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Today’s Fun Fact comes out of left field, but where did that idiom come from? Well, that depends on who you choose to believe. The oblivious answer is that it is related to the game of baseball and a successful play being made by the left fielder throwing to home plate or first base, a play you may not see very often. Since the ball would be coming from behind the runner, it would catch them by surprise. The exact origin is not known, but some reference the idiom first being used in the mid 1950’s. Something coming from left field is not the same as being out in left field. Out of left field is something that catches you off guard or surprises you. If you, someone you know or something else, is out in left field, it means it’s an eccentric, odd, misguided or peculiar statement or act. So I guess, something that comes out of left field may come from someone who is out in left field.
Are you Argus-eyed? You may be, and not even know it. Let’s see if I can clear up any confusion. If you are Argus-eyed, you a vigilant. You have a keen eye. You are watchful. According to Lexico dot com this idiom comes from Argos, the Greek mythical giant watchman who had 100 eyes. His surname, Panopes, means the all seeing one. With 100 eyes, I guess he was.
I might pull the wool over your eyes, or not. You’ve heard this idiom, I’m sure but where did it come from? According to SMH dot com there are a couple of explanations. Wealthy Brits of the 17th and 18th centuries were fond of wearing wigs made from wool. Ne’er-do-wells would tug their victims’ hairpieces down over their faces, making it easier to relieve them of their pounds and pence. Another possible origin come from Medieval fairs. They were places of wonder and dastardly deeds where robbers were always on the lookout for victims. Their favorite technique was to pull the victim’s hood over his eyes while cutting his purse-strings. Hence the expressions to be hoodwinked and or to have the wool pulled over one’s eyes.