Full blown

Jerry Buthmann: I am interested in the origin of the phrase "full blown" as in full blown AIDS. I hear this phrase used frequently in the media. The meaning is clear as fully developed but how did this term come into usage? I have researched it in every reference book I can find but I haven't had any luck? I have an idea but I would like an authority to confirm it. Can you help?
Nancy Wallace: I have always thought this was a naval term, referring to the sails. If they are full blown, they are as complete as possible and now it's an adjective meaning the same.
Mick:Originally it was used in auto racing. A "Full Blown" engine had a super charger or blower on it. It was the "hottest" modification at the time. It has come to describe any ultimate configuration.


Return to the Archive Index
Return to the Word for Word articles
Return to the BrisMail Home page