is one expression supplied by who on whom comprehension has simply dawned, or a catch-phrase handle to the person. Sometimes it can be divided amongst the crowd

New comprehender: "I see!" First onlooker : "Said the remote man" All : "As he waved his wood leg"

I"ve to be hearing it quite a little bit recently (I had thought i was the only human who claimed idiotic things prefer this), and am wondering where it came from. To be there a historical number who was blind through a peg leg? Or is there some various other explanation?

I have turned up a couple of sport on the expression here and also here however no-one appears to understand where it came from.

You are watching: I see said the blind man


etymology catch-phrases exclamations
re-superstructure
enhance this question
follow
edited Oct 3 "12 in ~ 12:20
*

Andrew Leach♦
92.1k1111 yellow badges179179 silver badges288288 bronze title
asked Oct 3 "12 in ~ 11:41
*

Brian HooperBrian Hooper
36k5353 gold badges141141 silver- badges247247 bronze title
11
2
I constantly heard it, "I see said the blind male as the peed right into the wind. It's every coming earlier to me now!"
–user61444
january 6 "14 at 23:19
| display 6 an ext comments

2 answers 2


active oldest Votes
13
This appears to be the result of two apparently unrelated wellerisms.

I see, said the remote man

Eric Partridge"s A dictionary of catch Phrases (1986) says:

I see, said the remote man. one elab. And humorous means of saying "I understand", however implying, that course, the although one understands, one doesn"t totally do so—as indeed, the dovetail (which R.S., 1977, remembers hearing as a schoolboy in 1915) when that couldn"t watch at all, provides clear. B.G.T., 1978, confirms this and adds the it has been esp. Common amongst schoolchildren. In the US, that is much earlier: "is was usual in my parent"s speech, and probably in their parents" (J.W.C., 1977): which would take it earlier to c. 1860. And Ashley, 1983, likewise from US, gives the punning "I see", said the remote man, as he choose up his hammer and also saw.

As well together referencing Partridge, Colloquial Language in Ulysses: A reference Tool through Robert wilhelm Dent tells us of the following.

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

I see, says the remote man. Tell us news.

And indigenous Our mutual Friend (1864-65) through Charles Dickens:

"Let me see, stated the blind man. Why the last news is, that ns don"t typical to marry your brother."

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

"Sae ns see," stated the blin" man.

This phrase is known as a wellerism, which follow to Wikipedia are:

named after Sam Weller in Charles Dickens"s The Pickwick Papers, make fun of established clichés and also proverbs by mirroring that they room wrong in specific situations, regularly when taken literally. In this sense, wellerisms that incorporate proverbs are a type of anti-proverb. Typically a Wellerism is composed of 3 parts: a proverb or saying, a speaker, and an frequently humorously literal meaning explanation.

And has this example:

"So ns see," said the remote carpenter together he picked up his hammer and also saw.

Variations top top the phrase have actually been documented in many folklore books, in the USA, Canada, Ireland, UK, Sweden and also Finland:

"I see," claimed the blind male to his deaf wife over the telephone. (USA)

"I see," claimed the remote man. "You lie," said the dumb man. "Quiet!" stated the hearing disabled man. (Canada, 1930s)

Finnish Folklore says:

The wellerism "Niin nakyy, sanoi sokea"(""I see," said the remote man") was usual as far back as Renaissance Italy and also continues come recur today, frequently in new forms (e.g., ""I see, sano sokee ja putos jokeen" - "I see," claimed the blind man, falling right into the river"). Wellerisms spread to Finland native Sweden and also were particularly popular in the 1930s. Some couple of wellerisms remain renowned in Finland today, together in the united States and elsewhere.

As for the wood leg variation, the California Folklore Society detailed at least these 3 in Western folklore - Volume 18 (1959):

Wellerisms Involving point out of a wood Leg

I see, stated the blind man with a shiver of his wooden leg, that the price that lumber has gone up. Ns see, said the blind male as the peeped through the hole in grandpa"s wood leg (H.42). I see, stated the blind male as the spit with the knothole in his wood leg

As she waved her wooden leg

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

"Aha!" she cried, together she waved her wooden leg and also died. (Idaho)

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

"Hurrah!" shouted the old maid as she waved her wood leg. (Ky.)

"Hurrah!" together the old maid shouted waving her wooden leg. (Ky.)

Sometimes she would additionally "roll her eyeballs", or instead of "Aha!" or "Hurrah!" it"s "Too late!". In fact, a discussion at mudcat.org lists plenty of variations. This phrases appears to have actually been offered when other has finally happened (playing the win hand in ~ cards), or something has come too late, or simply as one embellished "Aha!" exclamation.

And Lighter wrote:

After reviewing the whole thread, and also several giant databases, ns feel details that McGrath of Harlow had the ideal idea earlier in 2006. He claimed that the simplest form of the saying to be a parody of the final lines of "Sweet William"s Farewell to Black-Eyed Susan," composed by john Gay about 1715:

The boatswain provided the dreadful word, The sails their swelling bosom spread, No much longer must she continue to be aboard; lock kiss"d, she sigh"d, that hung his head. Her lessening watercraft unwilling rows come land; "Adieu!" she cries; and also waved she lily hand.

See more: For Those Who Use Krita, How To Edit Text In Krita, Text Tool — Krita Manual 5

The form, the scansion, and also six the the eight words space identical. What"s more, "leg" pretty much rhymes through "spread" and also "head."

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

The parody native don"t seem to be report until about 1900, but the big number the variants suggest that it"s rather older 보다 that.