constantly about the value of something: “The administration should stop issuing such contradictory statements on taxes; they are alienating the voters by blowing hot and cold on tax reform.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with blow hot and cold (1 of 2)

blow hot and cold


Change one's mind, vacillate, as in Jean's been blowing hot and cold about taking a winter vacation. This expression comes from Aesop's fable (c. 570 b.c.) about a man eating with a satyr on a winter day. At first the man blew on his hands to warm them and then blew on his soup to cool it. The satyr thereupon renounced the man's friendship because he blew hot and cold out of the same mouth. The expression was repeated by many writers, most often signifying a person who could not be relied on. William Chillingworth put it: “These men can blow hot and cold out of the same mouth to serve several purposes” (The Religion of Protestants, 1638).

Idioms and Phrases with blow hot and cold (2 of 2)

blow


In addition to the idioms beginning with blow

  • blow a fuse
  • blow away
  • blow by blow
  • blow hot and cold
  • blow in
  • blow it
  • blow off
  • blow off steam
  • blow one's brains out
  • blow one's cool
  • blow one's cover
  • blow one's mind
  • blow one's own horn
  • blow one's top
  • blow out
  • blow over
  • blow sky-high
  • blow someone to
  • blow the lid off
  • blow the whistle on
  • blow up

also see:

  • at one stroke (blow)
  • body blow
  • come to blows
  • keep (blow) one's cool
  • low blow
  • way the wind blows
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.