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"blow this for a lark"

Posted by ESC on January 15, 2003

In Reply to: "Blow this for a lark" posted by TheFallen 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. the U.S. "blow" does mean leave. "Let's blow this firetrap." But it also means oral copulation. As in: "This blows," another way of saying "This sucks."

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