huff and puff

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huff and puff

1. To struggle or exert oneself physically. We huffed and puffed, but we did finally manage to get the couch up the steps.
2. To breathe very heavily or laboriously. Running to catch the bus has left me huffing and puffing. You really should quit smoking—look at how you're huffing and puffing after a single flight of stairs!
3. To make an exaggerated show of one's anger, often by making empty threats. A: "Are we in trouble?" B: "No, just let him huff and puff until he's done—he'll forget all about it by tomorrow."
See also: and, huff, puff

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

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

huff and puff

1 breathe heavily with exhaustion. 2 express your annoyance in an obvious or threatening way.
See also: and, huff, puff

ˌhuff and ˈpuff


1 breathe heavily while making a great physical effort: They huffed and puffed as they carried the sofa upstairs.
2 make it obvious that you are annoyed about something without doing anything to change the situation: After much huffing and puffing, he agreed to help.
See also: and, huff, puff
References in periodicals archive ?
"But at least I feel a little bit better about our last two performances because they were team performances and we didn't just play for 45 minutes, or show up when we were 2-0 down and start huffing and puffing.
True most Arab women's hubby's spend the night away, huffing and puffing on one form of tobacco or another, but heaven forbid their beloved actress be a smoker!
Summary: Gullane: After huffing and puffing at the British Open so often in the past, Phil ...
But running past the new construction site on Al Wasl Road, I imagine most of the residents living nearby must have been rudely awoken, not by my huffing and puffing as I went past, but by all the banging and clattering going on as the work began.
Yours truly is in charge of the William Hill Foundation XI against the Sellebrity XI, and 90 minutes of huffing and puffing on the pitch will be the easy part: signing up players to take part is hardest bit.
Moving parts of the BBC to Salford, despite huffing and puffing from some well-paid presenters, has provided employment in the media and creative industries for people in a deprived area.
My pregnant little pigs are beginning to fill out now and have been huffing and puffing a bit in the hot weather.
Turkeys are bought and stuffed with the stuffing, Last minute shoppers are huffing and puffing.
Royalists are huffing and puffing over this breach of protocol, but it's the best PR the Royals have had in a long time.
The next time Coach makes you do mountain-climbers, try to slow down your breathing instead of huffing and puffing (inhaling and exhaling for four counts is a good rule of thumb).
Because human nature being what it is, I suspect despite all the huffing and puffing, most people would do exactly the same.
It puts the huffing and puffing about cannabis classification into perspective.
Counters Gisela: "I found it quite funny the way he came storming up to me, huffing and puffing about me being measured up.
By 7pm on Monday only four express tills remained in operation and a queue soon developed that snaked right around the back of the shop, leaving a couple of dozen punters huffing and puffing.