To go "get the stink blown off us"

Posted by ESC on February 09, 2002

In Reply to: To go "get the stink blown off us" posted by R. Berg on February 09, 2002

: : My husband enountered this phrase in a short story recently and also recalls that his father, a 75-year-old retired farmer, used to use it forty years ago. What it means is, "We've been indoors too long; let's go outside." It suggests that a disagreeable odor collects around individuals who remain housebound for too long. I wonder if there's any connection to the phrase, "Let's blow this joint," i.e. leave this place.

: Without knowing the history of these phrases, I'd say probably not. In the first one, the blowing agent is wind; in the second, it's the people who leave--they blow out the door like a storm.

"Get the stink blown off us." Interesting phrase and environmentally sound. Indoor air is way more polluted than outdoor air. Today tightly sealed houses keep fresh air out and keep in chemicals (like "outgassing" from wood paneling, etc.), animal dander, dust mites, etc. In the old days houses were draftier and fewer synthetic products were used. But most people didn't have central heat and indoor plumbing. There was plenty of pollution from woodstoves and it was difficult to stay dewy fresh without hot water on tap.

I think the phrase is more closely related to "cabin fever" than "Let's blow this place."