Sunday, 24 June 2012


Imagine you're riding a horse bareback with no reins to help when it suddenly bolts. You face injury or worse unless you can get the horse to stop quickly. 

I'm sure that being the clever person you are, you already know how to do this but in case the solution doesn't come to mind right away I'll give you a moment to ponder the problem of how to stop the runaway horse.

Nowadays we use the word 'wink' to mean a quick blink of one eye directed at someone but back in the middle ages, wink meant to firmly close the eyes. Bearing this in mind, 'hoodwink' meant to put a hood over the eyes like a blindfold. 

You would do this to someone who was about to have their head chopped off or less gruesomely you would put a small hood over a falcon's eyes to kid (hoodwink) him that it was night so he would calm down and stay put on your gloved hand.

I'm sure you also realised that the same trick will work on the runaway horse if you quickly slip your hands over his eyes.

You see, I wasn't trying to hoodwink you.

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