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

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Dec 21 02:25:18 UTC 2004

At 8:42 PM -0500 12/20/04, Ben Zimmer wrote:
>On Mon, 20 Dec 2004 20:25:21 -0500, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>>At 5:39 PM -0500 12/20/04, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:
>>>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"?]
>Well, the Beach Boys used the reflexive sense zeugmatically in 1967:
>Laughed so hard
>I blew my mind
>I blew my cool
>I blew myself over.
>("She's Goin' Bald" on the album _Smiley Smile_)
Very nice, but note that besides the reflexive sense, the Beach Boys
use asyndetic linkage.  Of course purists would insist that neither
the Wilsonian nor the Jaggerian cites involve true zeugmatic
constructions anyway, since the verb is repeated; only "She blew my
nose and (then) my mind" or "I blew my mind, my cool, and myself
over" would fit the bill.   Purists, shmurists, I say.


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