phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Blowing smoke...

Posted by RRC on August 30, 2007

In Reply to: Blowing smoke... posted by Smokey Stover on August 30, 2007

: : : I have always wanted to know how the phrase "blowing smoke",(and for anyone easily offended I will not mention the orifice where it is usually said to be blown) has come to mean complimenting someone. I was happy to find this site, but still, I cannot find this particular phrase. Where in the world did it come from??

: : There have been previous discussions. (Archives: "blow smoke.") Two theories -- from "smoke and mirrors" as in magic/illusion. And from tobacco enemas. Whatever that is. Anybody got any more ideas?

: Blowing smoke up someone's a s s is not the only way the expression is used. In fact, I'm certain that I've seen the phrase used when someone blowing smoke is either being deceptive or over-confident, or is talking through his hat, that is, talking confidently of something of which he has no specific knowledge. If I'm correct in this, the smoke would presumably be that of a smoke-screen. When someone predicts something, especially of commercial importance, he may be "just blowing smoke," trying to make himself important or making a statement which should not be believed.
: SS

Also, blowing smoke up someone's a s s doesn't mean genuinely complementing someone. It has to do with telling someone what they want to hear, whether that be false complements, exaggerations or outright lies usually as a means to an end. A used-car salesman telling you that a broken-down Model-T will do 140 on the highway is blowing smoke up your ass.