Blow-by-blow account Idiom Definition – Grammarist

Blow-by-blow account
is an idiom that is taken from the field of sports. An idiom is a commonly used word, group of words, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery or metaphors, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech like an often-used metaphor have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom, which may use slang words or other parts of speech common in American slang or British slang, is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions and idiomatic language such as hit the sack, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, silver lining, back to the drawing board, barking up the wrong tree, kick the bucket, hit the nail on the head, face the music, under the weather, piece of cake, when pigs fly, and raining cats and dogs, because they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. English phrases that are idioms should not be taken literally. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker; it is helpful to maintain a list of phrases, common expressions, colloquial terms, and popular expressions to memorize that are used figuratively or idiomatically. We will examine the meaning of the common saying blow-by-blow account, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

A blow-by-blow account describes an event in sequential order and in meticulous detail. A blow-by-blow account does not leave out any information and is a true and accurate report. The expression blow-by-blow account came into use in the 1920s and is an American idiom. The phrase was first used when reporting on the sport of boxing to mean a report about each blow landed in the bout. The phrase blow-by-blow account was quickly adopted into everyday English to mean a detailed recounting of any event. Note that blow-by-blow is hyphenated, because it is an adjective that appears before a noun.


McNeil has been mum on the allegations since his resignation last month but published his blow-by-blow account on Monday, the day he formally left the paper. (New York Post)

In a blow-by-blow account in April, for instance, the Times reported that “throughout January, as Mr. Trump repeatedly played down the seriousness of the virus,” both “top White House advisers” and experts in Cabinet departments and intelligence agencies were telling him the lethal facts and sounding constant alarms. (New York Magazine)

“We are not going to give a blow-by-blow account of what negotiators are working towards.” (Reuters)

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