Blowing smoke

A bit of smoke concealing a trick, pic: theseriouslyfunny magicguy.com

My 6 year old would immediately thing of dragons with smoke coming out of their nostrils but blowing smoke has nothing to to do with fantasy writing and fairy tales.

If you are blowing smoke, you are boasting without being able to back it up, your are deceiving people by making claims that aren’t substantiated, you are talking about action without intent to follow through.

People blow smoke in professional situations, e.g. when they claim to have more experience than they actually do, as well as in personal situation, when one exaggerates ones accomplishments or abilities.

Here are a couple of examples:

“He said he had lots of experience selling into large accounts but I think he was just blowing smoke.”

“Where you really a world class surfer in your twenties or are you just blowing smoke?”

The origin lies in magic after all: magicians often use smoke in their performance to conceal a bit of trickery.  If you are blowing smoke you are trying to trick somebody and cover it up.

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