is one expression used by someone on whom understanding has simply dawned, or a catch-phrase addressed to the person. Sometimes it deserve to be divided amongst the crowd

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

I"ve to be hearing it quite a little bit recently (I had actually thought ns was the only human being who said idiotic things choose this), and also am wondering whereby it came from. Was there a historical number who was blind v a peg leg? Or is over there some various other explanation?

I have turned up a pair of sports on the phrase here and also here yet no-one appears to understand where it come from.

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edited Oct 3 "12 at 12:20

Andrew Leach♦
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request Oct 3 "12 in ~ 11:41

Brian HooperBrian Hooper
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I always heard it, "I see stated the blind man as he peed into the wind. It's every coming ago to me now!"
jan 6 "14 in ~ 23:19
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This appears to it is in the result of two apparently unrelated wellerisms.

I see, said the blind man

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

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

As well as referencing Partridge, Colloquial Language in Ulysses: A recommendation Tool through Robert wilhelm Dent tells united state of the following.

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

I see, says the remote man. Tell united state news.

And native Our mutual Friend (1864-65) by Charles Dickens:

"Let me see, claimed the blind man. Why the last news is, that i don"t average to marry her brother."

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

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

This expression is recognized as a wellerism, which follow to Wikipedia are:

named after Sam Weller in Charles Dickens"s The Pickwick Papers, make funny of created clichés and proverbs by mirroring that they room wrong in details situations, frequently when bring away literally. In this sense, wellerisms that include proverbs are a kind of anti-proverb. Commonly a Wellerism consists of 3 parts: a proverb or saying, a speaker, and also an regularly humorously literal meaning explanation.

And consists of this example:

"So i see," stated the blind carpenter together he picked up his hammer and saw.

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

"I see," stated the blind man to his deaf mam over the telephone. (USA)

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

Finnish Folklore says:

The wellerism "Niin nakyy, sanoi sokea"(""I see," stated the blind man") was common as far earlier as Renaissance Italy and continues come recur today, regularly in new forms (e.g., ""I see, sano sokee ja putos jokeen" - "I see," said the blind man, falling right into the river"). Wellerisms infect Finland native Sweden and were particularly popular in the 1930s. Some couple of wellerisms remain popular in Finland today, together in the joined States and elsewhere.

As for the wooden 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, claimed the blind man with a shower of his wooden leg, that the price of lumber has gone up. Ns see, said the blind guy as the peeped v the feet in grandpa"s wooden leg (H.42). I see, stated the blind man as the spit through the knothole in his wood leg

As she waved her wooden leg

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

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

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

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

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

Sometimes she would also "roll she eyeballs", or rather of "Aha!" or "Hurrah!" it"s "Too late!". In fact, a conversation at lists numerous variations. This phrases seems to have been supplied when something has finally happened (playing the winning hand at cards), or something has come too late, or simply as an embellished "Aha!" exclamation.

And Lighter wrote:

After reviewing the whole thread, and also several huge databases, ns feel details that McGrath that Harlow had the ideal idea back in 2006. He said that the simplest form of the saying was a parody the the last lines the "Sweet William"s Farewell to Black-Eyed Susan," composed by man Gay around 1715:

The boatswain provided the devastating word, The sails their ede bosom spread, No longer must she continue to be aboard; lock kiss"d, she sigh"d, that hung his head. She lessening boat unwilling rows come land; "Adieu!" she cries; and waved her lily hand.

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

"Black-Eyed Susan" was a famous song for 150 years. Captain Whall even consists of it in his publication of sea songs and shanties as having actually been sung in the 1860s.

The parody native don"t seem to be reported until approximately 1900, yet the large number the variants suggest that it"s fairly older than that.