blow hot and cold

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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.


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blow hot and cold (third-person singular simple present blows hot and cold, present participle blowing hot and cold, simple past blew hot and cold, past participle blown 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."