What Does Blast from the Past Mean?

A Blast from the Past Meaning

Definition: A person or thing goes away for an extremely long time, everyone forgets about this person or thing, and then this person or thing suddenly reappears.

Origin of Blast from the Past

This expression has existed since at least the 1960s, and it usually has a positive connotation. For example, many schools have a blast from the past day when students can dress in the fashion from their favorite decade.

Radio DJs helped popularize this idiom, and they may have even coined it. Because of the rhyme scheme, they enjoyed using it to introduce old records they would play.

No one is sure which DJ coined the term or when, but people speculate that is happened sometime in the 1960s.

Examples of Blast from the Past

meaning of blast from the past Two friends are discussing their high school reunions.

Dan: Kira, are you going to go to your high-school reunion?

Kira: I already did. It was a lot of fun. It was a real blast from the past to see all my old high-school friends and talk about the old times.

Dan: Mine is later this year. I can’t decide if I would enjoy that kind of blast from the past or not.

what a blast from the past The following example involves two women discussing a special screening of a classic movie.

Gertrude: Ruby, did you know that every first Friday of the month, the local cinema shows a classic film?

Ruby: No, that sounds like fun though!

Gertrude: It is! This weekend they are showing the film Young Frankenstein, which came out in the 1970s. Would you like to come with me to see it? It will be a real blast from the past!

Ruby: Sure! That’s sounds amazing.

More Examples

This excerpt is about a car company that discontinued two makes of car and then suddenly started producing them again.

  • A blast from the past: Ford is bringing back the Bronco and the Ranger. –LA Times

This excerpt is about an old fashioned restaurant that is unique amongst more modern restaurants.

  • With its tile floors and traditional menu, the restaurant is a blast from the past in a rapidly modernizing city that is becoming known globally for its haute cuisine, and where in some neighborhoods, sushi and pizza joints now outnumber Mexican restaurants. –LA Times


The phrase a blast from the past is an expression to describe something forgotten from one’s past that unexpectedly returns in the present.

It usually has a positive connotation for entertainment and fashion from the past, but people sometimes use it negatively as well.