Quick Reference

Blow hot and cold vacillate, be sometimes enthusiastic and sometimes unenthusiastic. With reference to a fable involving a traveller who was offered hospitality by a satyr and offended his host by blowing on his cold fingers to warm them and on his hot soup to cool it.

blow the gaff reveal a plot or secret; the term is recorded from the early 19th century, but the origin is unknown.

blow the whistle on bring an illicit activity to an end by informing on the person responsible; the term whistleblower for such an informant comes (in the 1970s) from this.

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