whistle down the wind—
1. talk purposelessly:
- I know I’m trying to whistle down the wind here. But the technology is likely to arrive sometime in the next century.
2. abandon or sacrifice a person or thing:
- I was dragged out of the Senate, against my wishes—tried to do my whole duty, and was then unceremoniously “whistled down the wind.”
Note: The expression is not antonymous in meaning to the phrase whistle against the wind—(also: whistle in the wind) protest or argue vainly (acting against the mainstream):
- When all we can do is whistle against the wind, it seems silly to even whistle.
whistle up the wind—
1. is used of the superstition that bad weather can be caused by whistling on board ship:
- Some can manipulate the forces of the weather, while others could no more whistle up the wind than call a bird to their hand.
2. entertain false hopes:
- If he thinks that I am going to take him back after what he has done to me, he is whistling up the wind.