turn a blind eye

I'm wondering why not 'two' eyes? (i.e. turn blind eyes)

There's similar expression: keep an eye on someone
same question, why not 'two' eyes? (i.e. keep eyes on someone)

1 2
If you are blind in one eye, that's the eye that you turn toward something you don't want to see.
Your other eye is perfectly capable of seeing. So this has to do with pretending not to see by speaking of an eye that is blind and, by implication, an eye that is not blind.

If you keep an eye on someone, you don't look at them with both eyes. Then they would know that you are watching them. Keeping an eye on someone has to do with somewhat secretly watching with one eye while going about your normal routine using the other eye. That way it is less obvious to the person being watched that he is being watched.

Can u give me some examples.

I am not able to reach what is turn a blind eye..

Thanks in advance

Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Welcome to English Forums, Kingsingh.

'The referee turned a blind eye to the player's fouls on the field.' -- the referee chose to ignore the fouls for some reason: perhaps to keep the game in action.

'The mother turned a blind eye to her child's faults, even though the teacher repeatedly complained of poor classroom behaviour.' -- the mother refused to acknowledge her child's imperfections in the face of the evidence.
Thanks for CJ's excellent explanations. I got it.
And also thanks for Mr. M's contributions. I appreciate it.
There is a theory that 'turn a blind eye' is an allusion to Nelson's action at the battle of Copenhagen in 1801, where he supposedly disobeyed his superior's signal to disengage by putting his blind eye to his telescope and saying 'I really do not see the signal'.

That said, I don't know how true it is. Nelson is often associated with the phrase when it turns up in BrE newspaper articles, etc; but it wouldn't surprise me if it had a longer history.

Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Well, what an interesting story! Did Nelson get any punishment?

Thanks for your input.
Hello MtoL

Oddly enough, he was made a viscount...

Here is the relevant passage from Southey's Life of Nelson:

He now paced the deck, moving the stump of his lost arm in a manner which always indicated great emotion.

"Do you know," said he to Mr. Ferguson, "what is shown on board the Commander-in-Chief? Number Thirty-nine!" Mr. Ferguson asked what that meant. "Why, to leave off action!" Then shrugging up his shoulders, he repeated the words--"Leave off action? Now, damn me if I do! You know, Foley," turning to the captain, "I have only one eye,--I have a right to be blind sometimes:" and then putting the glass to his blind eye, in that mood of mind which sports with bitterness, he exclaimed, "I really do not see the signal!"

Presently he exclaimed, "Damn the signal! Keep mine for closer battle flying! That's the way I answer signals! Nail mine to the mast!"

Imagine the paperwork, if that happened nowadays.

Do you really think it DOESN'T happen sometimes?
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Show more