Blowing smoke up your ass



to flatter, embellish, lie


The Smoke Enema:

Smoke Enema

was used to push smoke into a drowning victim in order to warm the victim from the inside-out.

“…A rectal tube inserted into the anus was connected to a fumigator and bellows that forced the smoke into the rectum. The warmth of the smoke was thought to promote respiration, but doubts about the credibility of tobacco enemas led to the popular phrase “blow smoke up one’s ass.” Search on “tobacco smoke enema” for illustrations of the apparatus.”



1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (9 votes, average: 3.56 out of 5)
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  • Ed Kelly

    I really like this explanation, it is so absolutely ludicrous that it is good. 5 stars.

    Ed Kelly

  • davelin10017

    Glad you like it.

  • Cathy

    But this still doesn’t explain why that became a term for false flattery.

  • David Lin

    Well, if you think about it, the purpose of the device of blowing smoke up your ass is to warm you up… kinda like giving someone the “warm and fuzzies” (another word I should look up), which may be analogous.

  • Ray

    cropped up in the FT magazine 25/Sept/11 in the piece on the Welcome Trust
    collection of medical curiosities, complete with similar picture to the one
    above. Apparently in the 1700′s they were actually stationed along the Thames.

  • Steve Zink

    In David Mitchell’s novel which he heavily researched: “The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet”, he gives an example of demonstrating to a medical class using western medicine this technique of using a bellows full of smoke. The explanation is to detect blockages in the colon after blood is detected in the stool. If the smoke is unimpeded, it comes out of the patient’s mouth, otherwise an operation is necessary to repair the damaged colon.

  • Colmhall

    Because the blowing of smoke up one’s ass did not really resuscitate people. It was not true, and had no such effect. Hence, if someone is telling you something about yourself which is not true, they are not really saying anything of worth to you. They are worthless words. In the same way, the blowing of smoke up someone’s ass may appear to be helping them, but wasn’t really helping them at all. An equally worthless activity.

  • Gegafies

    I would guess that the stimulant property of nicotine administered like that would give a huge adrenalin rush.

    As for the tie-in with flattery – I think that might be linked to the practice of using cannabis smoke to treat colon problems might fit better.

    Pot smoke makes one feel good – just as flattery does.

    Personal opinion founded on personal opinion…lol

  • Blanche Starbong

    Um… no.

  • LawrenceT

    Probably the smoke is irrelevant…according to Miami Uni ( ‘
    stretching the anal sphincter stimulates the respiratory centers and increases
    the rate of respiration. Although this reflex is occasionally used to stimulate
    respiration in an emergency, it is not clear which pathways are involved.’…


  • guest

    It’s being re-introduce under Obamacare.

  • Hope & Change…Yeh Right

    Yep and under Obamacare leechs and Bloodletting the withdrawal of often small quantities of blood from a patient to cure or prevent illness and disease is also to be brought back

  • EnYoface

    Just wait until you get your tax bill…. It’s going to cost more to have smoke blown up your ass than ever before.

  • michaelknights

    yep and jesus weeps because oh my god, a way to make the disenfranchised equal, nonsense!

  • ravennxx

    Would a fart count as a cough??