blow one’s top v.
1. to lose one’s sanity.
|Grimhaven 28: Unless you say ‘blew his top’ or ‘blow his topper’; then it means to go crazy.|
|Runyon on Broadway (1954) 36: Finally he blows his topper.‘Romance in the Roaring Forties’ in|
|‘But I’ll be Back’ [lyrics] Gonna make you give me back my love / Before I blow my top!|
|Really the Blues 4I: I saw my first race riot there [...] It left me so shaky I almost blew my top.|
|Rap Sheet 175: I seen as many as three guys a night flop off – blow their tops – and try to commit suicide.|
|Viper 116: The cats nearly blew their top and as soon as they could get otuside they rushed for the drug again.|
|Down These Mean Streets (1970) 300: Can’t you see? I’m flipping, I’m blowing my top.|
|In This Corner (1974) 194: They said ‘This man’s gone crazy. He’s blowing his top.’.in Heller|
2. (US black) to get drunk.
|‘Hectic Harlem’ in N.Y. Amsterdam News 8 Feb, sect. 2: BLOW YOUR TOP. – To get drunk.|
3. (US tramp) to commit suicide, esp. by shooting.
|Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 31: blow one’s top.–To commit suicide, correctly, by shooting, although sometimes extended to include any means of self-destruction.|
4. (also blow gaff) to lose one’s temper, to become violent [gaff n.2 (5)].
|Und. and Prison Sl.|
|High Sierra in Four Novels (1984) 342: When I got tipped off she was going to get a divorce [...] If it hadn’t been for Barmy I’d have blowed my topper sure.|
|Coll. Stories (1990) 63: That Nazi pilot must be blowing his top.‘A Penny for Your Thoughts’ in|
|Love me Sailor 151: The old man wasn’t letting Christianson blow any more gaff.|
|(con. 1943–5) To Hell and Back (1950) 109: A hog should have known better [...] but not men, when they blow their toppers.|
|Little Men, Big World 170: Lola’ll look after him till she drops or I blow my topper.|
|Day I Died 115: You don’t want to blow your top.|
|Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit 105: Uncle Tom [...] will blow his top.|
|Men from the Boys (1967) 62: I let go of him. ‘All right. Sorry I blew my cap, buddy.’.|
|Proud Highway (1997) 390: A Grace Company official blew his top during a visit by Teodoro Moscoso.letter 23 Aug. in|
|Gonif 134: Please, God, don’t let me blow my top again.|
|Lily on the Dustbin 46: The baby’s mother ‘took a peep’ at the card he was filling in and nearly ‘blew her top’.|
|Now You Know 82: It’s Jacqui blowing her top. Jacqui’s having a great go about something.|
|Guardian G2 26 Jan. 9: I know I mustn’t blow my top.|
5. to express intense emotion; to become very excited.
|‘If You’re a Viper’ [lyrics] Truck on down to the candy store / Blow your top on peppermint candy.|
|New Hepsters Dict. in Calloway (1976) 253: blow the top (v.): to be overcome with emotion (delight). Ex., ‘You’ll blow your top when you hear this one’.|
|Coll. Stories (1990) 110: Well now, what honorably discharged Sergeant Johnny Jones was really blowing his lucky top about [...] was Jessie May’s fine, round gams.‘Make with the Shape’ in|
|Duke 3: That’s the way I dig it. I do it nice. Play it cool. I don’t blow my top like other cats and go out and rob to get stuff.|
|On the Road (The Orig. Scroll) (2007) 215: Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray blowing their tops before a screaming audience.|
|On The Road (1972) 127: Listen will you to this old tenorman blow his top.|
|Cool Hand Luke (1967) 57: We let off steam. We blew our tops.|
|Requiem for a Dream (1987) 59: So dont blow your top. Relax.|
6. to talk too much.
|Jive and Sl. n.p.: Blowing your top ... Worthless chatter.|
|City of Spades (1964) 32: You blow your top too much, Mr Stranger.|