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Posted by Lewis on January 17, 2003

In Reply to: posted by ESC 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."

Well, blow me...

...down with a feather!

'Blow this for a lark' is still fairly common usage as is 'blow/bugger this for a game of soldiers' meaning in both cases that a situation has become uncomfortable and has ceased to be either 'a lark' or 'a game of soldiers' as in the children's role play game.

and as for Terry Pratchett - I met him at a book signing before he was as famous and he was very pleasant. He had a lot of spare time on his hands and I was with him for about an hour chatting about his inspirations. I worked with a guy named Mort at the time and gave him a copy personally inscribed by TP.