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huff and puff

Fig. to breathe very hard; to pant as one exerts effort. John came up the stairs huffing and puffing. He huffed and puffed and finally got up the steep hill.
See also: and, huff, puff

puff along

1. [for someone] to run along, puffing to breathe. Sam puffed along, jogging on his morning route. As Wally puffed along, he thought again about going on a diet.
2. [for an engine] to move along, putting out puffs of smoke or steam. The old engine puffed along, driving the small boat slowly up the river. The locomotive puffed along, not making very much headway up the hill.
See also: puff

puff (away) at something

1. to blow at or into something in puffs. She puffed away at the beach ball, blowing it up as fast as she could. Todd puffed at the fire until it grew larger.
2. and puff (away) on something to smoke something, such as a cigar, cigarette, or pipe. Scott was puffing away at his pipe. She is always puffing on a cigarette.
See also: puff

puff out

to swell out. The frog's throat puffed out, and we expected to hear a croak. The sail puffed out, and the boat began to move.
See also: out, puff

puff someone or something up

to boost or promote someone or something. Judy puffed Nell up so much that Nell could not begin to live up to her reputation. Don't puff up your own accomplishments so much.
See also: puff, up

puff something out

to cause something to swell out or expand outward. The frog puffed its throat out and croaked. The frog puffed out its throat and croaked a mighty croak.
See also: out, puff

puff up

to swell up. Her finger puffed up and she thought she might have an infection. His eyelids had puffed up during the night.
See also: puff, up

puff up (into something)

to assume a larger shape by filling up with air or water; to swell up into something. The strange-looking fish puffed up into a round ball. The fish puffed up and stuck out its spines.
See also: puff, up

huff and puff

1. to breathe in a noisy manner He was on the top of the hill long before I came up huffing and puffing behind him.
2. to complain The owners will huff and puff about their financial problems and then not do anything to solve them.
See also: and, huff, puff

huff and puff

1. to breathe noisily, usually because you have been doing physical exercise They're so unfit they start huffing and puffing if they have to run further than twenty yards.
2. (informal) to complain noisily about something but not be able to do anything about it They huffed and puffed about the price, but eventually they paid up.
See also: and, huff, puff

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.
See also: and, huff, puff

puff piece

An approving or flattering article, as in That was really a puff piece about the conductor, written by her cousin. The use of puff for "exaggerated praise" dates from about 1600; piece was added in the mid-1900s.
See also: piece, puff

puff out

1. To extend, stretch, or swell, by or as if by being filled: The sails puffed out as the breeze strengthened.
2. To cause something to extend, stretch, or swell outward: The wind puffed out the sheets that were hanging on the clothesline. Male birds will puff their chests out to appear larger.
See also: out, puff

cream puff

1. n. a weakling; a wimp. Don’t be a cream puff all your life! Join a health club!
2. n. a used car that is in very good condition. This one is a real cream puff. Only driven to church by a little old lady.
See also: cream, puff


in. to get drunk. Those guys go out and puff every Friday night.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Friends of Puffing Billy are now deciding on a way forward to ensure the importance of Hedley's work is not forgotten and that there is a legacy to last year's activities.
They will look at last year's events and encourage people to become a part of the future of the Friends of Puffing Billy.
For details, contact Tom Martin, chairman of Friends of Puffing Billy on 01661 852025 or email tommartin 1963@sky.
Glynn Mansfield from Beamish Museum with Jade Worthington at last year's Puffing Billy celebrations
CHUFFED Ian Morrell built this replica and is helping charity with the sale of books about Puffing Billy
Swin created such a lovely looking logo that we were sure children would love to read more about Puffing Billy and follow his adventures in a series of books," said Ian.
The first book of the series to be published is Puffing Billy and the Sharks and is aimed at children aged between three and eight years old.
Unfortunately, local children will not be able to ride on the replica Puffing Billy the way Ian used to ride the original at Butlins.
Other events have included a clean-up of William Hedley's grave at Newburn Parish Church with Groundwork and themed Puffing Billy brew by Wylam brewery.
School, Newburn Manor, Walbottle Village and Waverley Primary launch the Puffing Billy Festival by walking along Wylam Waggonway to George Stephenson's birthplace
Puffing Billy was acquired for the sum of pounds 200.
A replica Puffing Billy train will be visiting Wylam on Saturday, September 21 where between 11am to 4pm there will be live music, drama, dance, stalls and competitions at Wylam Countryside Car Park and the Wylam Falcon Centre.
Hedley, who was born at Newburn on the Tyne in 1779, developed Puffing Billy in 1813 for use at Wylam Colliery in Northumberland.
Today (Thursday) the working replica of Puffing Billy will take its bow as the latest attraction at Beamish Museum in County Durham.
Puffing Billy will now join the two other Beamish replica locomotives ( Locomotion No 1 and the Steam Elephant.