Blind Freddy

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Rival theories exist concerning an actual person called Blind Freddy:

  • A blind hawker called Freddy or Freddie who lived in Sydney in the 1920s.[1]
  • A police officer, Sir Frederick William Pottinger, who was in charge of the Lachlan district. The success of bushranger Ben Hall in evading capture there in 1862 earned Pottinger the name "Blind Freddy".[2]

Various Australian individuals were known as "Blind Freddy(ie)" from at least 1902, in apparent reference to an actual physical infirmity[3]

The use of "Blind Freddy" meaning "anyone can see..." dates to at least 1907[4]


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Proper noun[edit]

Blind Freddy

  1. (Australia, informal) An imaginary incapacitated person held up as an archetype of incapacity: what blind Freddy can see (understand) must be very obvious. [From 1940s.]
    • 1965, Leonie Judith Gibson Kramer (editor), Coast to Coast: Australian Stories, 1963-1964[1], page 80:
      “I thought you might have bet on Mart,” Angus said coldly. “Just for old times′ sake.”
      “Don't be Uncle Willy,” Jerry admonished him, mildly. “Old Blind Freddy could'a seen Mart was a gonner. Although I admit I had the wind up a couple′a times!” Angus felt the blood rise in his face.
    • 1973, Council of Law Reporting for New South Wales, New South Wales Law Reports[2], volume 2, page 54:
      Mr Cook said ‘Look, blind Freddy would know that was for scaffolding,’ and he said, ‘Yes, of course,’. He did not have to be told, blind Freddy would know it, anybody in the timber trade would know it.
    • 1978, David Williamson, The Club[3], page 18:
      Blind Freddy could have seen that Danny was being beaten pointless, but Laurie refused to shift him until the last quarter.



  1. ^ 1966, Sidney J. Baker, The Australian Language, second edition, page 269.
  2. ^ 2004 November 24, “Gift of sight”, article in Sydney Morning Herald.
  3. ^ 1902 October 1, “Random Rinkles”, article in The Sydney Sportsman.
  4. ^ 1907 August 21, “The Ring”, article in The Sydney Sportsman.