eli5 Where did the phrase “blowing smoke” come from? What does it have to do with lying?

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eli5 Where did the phrase “blowing smoke” come from? What does it have to do with lying?

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It came from magicians using smoke as part of their act to conceal things. A magician wants to make you believe something appeared from nowhere and a common tactic is to use smoke to hide the sleight of hand, they’re actively attempting to deceive the audience.

And as lying is also trying to deceive, the dots were connected.

The full expression is “blowing smoke up your a$$”

It was a “medical procedure” doctors used for various ailments. It was fake and it didn’t do anything – pretty much like blood letting.

There’s a decent explanation here: http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2014/05/origin-expression-blow-smoke-ass/

There was a time in England where they thought that someone who had drowned could be saved by blowing tobacco smoke up their backside. This was so prevalent that bellows and tobacco were stationed along the Thames. As it turns out, that doesn’t work all that well as a treatment for drowning, so it’s become synonymous with falsehood.

This was just on Sunday Morning – Tobacco Enima – ha

[https://www.cbsnews.com/video/quackery-a-history-of-fake-medicine-and-cure-alls/](https://www.cbsnews.com/video/quackery-a-history-of-fake-medicine-and-cure-alls/)