the blazes

the blazes

Used as an intensifier after a question word (who, what, where, when, why, and how) to express extreme confusion, surprise, or aggravation. Primarily heard in US. And just how the blazes am I supposed to have three reports done by 9 AM tomorrow? Where the blazes did you find that rusty old car? Who the blazes is making all that noise?
See also: blaze

what/where/who the ˈblazes...?

(old-fashioned, spoken) used to emphasize that you are annoyed and surprised, to avoid using the word ‘hell’: What the blazes have you done?This expression refers to the flames associated with hell.
See also: what, who
References in classic literature ?
Peter's Church; and finally perished in the great fire of London, into the midst of which he had thrust himself, with the desperate idea of catching one feeble ray from the blaze that was kindling earth and heaven.
They did so; and, by the blaze of the hell-kindled torches, the wretched man beheld his Faith, and the wife her husband, trembling before that unhallowed altar.
His sufferings had already continued for the space of forty hours, and, as the doctor had supposed, he was to have perished in the blaze of the noonday sun.
Some searched the drawers, the chests, the boxes, writing-desks, and closets, for jewels, plate, and money; while others, less mindful of gain and more mad for destruction, cast their whole contents into the courtyard without examination, and called to those below, to heap them on the blaze. Men who had been into the cellars, and had staved the casks, rushed to and fro stark mad, setting fire to all they saw--often to the dresses of their own friends--and kindling the building in so many parts that some had no time for escape, and were seen, with drooping hands and blackened faces, hanging senseless on the window-sills to which they had crawled, until they were sucked and drawn into the burning gulf.
They still piled the brushwood round the base of the tower, and gambolled hand in hand around the blaze, screaming out the doggerel lines which had long been the watchword of the Jacquerie: Cessez, cessez, gens d'armes et pietons, De piller et manger le bonhomme Qui de longtemps Jacques Bonhomme Se nomme.
Since joining the Blazes heating team 18 months ago, Luton-based central heating specialist Philip Southern has become an expert on all things central heating.
The Blazes support team help him every step of the way.
Despite the fall in the fire-swept acreage, the blazes' economic consequences have been increasing.
Park officials, while recognizing the serious disruptions caused by the blazes, see the behavior of these wildfires as an unprecedented opportunity to assess the effectiveness of their fire strategy.
Despite intensive firefighting efforts, several of the blazes grew uncontrollably, destroying the community of Foresta near the park boundary.