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"blow this for a lark"

Posted by TheFallen on January 15, 2003

In Reply to: "Blow this for a lark" posted by bunyip on January 15, 2003

: The Subject phrase is used frequently by Terry Pratchett in his Discworld books. I have been unable to trace the origins of this phrase nor whether it's in [common] use in the UK. Can anyone assist me on either point?
: Thanks,
: the bigbunyip
: stephen
: Ottawa, Canada

"Blow" in the sense of "damn" or "curse" was fairly common in the UK up until about 50 years ago - I remember my mother when surprised or irritated using "oh blow" undoubtedly as a euphemism for some swearword exclamation. I imagine it originally comes from a wish for the offending issue to be blown away - possibly to Hell - though I have no evidence of such. "Blow this for a lark (or laugh)" would still be understood here, though we'd be more likely these days to use "screw" rather than "blow". We might even say "screw this for a game of soldiers".

"Blow" in a pejoritive sense has of course recently got a new lease of life, courtesy of US English from what I understand, as in "let's blow this popsicle stand" or even the more vulgar "that blows".

As a side note, and to jump eagerly onto one of my favourite hobbyhorses, Terry Pratchett is of course one of the finest writers writing today.