I don't understand the meaning this phrase: School blows dogs.

I heard this phrase in a film. There was boy who didn't like to go to school and he uttered this phrase to his father. He says it with a little displeasure, a little upset. What does it mean?

  • 4
    Although I have not heard that exact phrase before, I would assume it is an extension of the form "X blows" meaning "I don't like X, I find it boring and useless." Which, by the way, probably came from the earlier phrase "X sucks" which means the same thing.
    – Jim
    Jun 11, 2012 at 6:24
  • Thank you very much Jim. I think your explanation makes sense. Now, it's almost clear for me.
    – Alexander
    Jun 11, 2012 at 6:48
  • 4
    It should be noted, too, that this is probably considered vulgar slang.
    – J.R.
    Jun 11, 2012 at 9:46
  • @Jim, your comment should be an answer - it's good enough and I'd vote on it.
    – Lunivore
    Jun 11, 2012 at 10:26

1 Answer 1


Jim and J.R. above are right.

In vulgar slang, the verb "blow" literally means "to perform oral sex on (a male, or the male sex organ)", and like other verbs with that meaning (such as "suck"), it has come to used figuratively as a term of abuse meaning roughly "to be terrible". (In origin I assume it's intended as a homophobic slur — "he blows" → "he performs oral sex on men" → "he's gay" → "I am hereby insulting him" — but it's commonly used for any variety of things. The same, for that matter, is true of "be gay"; "School is gay" would also be an expression of disdain for school.)

"Blows dogs" takes this further, since it would literally mean "to perform oral sex on male dogs", but it's still just a way of saying "is terrible". I think the original intent is to make the insult more vivid, since "blow" had lost all of its metaphorical force and much of its "shock value" (its ability to surprise the listener and evoke the desired extreme emotion). Changing "blow" to "blow dogs" re-emphasizes the literal meaning, and also makes the literal meaning much more extreme, so it restores some of the shock value.

  • 1
    You're right that oral sex is probably the origin of these terms, but I think at this point, 99% of people who use "blows" or "sucks" are not thinking of that - they're just using it as a synonym for "[X] is boring/terrible/annoying".
    – Marthaª
    Jun 11, 2012 at 13:40
  • 1
    @Marthaª: Yes, absolutely. That's what I meant when I wrote, "'blow' had lost all of its metaphorical force", and, "Changing 'blow' to 'blow dogs' re-emphasizes the literal meaning". (These sorts of things are technically known as dead metaphors.)
    – ruakh
    Jun 11, 2012 at 14:25
  • Thank you all - for your answers. You are very kind and helpful, especially ruakh (for a detailed description).
    – Alexander
    Jun 11, 2012 at 17:04
  • 1
    A more common variant is blows goats. Jun 12, 2012 at 3:28

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