Up a Blind Alley | Phrase Definition, Origin & Examples

Interesting fact about Up a Blind Alley

The origin of the expression ‘up a blind alley’ comes from the mid-19th century, hundreds of years after alleyways that essentially lead to nowhere were first configured. The phrase is first seen in print in the late 1800s, with this example from the October 1874 newspaper Burlington Hawk-Eye serving as an illustration: “If, on account of
these things, the overthrow of Republicanism must come, as come it will, we had better reach our destination as quickly as possible, making the issue sharp enough to be understood by all the world, and not be piddling along from year to year in a miserable blind alley of partisan passion and falsehood, getting weaker and weaker, and poorer and poorer, and madder and madder, under incessant proscription and vilification.”

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