Green’s Dictionary of Slang

blow v.1

[lit. and fig. uses of SE blow]

1. in terms pertaining to speech.

(a) [15C; 17C–19C] (also blow on, blow upon) to discredit, to defame; to destroy someone’s reputation.

(b) [15C+] (also blow it) to speak angrily; thus blow at/on v., to chastise, to reprimand.

(c) [late 16C+] (also blow on, blow upon) to inform on, to betray, to expose, to reveal (evidence of wrong-doing, espionage etc); ext. as blow the works.

(d) [mid-18C; 1970s+] to sing.

(e) [late 18C+] (also blow off) to boast, to brag; thus blowing adj., boastful, bragging.

(f) [mid-19C] to tease aggressively.

(g) [mid-19C+] to inform, to confess.

(h) [1910s+] (US) to become, e.g. blow chilly, to be stand-offish.

(i) [1920s+] (US black) to talk (nonsense); to talk insincerely.

(j) [1940s+] (US Und.) to realize.

2. in terms pertaining to the body.

(a) [mid-17C] (also blow off) to break wind.

(b) [1960s+] to vomit; often as blow lunch (cf. lose (one’s) lunch under lose v.).

(c) [1970s] to defecate.

3. in terms pertaining to drugs.

(a) [mid-19C+] to smoke, orig. in a pipe.

(b) [20C+] (also blow up) to smoke marijuana.

(c) [1910s+] (US drugs, also blow up) to inhale a narcotic, usu. heroin or cocaine.

(d) [1960s+] (also blow off) to inject a narcotic.

(e) [2000s] to smoke crack cocaine.

4. in terms pertaining to movement.

(a) [late 19C] (US) to go round with, to associate with.

(b) [late 19C] to take a rest.

(c) [late 19C–1900s] (US) to leave someone behind, to depart from.

(d) [late 19C+] (US, also blow away, blow it, blow through) to depart at speed, to walk away quickly.

(e) [1930s–50s] (US prison) to escape from prison.

(f) [1960s] (US) to drive through a red traffic light or similar traffic sign.

5. in terms based on the idea of blowing/playing wind instruments.

(a) [1920s+] (orig. US black) to play music.

(b) [1950s–60s] (US) to create, to ‘whip up’.

(c) [1950s+] (US black) to talk enthusiastically and fluently.

(d) [1950s+] (US black) to perform on any ‘instrument’, e.g. a writer’s word processor etc.

(e) [1960s] (US campus) to toady to, to act the sycophant.

In compounds

blow-bags (n.)

[mid–19C] (UK Und.) a braggart, a boaster.

In phrases

blow... (v.)

1. see also under relevant n.

2. see also separate entries.

Pertaining to departure

In phrases

blow this popsicle stand (v.) (also blow this garage,…hotdog stand, ...pop stand, ...taco stand) [generic use of SE popsicle stand/garage/taco stand]

[1960s+] (US campus) to leave, esp. somewhere one dislikes or pretends to dislike.

Pertaining to vomit

In phrases

blow doughnuts (v.) (also blow donuts, blow one’s oats, throw donuts)

[1970s+] (US campus) to vomit or regurgitate.

blow (one’s) chunks (v.) (also blow grits, spew chunks) [SE chunks (of food)/grits n.1 ]

1. [1960s+] to vomit.

2. [1990s+] thus, of a thing, to be terrible or unpleasant.

blow (one’s) groceries (v.) (also blow g’s, lose one’s groceries)

[1970s+] (US campus) to vomit.

Pertaining to drugs

In compounds

blowcaine (n.) [SE cocaine + play on SE procaine, novocaine etc]

[1980s+] crack cocaine diluted with powdered cocaine.

In phrases

blow jaw (v.) [stressed pron. of SE (mari)jua(na)]

[1980s] (US) to smoke marijuana.

blow one up (v.)

[1910s] (US prison) to light or smoke a cigarette.

Pertaining to speech and related uses

In compounds

blowbag (n.) [windbag n. (1)]

[1920s+] (Aus.) a loud-mouthed braggart.

In phrases

blow black (v.) (also blow change) [SE black/(political or social) change]

[1960s-80s] (US black) to talk about and/or initiate black activism, social change, revolution and any similar form of racial advancement.

blow fire (v.) [ext. of sense 5a]

[1980s+] (US black) to do anything well and keenly, esp. dancing, musicianship.

blow heavy (v.) [heavy adv. (2); jazz imagery]

[1980s+] (US black) to talk seriously of a contextually vital matter.

blow one’s bags (out) (v.) (also blow one’s bag (out), blow the bags)

1. [mid-19C] to feed someone to excess.

2. [1910s+] (Aus.) to talk to excess; to boast; to ‘let off steam’.

blow one’s horn (v.)

1. see under horn n.1

2. see also separate entry.

blow one’s nose (v.) (also blow someone’s nose) [pun on SE blow/sense 1c, and note nose n. (1)]

[1950s] (US) to inform, to talk to.

how are you blowing?

[late 19C-1920s] (Irish) a general term of informal greeting.

SE in slang uses

In phrases

blow... (v.)

1. see also under relevant n.

2. see also separate entries.

blow foam (v.)

[late 19C] (US) to drink beer.

blow for (v.) [? heavy breathing]

[1950s] (US) to be keen on, to be eager for.

blow hot and cold (v.) [subseq. use is SE]

[mid-16C–late 19C] to vacillate.

blow one out (v.) [‘one’ is a raspberry n. (1)]

[1900s–30s] (orig. milit.) to make a rude noise in someone’s direction.

blow one’s pipes (v.)

[1970s+] (US teen) to make a loud noise through a car’s exhaust pipe by suddenly pressing down on the accelerator.

blow smoke up someone’s ass (v.)

see under smoke n.

blow the coal(s) (v.) [fig. use of SE]

[late 17C–18C] to stir up trouble between two parties.

blow the/someone’s doors off (v.) (also tear the doors off)

[1960s+] (orig. US) to drive at high speed past another car.

whatever blows your dress up (also whatever blows your hair back, …skirt up)

[1980s+] (N.Z./S.Afr./US) whatever you like, whatever makes you happy.