What Does the Expression “Turned a Blind Eye” Mean and Where Did the Phrase Come From?

In 1801, while second in command of a British fleet near Copenhagen, Horatio Nelson was told that his commander had sent up flags ordering a retreat.

Nelson lifted his spyglass to his previously blinded eye and said he couldn’t see the order, and then he ordered and led a successful attack.

Nelson’s insubordination became legend and gave us the expression “turn a blind eye.”

what does the expression turned a blind eye mean and where did the phrase come from

When someone ignores the rules we say he “turned a blind eye”.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist for zippyfacts.com. Born in New York, she loves interesting random facts from all over the world.