blow hot and cold

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Aesop's fable in which a satyr declares he cannot trust a man who blows hot (to warm his hands) and cold (to cool his food) with the same breath.

Verb[edit]

blow hot and cold

  1. (intransitive, idiomatic) To behave inconsistently; to vacillate or to waver, as between extremes of opinion or emotion.
    • 1852 1 July, "New-York University: Commencement Ceremonies—Anniversaries of the Literary Societies," New York Times:
      He blows hot and cold. He will speak for or against.
    • 1968 25 Oct., "A Goat, Twins and a Virgin," Time:
      Geminis, like air, blow hot and cold. They go this way today and another way tomorrow.
    • 2002 12 May, "China says DPP is only welcome if it changes platform ," Taipei Times (retrieved 9 July 2008):
      The Xinhua commentary said that Chen "blows hot and cold, behaves capriciously and is a hard man to trust."

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