Blow the stink off.


Grandfather Davis possible originator of the saying.

When I was a kid my Dad would always be telling us to, “Go outside and blow the stink off”.

Every family has it sayings I guess. That was one of my father’s favorites. I tried for years to find out what the hell it meant, and second where in God’s name he ever came up with it.

He’d always say it to us kids. I think he’d use it whenever he got tired of us being in the house. It didn’t matter that there was a monsoon rain or the blizzard of the century happening outside, Dad’d direct that at us and then he’d get up and walk away. He never said it to our Mom, or anyone else only us kids.

As kids we actually got the part about going outside, but the “blow the stink off” part? Well I knew I didn’t smell because I showered that morning. I also knew I hadn’t farted, at least most of the time that wasn’t my transgression. Hell if it was the farts he did more of that than we did. Why didn’t he go outside and blow the stink off?

Now after many years I find myself using on my kids. I still don’t know what it means. I did find out where he picked it up. Turns out his father used it on him and his four brothers. Guess what? None of them ever knew exactly what it meant either.

The best interpretation I’ve ever have been able to come up with is this. Go outside meant to leave the house and go play outside where you wouldn’t be bothering him.

My interpretation of the “blow the stink off” is to get some fresh air. It’s a hell of a weird way to say it, but that’s the only way I can put a meaning to that phrase.

Where it came from originally I’m afraid is lost in the mists of time and family roots.


6 Responses to Blow the stink off.

  1. Sue says:

    I was born in 1960 in western PA, my mom said that to me and my brothers.

  2. Rita Broden says:

    I was raised by grandmother, she being born in 1900, and she would tell us kids the very same thing your dad told you! I was raised in southwestern Michigan. It may have been a generational OR a regional saying? Who knows??!!

  3. Tracey-Lynne says:

    If you’ve got time, please check out my recent blog post. I just wrote something of a similar vein. “Get outside and blow the stick off ya” was a favourite of my Dad’s too 🙂

  4. crostata alla nutella says:

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  5. Connie Corn says:

    Almost a year since your writing, I decided on a lark to ‘google’ ‘blow the stink off’. It was an expression my father used growing up & I have adopted as a sentimental favorite. He was also a “Davis” (American -derivation from the original Welsh version “Davies”) . The meaning is much the same as you relayed- been inside too long-time to get out & blow the stink off (aka get fresh air, clear your head, get outside…). The actual origin of the expression, I haven’t a clue. I found it interesting that there was a 2002 blog originating from the UK speculating about the expression.

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