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A word or phrase used to describe a broad range of similarly related things, usually resulting in diluting the specific meaning of individual items. "Idiom" is often used as a blanket term for any element of language that is used strangely or uniquely by its users. "American" can be seen as something of a blanket term, considering how drastically people differ from one part of the country to the next.
Someone who ruins other people's fun. Don't invite Nicole to the party. She's such a wet blanket that she'll probably just complain the whole time. David was tired of being called a wet blanket by his friends just because he doesn't drink alcohol.
blanket (someone or something) with (something)
To cover with something. By the time I got to the beach, the kids had already blanketed grandpa with sand. The storm blanketed the mountaintops with snow, making it look like a scene from a painting.
See also: blanket
born on the wrong side of the blanket
Born to parents who were not married. His parents eventually married, but that boy was born on the wrong side of the blanket.
throw a wet blanket over (something)
To make something be or seem less enjoyable, successful, or important. The court's decision throws a wet blanket over the president's plans for healthcare reform. Her crappy attitude really threw a wet blanket over the party. I could tell that Sean's football victory threw a wet blanket over Sam's news about getting into the college she wanted.
That which gives one a feeling of comfort, confidence, and safety. An allusion to the common practice of children to carry around blankets or stuffed animals to give them a feeling of safety. His beard had long been his form of security blanket—something he could hide behind, something he could change at will, something he could fiddle with when he felt nervous or uncomfortable. My father's financial status was like a security blanket. Whenever anything else in life was going wrong, he always took comfort in his wealth.
A humorous phrase that describes the impulse to stay in bed all day and not do anything as a medical condition. Molly didn't come to her 9 AM class because she said she's not feeling well, but I suspect she's got a case of blanket fever.
blanket someone or something with something
Fig. to cover someone or something with something. They blanketed the flames with a layer of foam. The children blanketed Jimmy with leaves and pretended he was lost.
See also: blanket
born on the wrong side of the blanket
Rur. [of a child] illegitimate. All his life, Edward felt that people looked down on him because he was born on the wrong side of the blanket. Just between you and me, I suspect Mrs. Potter's oldest child was born on the wrong side of the blanket.
eyes like two burnt holes in a blanket
Rur. eyes with dark circles around them. I can tell you ain't slept. You got eyes like two burnt holes in a blanket.
Fig. a dull or depressing person who spoils other people's enjoyment. Jack's fun at parties, but his brother's a wet blanket. I was with Anne and she was being a real wet blanket.
Something that dispels anxiety, as in I always carry my appointments calendar; it's my security blanket. This colloquial term, dating from about 1960, was at first (and still is) used for the blanket or toy or other object held by a young child to reduce anxiety.
A person who discourages enjoyment or enthusiasm, as in Don't be such a wet blanket-the carnival will be fun! This expression alludes to smothering a fire with a wet blanket. [Early 1800s]
a wet blanketINFORMAL
If you call someone a wet blanket, you mean that they stop other people from enjoying themselves by being boring or miserable. `Hey', said Thack, looking at Michael. `Stop being such a wet blanket.' I'm sorry if I've been a wet blanket today.
throw a wet blanket over somethingAMERICAN
If something throws a wet blanket over an event or situation, it makes it less successful or enjoyable. Cool, rainy weather has thrown a wet blanket over Michigan's tourism season.
a security blanket
A security blanket is something that makes you feel safer and more confident. Everybody has a personal security blanket — it could be a handbag, a piece of jewellery or, if you're a guy, a moustache or a beard. For most of us, the lists we make act as security blankets, telling us what to do and how long to spend doing it. Note: A young child's security blanket is a piece of cloth or clothing which the child holds and often chews in order to feel comforted.
born on the wrong side of the blanketillegitimate. dated
a wet blanketsomeone who has a depressing or discouraging effect on others.
A dampened blanket can be used to smother a fire; the image here is of a person extinguishing a lively or optimistic mood by their gloominess or negativity.
1991 Michael Curtin The Plastic Tomato Cutter When in the company of those of us who do succumb to the occasional dram Father Willie was never a wet blanket.
a ˌwet ˈblanket(informal, disapproving) a person who is not enthusiastic about anything and who stops other people from enjoying themselves: She was such a wet blanket at the party that they never invited her again. OPPOSITE: a live wire
A wet blanket can be used to help put out a fire.
n. a night’s sleep; sleep. (Military.) Fred is still on blanket drill. He’s in for it.
n. someone who ruins a good time. (In the way that a wet blanket is used to put out a fire.) Oh, Martin! Why do you have to be such a wet blanket?
A lumberjack expression for laziness, as if the woodsman had a medical reason for staying in bed instead of working.
A spreader of gloom. What could put more of a damper on lovely summer day picnic than a wet ground cloth—unless it's a person who, by word or deed, spoils everyone's fun? Such a spoilsport at any otherwise enjoyable event goes by the epithet “wet blanket,” better known to recent generations as a party pooper.
wrong side of the blanket
Illegitimacy. A child born out of wedlock was said to have been born on the wrong side of the blanket, as if being under the covers was a luxury to which only legitimate babies were entitled. Other obsolescent phrases for an illegitimate baby are “natural child” and “love child.”