blow hot and cold

blow hot and cold
also, run hot and cold

Meaning

  • to sometimes like or be interested in something or somebody and sometimes not
  • to change mood frequently about something or someone
  • to be “in two minds”, i.e. to be of one opinion, then change your mind and think the opposite.
  • usually applied to relationships, or potential relationships. It is commonly used to express frustration that a potential partner seems sometimes to invite and sometimes to reject offers of friendship /love.

Example Sentences

  1. Why are you blowing hot and cold simultaneously? Tell me clearly whether you want to go with it, or not.
  2. Her boyfriend keeps running hot and cold whenever she asks him to marry her.
  3. I really like him, but I’m confused. He seems to blow hot and cold – one minute he likes me, and the next, he’s ignoring me!
  4. Terry had a terrible time with her – she really messed with his mind! She was always blowing hot and cold about whether she wanted to date him or not.
  5. I don’t think it’s fair when people blow hot and cold, and don’t tell you clearly what they want.

Origin

The idiomatic expression was possibly originated in Aesop’s Fables, or the Aesopica, a compilation of moral stories attributed to Aesop, a slave and narrator supposed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 564.

The phrase entered the English language in the first half of the 17th century. It has been reiterated by many authors, most often telling a person who could not be trusted. William Chillingworth writes it: “These men can blow hot and cold out of the same mouth to serve several purposes” (The Religion of Protestants, 1638).

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