Posted by TheFallen on April 29, 2003
In Reply to: Nope, but I have the original source... posted by Word Camel on April 29, 2003
: : : I came across the word, "insufflation" in my The Word Museum (the book I raved about a few weeks ago) and it reminded me of the "Don't blow smoke up my ass" discussion. It means "the act of blowing gas or vapour into a cavity of the body, as when tobacco smoke is injected into the rectum." So perhaps the expression hasn't always been as figurative as it is today.
: : Does it say why that was done?
: So I was thinking I might check it out when I got to the library this week. Obsessive? Me?
Using bellows to "insufflate" the rectum with tobacco smoke was in the late C18th considered a viable and scientific means of resuscitating someone who had stopped breathing. I imagine that it'd certainly cause a nasty shock if the insufflatee wasn't quite all the way dead.
Various herbal websites today recommend tobacco smoke being introduced into the rectum as a cure for constipation, a relief for a strangulated hernia and a cure for intestinal parasites. Me? I think I'll stick with the mainstream.