Rival theories exist concerning an actual person called Blind Freddy:
- A blind hawker called Freddy or Freddie who lived in Sydney in the 1920s.
- 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".
Various Australian individuals were known as "Blind Freddy(ie)" from at least 1902, in apparent reference to an actual physical infirmity
The use of "Blind Freddy" meaning "anyone can see..." dates to at least 1907
- (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, 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, 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.