Green’s Dictionary of Slang

blow (someone) away v.

[ext. of SE use + southern dial. use or jazz use, for two bands to engage in an on-stage competition; the winner was deemed to have blown away its rival]

1. (orig. US black, also blow) to shoot dead.

[US]C. Himes Blind Man with a Pistol (1971) 183: If’n you hit me again, white folks, I’ll blow you away.
[US](con. 1960s) D. Goines Black Gangster (1991) 83: He wants this cat blowed before God can get the news.
[US]E. Bunker Animal Factory 182: You’re a lot less likely to get blown away by some asshole.
[US]Pileggi & Scorsese Goodfellas [film script] 110: One move, motherfucker, and I’ll blow you away.
[US]J. Wambaugh Finnegan’s Week 340: Bobbie’s blown away Jules Temple!
Herald (Glasgow) 7 Apr. n.p.: In a frequently brutal world, no-one ever mentions the word ‘Kill’. The vogue term for termination by gunfire, bayonet or grenade is ‘slotting’. [...] Enemies can be ‘wasted’, ‘totalled’ or ‘blown away’, but never killed.

2. to defeat decisively.

[US]Cab Calloway Of Minnie the Moocher and Me 73: The Missourians ran us off the damned bandstand [...] We were blown away.
[US]D. Barker Life in Jazz 58: He [...] told of the great battle of music [and] that Lee Collins had won over Kid Rena. ‘Lee Collins has blown Kid Rena away!’.
[US]Simon & Burns Corner (1998) 125: See the nigger run with them boots [...] Blew you away, Manny Man.

3. to make intoxicated with a drug or drink.

[US]V.E. Smith Jones Men 217: You’re goin’ to get somethin’ that’ll blow you away.
[US]J. Ellroy Brown’s Requiem 220: [I] drove to the apartment of an informant and got blown away on hash.

4. (orig. US teen) to impress, to bowl over, to astound.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Oct. 1: blow me away – [...] That concert last night really blew me away.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Oct.
[US]N. Krulik Hammer and Vanilla Ice 18: It was Hammer who housed them in every stadium! His amazing energy and fancy footwork blew the crowds away.
[UK]N. Griffiths Grits 420: A mean, this fuckin blew me away. A just coulden fuckin balieve it.
[US]D. Winslow Winter of Frankie Machine (2007) 94: When Jimmy the Kid finally leaves his uncle’s house, he is blown freaking away. Freaking away.
[Ire]P Howard Braywatch 335: ‘[W]e were all blown away by the letter you wrote’.

5. (US black) to defeat verbally.

[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 94: Like a pootbutt come. Like you tryin’ to talk to a young lady. Messes you up, talkin’ trash. You righteously blow dat sucker away.

6. to kill.

[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 230: blow (one) away 1. Kill.
[US]R. Campbell In La-La Land We Trust (1999) 164: Pinole had been blown away in the harshest way, and it was clear that Rojo intended to make someone pay for it.
[UK]J. Cameron Vinnie Got Blown Away 4: He got blown away.