Huff and puff

Make noisy, empty threats; bluster. For example, You can huff and puff about storm warnings all you like, but we’ll believe it when we see it. This expression uses two words of 16th-century origin, huff, meaning “to emit puffs of breath in anger,” and puff, meaning “to blow in short gusts,” and figuratively, “to inflate” or “make conceited.” They were combined in the familiar nursery tale, “The Three Little Pigs,” where the wicked wolf warns, “I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down”; rhyme has helped these idioms survive.


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  • Huffer


  • Huffily

    [huhf-ee] /ˈhʌf i/ adjective, huffier, huffiest. 1. easily offended; touchy. 2. offended; sulky: a huffy mood. 3. snobbish; haughty. adj. “ready to take offense,” 1670s, from huff + -y (2). Related: Huffily; huffiness. adjective Angry; petulant; irritable; in a huff: I didn’t mean to get huffy (1848+)

  • Huffing

    [huhf] /hʌf/ noun 1. a mood of sulking anger; a fit of resentment: Just because you disagree, don’t walk off in a huff. verb (used with object) 2. to give offense to; make angry. 3. to treat with arrogance or contempt; bluster at; hector or bully. 4. Checkers. to remove (a piece) from the board […]

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