BLOW (ONE’S) OWN HORN, BLOW (ONE’S) STACK, and BLOW/RUN HOT AND COLD: American English Idioms #20

Welcome to American English Idioms: Lesson 20. In this lesson you have 3 American English idioms to read, listen to, translate, and pronounce in English. Please focus and do your best so that you can learn and improve your knowledge of American English idioms. Don’t forget to use the comments section below to share your thoughts and what you’ve learned today.

Directions 1: Watch the video 2 or more times, and pay close attention to the audio and text.

Directions 2: Read the following text in English, then translate it using the translator on this page into your language if needed. When you finish, feel free to write a comment in the comments section below and let us know how you feel about what you’ve learned, as well as what you’ve learned.

BLOW (ONE’S) OWN HORN to boast or brag

1. Keith lets everyone know that the boss is going to make him the new assistant manager. He likes to blow his own horn.

2. Ruth won’t make many friends if she keeps blowing her own horn about her accomplishments.

Dating back to at least the 16th century, this phrase is a reference to the practice of blowing horns to announce the arrival of important officials such as kings. To blow one’s own horn is to boast or claim a position of superiority over others.

BLOW (ONE’S) STACK to become suddenly very angry

1. When Emily’s father saw the damage she had done to the family car, he blew his stack.

2. I hope the boss doesn’t blow his stack when he finds out I didn’t finish this work on time.

Compare to: raise Cain; fly off the handle; get (one’s) dander up; blow off steam

BLOW/RUN HOT AND COLD to have mixed or inconsistent feelings about something

1. I don’t understand Jack. One day he’s really nice to me, and the next day he couldn’t care less. He blows hot and cold.

2. Pam blows hot and cold about studying nursing. Sometimes she says she would enjoy it and sometimes she says it would be too much work.

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