The idioms blow a fuse and blow a gasket came into popular use in the twentieth century. We will examine the meaning of the idioms blow a fuse and blow a gasket, where these phrases came from, and some examples of their use in sentences.
To blow a fuse means to become very angry, to explode with rage, to lose control of one’s emotions. Related phrases are blows a fuse, blew a fuse, has blown a fuse, blowing a fuse. The expression blow a fuse came into use in the early twentieth century and is related to the use of electricity in the average home. A fuse protects an electrical item from a sudden surge of electricity that may start a fire. The fuse contains a piece of metal that will melt at a certain temperature, breaking the circuit. Blow a fuse may be used literally or figuratively, as an idiom.
To blow a gasket also means to become very angry, to explode with rage, to lose control of one’s emotions. Related phrases are blows a gasket, blew a gasket, has blown a gasket, blowing a gasket. The expression blow a gasket came into use in the early 1940s, when automobiles with internal combustion engines became common. Gaskets are usually made of rubber and seal the pressure in the engine. If a gasket degrades, it will not hold the pressure and the cap may blow. Blow a gasket may be used literally or figuratively, as an idiom.
It would have ended there, but James’ use of the word “guys” caused another delegate to blow a fuse. (The Newnan Times Herald)
But he blew a fuse when he learned that 12 of the 20 players who were out of contract this summer had been offered new deals. (The Mirror)
So I’m ready to accept our robot overlords behind the plate and when I disagree with a robot umpire’s call at a crucial moment, I’ll try not to blow a gasket. (The Desert Sun)
The camera pans over still pictures of Larry David as Bernie Sanders, of Jeb Bush and his Macbook Pro Baby, of Hillary Clinton nae nae-ing, of an orange-faced man about to blow a gasket. (Esquire Magazine)
Check out some others we covered: