Where does the phrase “blowing one’s top” come from and What does it mean?

Possibly the “top” in the expression “blowing one’s top” alluded originally to the top of a volcano, which would be shot into a thousand pieces with a tremendous noise during a violent explosion and scattered over the neighborhood with a devastating effect.

“Blow,” at least, has been used in the sense of “to erupt; to go to pieces by explosion” for several centuries.

Much the same effect occurs when, in modern slang, a person “blows his top.” He lets off steam in a violent explosion of temper; he shouts; he cares not a whit where or upon whom the pieces may fall.

where does the phrase blowing ones top come from and what does it mean

In short, he gets furious with rage.

The expression is also used in a far milder sense: a crazy person, that is, or a person who is befuddled by drink and acts brainless is now sometimes said to have blown his top.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist for zippyfacts.com. Born in New York, she loves interesting random facts from all over the world.