Word Geek – turn a blind eye

The phrase ‘to turn a blind eye’ is one many of you will have heard. Its meaning is to ignore or deliberately look over or pay no attention to something usually undesirable or wrong. E.g. she wasn’t strictly allowed to have a pet in her building but the landlord turned a blind eye.

The origins of this phrase are really interesting. Apparently the British Naval hero Admiral Horatio Nelson himself was blind in one eye. It is reported that when the British forces signalled to him to stop the attack on a Danish fleet of ships he put a telescope up to his non-seeing eye and said he didn’t see the signal to stop. Therefore turning his blind eye to the signal he didn’t want to see, allowing him to ignore it.

Here at The Language Factory, we never turn a blind eye to uncomfortable situations. You can count on us to be honest at all times and make sure you receive the best possible service. Our Project Managers are all trained linguists and actively check all translated documents for missed translations and typos before they return them to our clients.

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