[Ads-l] Saying: "I see, " said the blind man, as he picked up his hammer and saw.

Andy Bach afbach at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jan 2 19:21:37 UTC 2019

Sorry, if I've posted this before (can't find it but I have this feeling I
did) but my grandmother often used to say (born in Norway, but came to the
U.S. at age 2) "I see, said the blind man to the bee."   Never understood
the what the bee was doing there, aside from the rhyme; alas, the Google
No results found for *"I see said the blind man to the bee"*

On Wed, Jan 2, 2019 at 12:11 AM ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>

> Wilson Gray mentioned the phrase in the subject line in a separate
> thread. Amy West and Jonathan Lighter commented. Here are three
> citations discovered via a few queries restricted to Newspapers.com
> (antedating should be possible).
> A match for the first part of the saying appeared by 1842.
> Date: October 15, 1842
> Newspaper: The Daily Madisonian
> Newspaper Location: Washington, District of Columbia
> Article: New York Correspondence
> Acknowledgement: From the N. Y. Standard
> Quote Page 2, Column 3
> Database: Newspapers.com
> [Begin excerpt]
> Let us see, said the blind man: let us see, for I fear some of us had
> a mist before our eyes, a delusion or spell, which is about to be
> dissipated.
> [End excerpt]
> A blind carpenter with a hammer and saw were mentioned by 1890.
> Date: October 13, 1890
> Newspaper: Morning Journal and Courier
> Newspaper Location: New Haven, Connecticut
> Article: Remarkable
> Quote Page 1, Column 7
> Database: Newspapers.com
> [Begin excerpt]
> Quite a remarkable thing happened to a blind carpenter the other
> day—he took his hammer and saw. —Commercial Bulletin.
> [End excerpt]
> A wagon maker, blind carpenter, deaf sheep ranchman, noseless
> fisherman, and others were mentioned in 1891.
> Date: March 11, 1891
> Newspaper: Daily Nebraska State Journal
> Newspaper Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
> Article: Newspaper Drift
> Quote Page 4, Column 3
> Database: Newspapers.com
> [Begin excerpt]
> Here is a remarkable case. The other day a wagon maker who had been
> dumb for years, picked up a hub and spoke. —Binghampton Republican.
> Yes, and a blind carpenter on the same day reached out for his plane
> and saw, and a deaf sheep ranchman went out with his dog and herd and
> a noseless fisherman caught a barrel herring and smelt, and a defunct
> hatter was tenderly deposited on a pile of hair and felt, and a forty
> ton elephant inserted his trunk into a grate and flue.
> [End excerpt]
> Barry Popik has a pertinent entry with a first citation in 1893.
> “‘I see,’ said the blind carpenter as he picked up his hammer and saw”
> https://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/i_see_said_the_blind_carpenter/
> Garson
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org



Andy Bach,
afbach at gmail.com
608 658-1890 cell
608 261-5738 wk

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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