Who played a blinder?

Updated: Sep 18, 2019


Blinder is one of those English words that is rarely used in its literal sense of that, he or she which blinds. Staring at the sun could blind someone but we would not refer to the sun as a blinder. We might however refer to a blinding flash of lightning. The Peaky Blinders is a well known BBC gangster drama set in 1920s Birmingham. Their trademark act of violence was to cut out people’s eyes using razor blades to terrorise and control a community. The use of blinders is literal. Cillian Murphy plays the male lead character Tommy Shelby who is one of the ‘blinders.’


A much more common use of blinder is metaphorical. Someone who is said to have played a blinder has performed so brilliantly that it is supposedly possible to be blinded by the dazzling display of accomplishment. This use is very common in sports. Ben Stokes did indeed play a blinder on 25 August when he took England to victory in the test match against Australia at Headingley. But it can also be used whenever someone handles a situation with brilliance. Next time your friend or colleague does something in an outstanding way you can say

“Wow, you played a blinder.”

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