Blow Smoke

Also: Blow smoke in someone’s face

Meaning of Idiom ‘Blow Smoke’

To blow smoke is to exaggerate or boast about oneself, usually with no means to back up what one is saying; to intentionally deceive or mislead; to speak in a way meant to conceal the truth and confuse others; to talk confidently about something even though one knows nothing about it. 1Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms]. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.,2Spears, Richard A. McGraw-Hill’s American Idioms Dictionary. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008.,3Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

Compare to Blow Smoke Up Someone’s Ass.

Usage

This idiom is often preceded by the word just and used with the present particle, blowing, e.g. “He’s just blowing smoke.”

Examples Of Use

“He’s just blowing smoke. He has no idea how to fix the copy machine.”

“I hope you’re just blowing smoke. You know what will happen if you confront Marcus. He’s dangerous!”

“Kevin is blowing smoke. He has not experience at all. Don’t hire him!”

“I don’t have time to stand here while you blow smoke in my face,” said the businessman. “If you have anything substantial to offer, let me hear it.”

Origin

Used since at least the first half of the 1900s.

This idiom may allude to magicians using puffs of smoke to conceal their tricks or to cigerette smokers blowing smoke in other people’s faces.

More Idioms Starting with B

More Blow Idioms

More Smoke Idioms

 

Sources   [ + ]

1. Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms]. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.
2. Spears, Richard A. McGraw-Hill’s American Idioms Dictionary. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008.
3. Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012