blow(n) to smithereens

blow to smithereens

cliché "Smithereens," first appearing in English in 1829 as "smiddereens," is likely derived from the Irish word smidirín or smidiríní, meaning "fragment."
1. To be smashed or blasted into tiny, fragmentary pieces. The soldiers detonated the explosives and watched the vehicle blow to smithereens. The gunpowder stored below somehow ignited, and the entire ship blew to smithereens.
2. To smash or blast something into tiny pieces. The demolition crew blew the building to smithereens in a matter of seconds. The typhoon's gale-force winds have been blowing the village to smithereens over the last few days.
See also: blow, smithereens, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

blow(n) to smithereens

Smash, destroy. Again, blow here means “explode,” and smithereens probably means “little smithers,” a dialect word thought to mean “bits” or “pieces.” The term was appealing enough to be used often from the early nineteenth century on, even by that great wordsmith James Joyce (“Crew and cargo in smithereens,” in Ulysses, 1922).
See also: smithereens, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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