Idiomatic words and phrases are usually specific to the language they are said in. However, they can create confusion if a person is unfamiliar with the language or origins of the term.
A blow-by-blow account is an American idiom that originated in the sporting world. It is fairly recent in its use and has only been around for approximately 100 years. Let’s learn its origin, meaning, and use in speech and text.
What Is the Meaning of Blow-By-Blow?
Blow-by-blow is a compound adjective that modifies or adds detail to a noun. A blow-by-blow account describes an event in sequential order and meticulous detail. It does not leave out any information and is a true and accurate report.
- Although she has been quiet up to this point about her resignation, she promised us all a blow-by-blow account of what actually happened once her new job was secure.
- In a blow-by-blow account, Derek explained the winning team’s strategy so their opponents could learn from their mistakes.
- The announcer was one of the best in the league for blow-by-blow explanations of each player’s actions on the field.
Is Blow-By-Blow Hyphenated?
Blow-by-blow is always hyphenated because it is a compound adjective that appears before a noun.
Origins of Blow-By-Blow
The expression blow-by-blow account came into use in the 1920s when reporting on the sport of boxing. Its original use meant to report on each blow, or punch, that landed in the bout.
The first use of “to blow” as a noun to describe a hard hit with a fist is from the mid-15th century. To come to blows, as in engage in combat, is from the mid-17th century. However, it was influenced by the term fall to blows which became popular at the end of the 16th century.
The phrase blow-by-blow was adopted into everyday modern English to mean a detailed recounting of any event during the 20th century.
A blow-by-blow account is a fairly recent idiomatic phrase that became popular in the 1920s during play-by-play reports of boxing matches in America. It referred to the blows of each hit during a bout. In a modern context, it refers to the sequential order and detail of any event.