pull the wool over someone's eyes


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pull the wool over (one's) eyes

To deceive, fool, or misdirect someone, especially to gain a personal advantage. (Likely an allusion to the once-common practice by men of wearing large powdered wigs that resembled lambs' wool.) He tried pulling the wool over our eyes by hiding the profits in separate accounts, but we were quick to catch onto his scheme. Be prepared for your kids to try to pull the wool over your eyes when they're teenagers.
See also: eye, over, pull, wool

pull the wool over someone's eyes

Deceive or hoodwink someone, as in His partner had pulled the wool over his eyes for years by keeping the best accounts for himself . This term alludes to the former custom of wearing a wig, which when slipping down can blind someone temporarily. [c. 1800]
See also: eye, over, pull, wool

pull the wool over someone's eyes

If someone pulls the wool over your eyes, they try to deceive you, sometimes in order to get an advantage over you. I just thought he was trying to pull the wool over my eyes to get a better price. Parents who were mistreating their small children would find it difficult to pull the wool over her eyes. Note: In the past, wigs for men were sometimes called `wool' because they looked like a sheep's fleece. It was easy to pull wigs over people's eyes, either as a joke or in order to rob them.
See also: eye, over, pull, wool

pull the wool over someone's eyes

deceive someone, especially by telling untruths.
1997 Spectator On no occasion do I remember Ridsdale trying to pull the wool over my eyes but rather trying always to remove the wool that journalists…pull over their own eyes.
See also: eye, over, pull, wool