Such A Wet Blanket

It’s all fun and games until you-know-who shows up to suck all the fun out of the air. Such a wet blanket.

How is it that fun-suckers came to be known as ‘wet blankets’?



Well, there is certainly nothing fun about pulling your favourite blanket out of the dryer,  cuddling in for a good night’s sleep, and realizing that the middle third is still wet. From bliss to blech. It makes perfect sense that we’d call those people who rob us of all joy: ‘wet blankets.’

However, as it turns out, that’s not where this phrase originates. 🤫 Don’t tell you-know-who, but the soggy blankets behind this idiom serve a useful purpose. 🤫

This is about wet blankets that are used to smother fires (not a🧑🏽‍🚒. Consult your fire department). Here, the tedious human variety drags in the room only to smother all sparks of joy in others. No more flashes of mischief; no more glowing smiles. Boo.

It’s a phrase that has been around for centuries. The 1871 ‘Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine’ devotes two full pages to bemoaning the soul-crushing joylessness of the Wet Blanket…

‘All we asked for was leave to nurse our own small fire by our own hearthstone—leave to laugh, to sing, to feel hopeful and joyous—when down fell the wet blanket and extinguished every spark and every flame, leaving us as cheerless, cold, and melancholy as before we had been bright.’

Wait not for a second invitation from the Ladies of Godey, Wet Blanket.


Header Photo: Alicia Petresc


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Elizabeth Newton

Elizabeth Newton