One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Almost completely blind.
- ‘Depending on his reduced power, a person can be calassified as 'stone-blind' or 'gravel-blind'.’
- ‘This Is my true-begotten lather, who, being more than sand-blind, high gravel-blind, knows me not.’
- ‘It was natural that the descendant of the Incas should desire to relieve his race from so odious an imputation; and we must have charity for him, if he does show himself, on some occasions, where the honor of his country is at stake, "high gravel-blind."’
Early 17th century: originally as high-gravel-blind, a humorous usage meaning ‘more than sand-blind (= half-blind’), with reference to Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice.
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