What does "blow on" mean in the following sentence?

(this is a part of a humourous book that a nine_year_old boy is talking about his mother, I mean it is supposed to be funny)

Mom said we would be late for our reservation and that I didn't know who she had to blow on to get the reservation

I'm a little confused with answers so :

  • Does it mean:

    1. defame and discredit or

    2. is it vulgar and figurative, referring to a sexual act to imply going to great lengths to get something done or

    3. is it a phrasal verb for expressing your stress
  • Blow on [somebody] has also a vulgar meaning, which I take could also be figurative.
    – apaderno
    Jan 7, 2017 at 12:02

3 Answers 3


To blow a man is to perform fellatio on him. To "blow on" someone is simply to release a puff or stream of air between your lips in that person's direction from a point of close proximity. There are three jokes here:

  1. The mother probably said "you don't know whom I had to blow to get the reservation," humorously implying that the only way she could get the reservation is by exchanging a sexual favor. (Well, it's more likely that she said "who I had to blow", but hey, I'm pedantic.) It's not uncommon to make that sort of jokey comment. For example, if I obtain a rare, out of print book for a friend who very much wanted but couldn't find it, I might say "I had to blow the previous owner to get it."

  2. It's possible that the mother deliberately says "blow on" instead of "blow" to avoid the sexual meaning in conversation with the nine year old. Or she did say "blow" but he does not get the sexual reference, and assumes she said "blow on". Either way, the idea of blowing on somebody is silly, of course, particularly in the context of using that action to get a favor. Part of the humor lies in this fact.

  3. Finally, the incongruity between the sexual nature of the actual statement and the innocent, silly understanding of the child provides another level of ironic humor.

Two notes in closing:

  • Do nine year olds really not know what blowing someone means? The author has a less cynical view of kids that age than I do, I suppose.

  • The term "blow" for fellatio is quite weird. An old joke involves one guy telling another: "Suck, you moron, suck; it's only called a blow job." An answer to this Quora question suggests that the name "blow job" itself started out as humorous, since it deliberately uses the opposite of suck to refer to an act that involves sucking.

  • @saeedeh what book is this from?
    – verbose
    Jan 10, 2017 at 0:20
  • "Bream gives me hiccups " by Jesse Eisenberg , it's a collection of funny short stories. @verbose
    – saeedeh
    Jan 14, 2017 at 14:21
  • 1
    (mcsweeneys.net/articles/sushi-nozawa) this is that exact story and there are some more of this book in mcsweeny's and the new Yorker @verbose
    – saeedeh
    Jan 14, 2017 at 14:40

As @kiamlaluno says, 'blow on' in this context is vulgar and figurative, referring to a sexual act to imply going to great lengths to get something done. A polite alternative would be:

...I didn't know what she had to do to get the reservation.

  • so may I ask what exactly does that vulgar phrase mean? the book I'm reading and that sentence is from , is supposed to be funny and is from the perspective of a nine_year_old boy! @aliBeadle
    – saeedeh
    Jan 7, 2017 at 13:11
  • It means fellatio.
    – Ali Beadle
    Jan 7, 2017 at 13:43
  • 1
    Oh! don't you think that's too much for this concept in this situation when a child is talking about his mom? @aliBeadle
    – saeedeh
    Jan 7, 2017 at 14:15
  • 2
    Yes, it would certainly be considered inappropriate to most people for a mother to use such language to her small child. Perhaps that is the point if this part of the book - that the mother is unconventional? Or perhaps she assumed that the child would not understand the reference and was just amusing herself?
    – Ali Beadle
    Jan 7, 2017 at 15:19

"blow on" is a phrasal verb which indicates the excitance of someone's /someyhing's internal feeling.

I am going to blow on my love

means I have a plan to express my internal feeling which is making me stressful.....

blow on - expressing your stress

  • But if the narrator is a 9-year-old, consider that the child has no idea what the vulgar phrase means, but has heard it used in similar context before (a common scenario). Jan 7, 2017 at 23:31

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