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#202727 10/04/11 11:17 PM
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It occurred to me today while reading some comments about an artist's work online that the phrase 'it blew my mind' doesn't actually make any literal sense. What's blowing my mind? Why is blowing on it so awe-inspiring? Or is it being blown up? Or blown away?

Anyone know the etymology?

Also, wow, has it really been seven years since I was last back here?? (not counting three brief posts back in '07). Enough time to leave school, finish university and get a job or three. Mind blown.

Hope some of the familiar monikers are still around... smile

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"It" would be any event or sensory input. "Blew" in the sense that a fuse is blown rendered incapable of carrying any further current. A mind-blowing experience is so overwhelming that one cannot take in any more data. The circuits are scrambled or melted. I believe the phrase came into existence (or certainly into popular use) in the 1960s in reference to psychedelic drug experiences. It seems generally (though not exclusively) to refer to a pleasurable, though possibly debilitating, experience. I was in college in those days, but have no first-hand knowledge of this phenomenon.

I was not around the forum in your earlier days here, but welcome back!

Tromboniator #202730 10/04/11 11:57 PM
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Of course! It didn't occur to me to make the connection with blown fuses. It's a pretty neat analogy, considering that encountering something truly mind-blowing would probably necessitate a bit of brain re-wiring...

Also thanks and nice to meet you Tromboniator!

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Welcome back, bonzai! I guess you're not as young as you used to be. smile

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Answers can be blowing in the wind and minds can be blown by any strong experience and when we make an unfortunate mistake we 'blow it'. I think these are fashionable expressions for as long as they last. Welcome back.

Jackie #202734 10/05/11 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted By: Jackie
not as young as you used to be. smile


None of us are. Or ever were, for that matter.

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Originally Posted By: bonzaialsatian


Also, wow, has it really been seven years since I was last back here?? (not counting three brief posts back in '07). Enough time to leave school, finish university and get a job or three. Mind blown.



Nice that you came back crazy doesn't time fly!


mind-blowing is still in common usage....and I never really thought about any literal sense, because I just understood it.

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Not to mention, "she blew my nose then she blew my mind" laugh
I'd always just 'understood' it too, until I started thinking about the phrase. Funny how 'blown away' implies strong impressive forces while 'blown off' immediately conjures up the image of an aphid being casually blown off someone's collar (although I guess the wind-speed from the aphid's perspective is still pretty impressive)


Hi Jackie! Older, yes but probably far less mature now that I spend all my time making kids books and games...

Last edited by bonzaialsatian; 10/05/11 04:33 PM.
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Oh, man--what a cool career!


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