is an expression offered by someone on whom comprehension has actually simply dawned, or a catch-phrase addressed to that person. Sometimes it can be divided among the crowd

New comprehender: "I see!" First onlooker : "Shelp the blind man" All : "As he waved his wooden leg"

I"ve been hearing it fairly a little bit freshly (I had assumed I was the just perchild who sassist idiotic points prefer this), and am wondering wright here it came from. Was there a historical number that was blind via a peg leg? Or is tbelow some various other explanation?

I have turned up a couple of variations on the expression below and also here yet no-one seems to understand wbelow it came from.

You are watching: I see said the blind man meaning

etymology catch-phrases exclamations
Improve this question
edited Oct 3 "12 at 12:20

Anattracted Leach♦
92k1111 gold badges179179 silver badges288288 bronze badges
asked Oct 3 "12 at 11:41

Brian HooperBrian Hooper
36k5252 gold badges141141 silver badges247247 bronze badges
I constantly heard it, "I check out shelp the blind man as he peed right into the wind. It's all coming earlier to me now!"
Jan 6 "14 at 23:19
| Sjust how 6 more comments

2 Answers 2

Active Oldest Votes
This shows up to be the result of 2 apparently unconnected wellerisms.

I check out, said the blind man

Eric Partridge"s A Dictionary of Catch Phrases (1986) says:

I see, said the blind man. An elab. and humorous way of saying "I understand", yet implying, of course, that although one understands, one doesn"t totally do so—as indeed, the dovetail (which R.S., 1977, remembers hearing as a schoolboy in 1915) once he couldn"t watch at all, renders clear. B.G.T., 1978, confirms this and also adds that it has actually been esp. widespread among schoolkids. In the US, it is much earlier: "is was widespread in my parent"s speech, and most likely in their parents" (J.W.C., 1977): which would take it earlier to c. 1860. And Ashley, 1983, also from US, provides the punning "I see", shelp the blind man, as he picked up his hammer and witnessed.

As well as referencing Partridge, Colloquial Language in Ulysses: A Reference Tool by Robert William Dent tells us of the adhering to.

James Joyce"s Ulysses (1918-20) includes the line:

I watch, states the blind man. Tell us news.

And from Our Mutual Friend (1864-65) by Charles Dickens:

"Let me view, shelp the blind guy. Why the last news is, that I don"t suppose to marry your brother."

Forbes Macgregor"s Scots Proverbs and Rhymes (1983) contains:

"Sae I see," shelp the blin" guy.

This expression is recognized as a wellerism, which according to Wikipedia are:

called after Sam Weller in Charles Dickens"s The Pickwick Papers, make fun of established clichés and also proverbs by showing that they are wrong in particular situations, often as soon as taken literally. In this feeling, wellerisms that include proverbs are a type of anti-proverb. Generally a Wellerism is composed of 3 parts: a proverb or saying, a speaker, and an often humorously literal explacountry.

And has this example:

"So I check out," sassist the blind carpenter as he picked up his hammer and also observed.

Variations on the expression have been recorded in many type of folklore publications, in the USA, Canada, Ireland also, UK, Sweden and also Finland:

"I view," sassist the blind guy to his deaf wife over the telephone. (USA)

"I view," said the blind man. "You lie," shelp the dumb male. "Quiet!" shelp the deaf guy. (Canada, 1930s)

Finnish Folklore says:

The wellerism "Niin nakyy, sanoi sokea"(""I check out," sassist the blind man") was common as far back as Renaissance Italy and also continues to recur today, often in brand-new creates (e.g., ""I view, sano sokee ja putos jokeen" - "I view," sassist the blind man, falling into the river"). Wellerisms spreview to Finland from Sweden and were especially popular in the 1930s. Some few wellerisms remajor well-known in Finland this particular day, as in the USA and somewhere else.

As for the wood leg variation, the California Folklore Society detailed at least these three in Western folklore - Volume 18 (1959):

Wellerisms Involving Mention of a Wooden Leg

I view, shelp the blind guy with a shake of his wood leg, that the price of lumber has gone up. I check out, shelp the blind male as he peeped through the hole in grandpa"s wooden leg (H.42). I check out, sassist the blind guy as he spit with the knothole in his wooden leg

As she waved her wood leg

Wooden legs appear in various other wellerisms, such as this documented in Western folklore, Volumes 24-25 (1965) and the Amerihave the right to Folklore Society"s (Journal of American folklore, Volume 69)12 (1956):

"Aha!" she cried, as she waved her wood leg and also passed away. (Idaho)

"Hurrah!" shouted the old massist as she jumped out the home window. (Tenn.)

"Hurrah!" shouted the old mhelp as she waved her wooden leg. (Ky.)

"Hurrah!" as the old massist shouted waving her wooden leg. (Ky.)

Sometimes she would also "roll her eyeballs", or instead of "Aha!" or "Hurrah!" it"s "Too late!". In fact, a conversation at lists many kind of variations. These phrases appears to have been supplied as soon as something has actually finally taken place (playing the winning hand at cards), or something has come as well late, or just as an embellimelted "Aha!" exclamation.

And Lighter wrote:

After reviewing the entire thread, and a number of giant databases, I feel certain that McGrath of Harlow had actually the right idea back in 2006. He shelp that the easiest develop of the saying was a parody of the last lines of "Sweet William"s Farewell to Black-Eyed Susan," composed by John Gay approximately 1715:

The boatswain provided the tragic word, The sails their swelling bosom spreview, No much longer need to she continue to be aboard; They kiss"d, she sigh"d, he hung his head. Her lessening boat unwilling rows to land; "Adieu!" she cries; and waved her lily hand also.

See more: Answer To Riddle: Why Did The Coach Go To The Bank ?: Dadjokes

The create, the scansion, and 6 of the eight words are the same. What"s more, "leg" pretty much rhymes via "spread" and also "head."

"Black-Eyed Susan" was a renowned song for 150 years. Captain Whall even includes it in his book of sea songs and shanties as having been sung in the 1860s.

The parody words don"t seem to be reported until roughly 1900, yet the big variety of variants imply that it"s rather older than that.