Songbird frequently calls my vernacular into question.
“Why did you say that?” “What does that mean?”
When certain catchphrases or silly slang words have always been part of your language, inquiring kids make you wonder about their origins. I thought it might be fun to occasionally research and share the history of our unusual phrases…
Meaning: to exit or remove oneself from a less than exciting location or environment.
Origin: Old west outlaws used the phrase “blow this town” – meaning to blow the bank safe and quickly leave the town.
Even though frozen juice bars had been around since the 1800s, the Popsicle™ wasn’t officially invented until 1905 by a man named Frank Epperson, who later patented it in 1923. Around the same time, patents were issued for portable vending carts.
But why blow the popsicle stand?
Well, in 1876, Carl von Linden patented the process to liquefy gas – refrigeration technology. The toxic gases of ammonia, methyl chloride, and sulfur dioxide were used as refrigerants. Prior to the invention of Freon in 1929, there had been several fatal accidents due to methyl chloride leaking out of refrigerators.
Therefore, it could be concluded that any vendor cart selling cold products like Popsicles™ could have a refrigerator leaking toxic gas. Not wanting to stay around a potentially hazardous refrigerator, one might say, “Let’s get a popsicle and get out of here.” or “Let’s blow this pop stand.”