blind leading the blind: Idiom Meaning and Origin

What does ‘blind leading the blind’ mean?

The idiom "blind leading the blind" refers to a situation where someone lacking knowledge or expertise is attempting to guide or instruct others who are similarly lacking in knowledge or expertise. This expression is often used to highlight the incompetence or futility of such a situation.

Idiom Explorer

Wisdom in Darkness

The idiom "blind leading the blind" is a commonly used expression in English. It can be traced back to biblical origins and its meaning has evolved over time. The idiom refers to a situation where someone lacking knowledge or understanding tries to guide or teach others who are similarly uninformed. In this scenario, no one involved has the necessary skills or expertise to effectively lead or instruct.

The phrase comes from the New Testament of the Bible, specifically Matthew 15:14 and Luke 6:39, where Jesus criticizes the religious leaders of his time. He compares them to blind guides leading others who are also blind. The idiom carries a connotation of not only lack of knowledge, but also deception or misguided intentions.

Over time, the idiom has become a widely recognized expression in everyday English. It is used to describe situations where incompetence, ignorance, or lack of awareness leads to ineffective leadership, advice, or decision-making. It emphasizes the importance of seeking guidance or support from those with expertise and experience.

Blind leading the blind - a metaphor for ignorance.

The idiom's figurative meaning is applicable in various contexts, including politics, education, and business. In politics, it can critique uninformed leaders who struggle with complex issues, resulting in poor decision-making. In education, it highlights the limitations of teachers who lack the knowledge to guide their students effectively.

Add a paragraph explaining the idiom "blind with science".

In addition, the idiom applies to business or professional settings. Placing individuals without expertise or experience in positions of leadership can lead to suboptimal outcomes, inefficiency, or even harm to the organization or team involved.

Overall, the idiom "blind leading the blind" represents incompetence, ignorance, and misguided guidance. It reminds us of the importance of seeking advice or following leaders who possess the necessary knowledge and understanding. While its origins lie in biblical scripture, the idiom continues to be relevant in contemporary English, resonating with individuals across various domains and contexts.

Example usage

Examples of how the idiom "blind leading the blind" can be used in a sentence:

  • She tried to give directions but she didn't really know the way, it was like the blind leading the blind.
  • The teacher was inexperienced and confused, it was a case of the blind leading the blind in that classroom.
  • The company was in financial trouble and their CEO had no knowledge of managing finances, it was the blind leading the blind in terms of business strategy.

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