"blow (one's own/someone else's) mind" (was: Re: lid, meth, etc. (1966))

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Dec 21 01:25:21 UTC 2004

At 5:39 PM -0500 12/20/04, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:
>Online sources say the single was released in August '65.  Its first week
>on the Cashbox Top 100 singles was the week ending Aug 28, 1965:

Ah yes, on the Kama Sutra label.

>It's interesting that the usage in the Lovin' Spoonful song is reflexive
>(sounds a bit odd to my post-Boomer ears).  Was this sense (blowing *one's
>own* mind) the historically prior one?

I seem to recall so.

>What's the earliest cite for the usual transitive sense (blowing *someone
>else's* mind)?  I don't have HDAS handy, but the earliest I've found is
>the LA Times cite above from Nov 2, 1965 (just a few months after "Do You
>Believe in Magic" was released).

Can't say, but I'll wager the first (professionally) recorded
occurrence of a zeugmatic occurrence of the transitive sense is due
to Jagger & Richards (1969):

I laid a divorcee in New York City
I had to put up some kind of a fight
The lady then she covered me with roses
She blew my nose and then she blew my mind.
["Honky Tonk Woman"-or was it "Women"?]


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