sucking vs blowing

this is a little bit of a spin off from the gravitists vs downists thread but its been bothering me ever since i started thinking about it

despite the opposing literal meanings of these two terms their slang “meanings” are very similar

a simple explanation for this may be because both terms developed through synonyms for fellatio… (sp?) … but then we are still left with the fact that they are pretty much opposite words

what i want to know… or hear opinions on… is where these two terms arose from… (well, the context in which they arose) and also if similar slang terms with similar non-expletive yet still “adult” meanings are present in other languages … … i know parellel terms for “fuck” and “shit” are used in a variety of languages… but does this extend to upside-down sex too? … especially seeing these words are so commonly used by kids(and ignored by adults), when the kids would be told off (or whatever you do to them these days) for using words like “fuck”

lastly… whats with “blowing”?..ive never given a guy a blow-job, so im not too sure whats involved in the delivery, but on the recieving end there does not seem to be any blowing coming through at all… that just sounds painful.

Do you really want the etymology of these two words, or do you just wanna talk about oral sex? If the answer is (A), take a seat and someone will be with you in a few minutes. If the answer is (B), take this over to MPSIMS and present it at the window.

And while I generally make it a rule never to criticize someone’s posting style, in light of the recent invasion by someone who thought it was funny to pretend not to be able to use his Shift key, I am going to point out that if you can find and use your Shift key to make quotation marks and question marks and parentheses, I would think you could find and use it to capitalize the first words of your sentences. Not to mention correctly typing “i” as “I”.

And I might mention that it seems to me that someone who takes the trouble to correctly spell “synonym” and “fellatio” and “expletive” could certainly take the trouble to put the apostrophe in the word “I’m”, not to mention capitalizing it, too.

Also, there evidently isn’t anything wrong with your period key, because it appears to be well-used in your ellipses–those are these things … and these … and these … Periods go at the ends of sentences, not in flocks like migrating waterfowl.

There, that’s my entire year’s quota of yelling at people about their posting style. And all on one poster, too. Must be some kind of world’s record.

Whatever happened to, “Welcome to the Straight Dope”?


Dear Duck Duck Goose; there was a question involved, hence GQ not MPSIMS.

Thank you for your insights to my posting style. However, dont claim to have General Rules if you are not willing to follow them. And leave my spelling alone… it has been degenerated from its former brilliance by icq… i am not responsible. I hold Microsoft Word responsible for my lack of capital "i"s as it autocorrects them.

Thank you for your patience with a newbie. I apologise for my new-ness. I will try not to be new next time.

Lastly, no - this wasnt an excuse to talk about oral sex. Well… maybe. No. It wasnt. It was simply a question. Or two.

Have a happy day.

I was actually complimenting your spelling. Not many people anymore think spelling is important. I might point out, if you haven’t already realized, that the Straight Dope Message Board is not ICQ and that we have little patience with teenage-style posting, “kewl”, etc. Plain English, properly spelled and punctuated, is what pleases us.

And I do thank you for adding periods. You have made an old woman very happy. :slight_smile:

But I am intrigued by the apparent reference to a renegade version of Microsoft Word that will not allow you to capitalize the letter “i”. It allows you to capitalize other letters, I observe. Why the problem with this particular letter? It’s convenient to blame Bill Gates and his monstrous ego, I suppose.

Is Bill Gates also responsible for the way you can get a set of upper-case quotation marks out of your keyboard but not a lower-case apostrophe for words like “don’t” and “wasn’t”?

[admittedly feelin pissy about this]

I actually laughed out loud. This thread will probably be picked off the board for complete irrelevance soon, as its got absolutely nothing to do with the original topic.

But while its still here…

  1. how do you quote?.. i have no idea
  2. MS-word lets you type in capital 'I’s but if you type in a small ‘i’ it makes i capital by itself… hence you slowly stop bothering to capitalize them anyway.
  3. I just got static-shocked by my window frame really bad. I think there was a spark
  4. ow
  5. i really need to work on my relevance

Ducky (may I call you Ducky?), I think the deal with MS Word is that it autocorrects non-capitalized I’s as capitals. Thus a person could develop the nasty habit of ignoring the shift key and relying on the autocorrect, and then hit a forum where the autocorrect is not there and forget said shifts. I had a similar problem with correcting my frequent inverted letters - I swap common letter pairs when my fingers hit the keys in the wrong sequence. I’m usually meticulous about correcting said typos, but with autocorrect in word it was painful as I would react to correct, have it autocorrect, and then screw it up again as I uncorrected.

(Example of what it would look like if I didn’t correct my typing. I’m usually meticulous about correctign said typos, but wiht autocorrect in word it was pianful as I would react to correct, have it autocorrect, and hten screw it up agian as I undorrected.) That and i/e combinations invert frequently. Aren’t you glad I know how to use my backspace? :slight_smile:

Morris, back to the OP. This is not definitive, just a wag. I have wondered such myself. I believe it plays on variations of activities one does with one’s mouth. You suck on straws for beverages or popsicles or lollipops. You blow on flutes and clarinets and balloons. Suck is probably closer in truth to blowing.

I do not know slang in any other languages, but would not be surprised if the acts were similarly described.

In my experience, I have found the neither of the actions is necessarily applied.

That is why I prefer the terms “Head” or “Going Down On”.

If the action is mutual, the “69” title makes a good visual representation.

How’s my spelling and grammar?

It sucks.

Actually, it blows.

Not really ;). I was just making a point – one that brings us back to the OP. Why are the words 'suck and ‘blow’, which are “opposite” activities, so frequently used interchangeably, or to mean the same as each other in English slang, and are they also used this way in other languages? I don’t think it’s such an unreasonable question.

Dear Duck Duck Goose,
In your effort to show your linguistic superiority AND insult a newbie’s posting style, you yourself committed one of the most grievous offenses that any SEASONED Doper can commit.
You hijacked a post. It really doesn’t matter if your points are salient. You owe the Original Poster an apology. You took up enough of his thread with attacks, why not show some class and take up a bit more of it with an apology for hijacking him?
I apologize HERE and now for doing just that. I felt that it was more appropriate to say this here in the thread, opposed to a e-mail that was only to be read by DuckDuckGoose.

For a naive person (mom?) a woman sucking a cock can appear as “blowing” it. Just a guess.
This post was typed in M$word, with all its editors and chech speller, copied and pasted. Takes a few more secs and a few more clicks, but looks nicer.

I agree with peace, the act is probably described both ways because there’s no visual difference between sucking and blowing.

I’m trying to remember my French slang … and I can’t remember any parallel terms. I think it’s a different idiom.

This site mentions


which translate literally as “smoking the cigar” and “making a pipe”.

And to respond to the tangent … MS Word’s autocorrecting is a handy tool, but not always effective. There’s no substitute for proofreading. :slight_smile:

Firstly, could some enlightened poster please explain to me
exactly how to quote…

There is a visual difference: cheeks inflated in the act of blowing versus cheeks dimpled when sucking.

And thats all i have to say about that.

Morris, go to the About This Message Board forum and practice in one of the test threads. When you hit “reply”, you’ll find see some small text above the reply field. You’ll see “vB code is On.” Click on the underlined “vB code”, and you’ll find a guide to how to quote and underline and do all sorts of nifty things. Nobody will mind if you do that. It helps if you make a reply and PREVIEW it before you send it. Preview is your friend!

Or, If you don’t want to go to ATMB, the answer is

[suck]The text you want to quote here [blow]
if you use the above format, remember to insert the word “quote” instead of “suck” or “blow”

Actually, Twisty is about to steer you wrong. You need to make sure that within the second set of brackets, you include a / (like this-----> [suck]quote[/blow]
Bad Twisty! :wink:


“Blow” and “suck”? That’s nothing!

Why can a house “burn down” and “burn up”?
If something is “flammable” can it also be “inflammable”?
Can I go “uptown” and “downtown”?
Can I drive “up the road” and “down the road”?
How can something be “bad” (not good) and “bad!” (excellent)?

Many others…

Welcome to the wonderful world of teaching English as a second language…