| #2 (permalink) Sun Apr 06, 2008 0:23 am pull the wool over your eyes? Is that an idiom?
Wool is the hair of a sheep. Pull the wool over one's eyes is an idiom.
Here's an explanation from the Word Detective:
"To pull the wool over one's eyes," meaning "to blind to the facts and deceive," appears to be an American coinage of the late 1800s, although a similar phrase, "to spread the wool over one's eyes," appeared in the 1830s.
The standard story about "to pull the wool over one's eyes" traces the phrase to the wigs commonly worn by men (especially judges and attorneys) in the 18th century. A judge fooled by a clever lawyer, it is said, would be said to have the "wool" (slang for a wig) pulled over his eyes, blinding him to the facts of the case.
That's possible, but its seems equally plausible that "to pull the wool over one's eyes" is related to the earlier phrase "to pull the wool" of an opponent, meaning either literally or figuratively to pull his hair (for which "wool" was established slang of the period) in anger. By this logic, "to pull the wool" of an opponent over his eyes would mean to get the better of him through trickery.
Native English teacher at Mister Micawber's
Joined: 17 Jul 2005